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Assist Your Listener

Ric Phillips

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 2 votes

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great summer and not working too hard.

Today I would like to remind you of something I am often repeating in training - assist your listener. Sometimes we can get caught up in our own speaking that we neglect the listener. We may be speaking too quickly, or too quietly, or without enthusiasm or proper stress, or we may be speaking over or under people's intelligence levels.

Think in the past of someone who spoke to you that way. How did you feel? I hope and assume it was not done on purpose, but still, what is your typical reaction to someone who seems to be pontificating on and on, or otherwise seems to not need you in the conversation? Half of the time my reaction is to just stare with utter amazement! The other half of the time I actively re-balance the conversation with no egos bruised.

Our public speaking performance improvement is great for our personal success, of course, but we cannot forget that if we lose our listener's attention or respect, it is game over. No matter how eloquent of a speaker you may be or how fast you can speak, the important thing to remember is that communication is a dance. You need at least one other person working with you right?

So the next time you have lots to say or are excited or in a hurry or at work presenting ideas or whatever, remember to pause and mentally self-evaluate your delivery tools: volume, speed, rhythm, appropriate vocabulary etc. and ask yourself - can my partner/listener/audience/client/student etc.completely follow me? Do they have enough time to process the information being thrown at them? Are they engaged in this conversation or are they just passively waiting for their turn to speak? If so, what responsibility do you take in that situation?

I hope from now on you take a lot of personal interest and responsibility in the ebb and flow of your conversations, and are careful to assist your listener at all times, especially when your listeners change frequently throughout the day, week, month, year and lifetime!

All the best,

Ric Phillips, B. A.
Communication Coach & Trainer
3V Communications
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