If, over the coming weeks, you are going to one of the many conferences which occur at this time of year you will, without doubt be doing a lot of talking. Meeting up with friends and colleagues, making new connections or perhaps giving a formal presentation. Thinking about the approaching conference season led me to revisit one of the most popular TED talks of all time given by Julian Treasure, ‘How to speak so that people want to listen’. Lasting for 10 minutes, I’d really encourage you to watch it.

What to expect if you do?

Well, firstly it’s relevant whatever kind of speaking you will be doing whether it’s giving a presentation or having conversations. It encourages us to reflect firstly on the kinds of conversations we have. Most conference conversations are brief and fleeting. We may only have a few minutes to talk with someone between sessions or at posters. We may be meeting someone for the first time. This being the case how do we want to use that time to make a real connection? This talk starts off by introducing 7 deadly sins of speaking:

  • Gossip
  • Judging
  • Negativity
  • Complaining
  • Excuses
  • Lying/embroidery
  • Dogmatism

It then goes on to explore 4 corner stones and speaking powerfully

  • Honesty
  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Love

Hmmm. If you look at those two lists which one resonates with you in terms of the kind of conversations you would like to be part of?

Julian Treasure then goes on to give some practical advice about how to make the most of your voice and demonstrates a few warm-up exercises for your voice which will be helpful to anyone giving a formal presentation.

There are many reasons why this TED talk is one of the all time greats. It’s fun to listen to and will make you smile, it’s also a call to consider not only the kinds of conversations you may have but the ways in which you can use your voice to better effect. Julian Treasure is an engaging speaker well worth sparing 10 minutes of your time to listen to.