How to be listened to



As I child I was hooked on audiobooks, my parents had to play tapes in the car on long journeys, while I read along with my paper books. I had lots of different ones, but my favourites were always anything by Roald Dahl. 

He's a large figure in British literary history, writing books for children that didn't treat them like children. The characters were strange, gruesome, magical and heroic. Talking foxes, witches with no toes and magic soups made from everything in the house. I've since heard from multiple sources since that he didn't really like kids that much ironically and was pretty grumpy when he had to visit schools giving talks. 

However, that didn't affect me and like thousands of other kids I was captivated by the voice telling the story.

If you want three minutes of escapism and a flashback to childhood then listen to an extract of the giraffe the pelly and me, read by Hugh Laurie here.

Today, people in business think about body language, their clothes, the location of their meetings, their online presence and image. What many neglect to think about is their voice, how you sound, the pauses you use. Your voice is in fact your most powerful tool for communicating, persuading and influencing. 

In your first language this is something people forget about, but when English is your second language it is often the very last thing you think about. After all, by the time your brain has organised the grammar, the correct vocabulary, the pronunciation - often you're ready for a rest and a beer!

Each week I'll introduce you to a speaking hero, someone who specialises in the voice, and how people use them to be heard effectively and powerfully the first is:

Julian Treasure

This man is easily one of my favourite people, if you're not familiar with him then take a look at his TED talk here.

To get the best out of him, you can sign up to his resource library and peruse it in your own time, or he has a course on udemy that you can complete. Why? Well as always, it's great to kill two birds with one stone. Doing a course in English means you get the benefits of exercising the English bit of your brain and at the same time you get a great new qualification that you can apply to your life!