Saturday, 12 December 2015

LISTENING – IMPORTANT PUBLIC SPEAKING & LEADERSHIP SKILLS


While some may be impressed with how well you speak, the right people will be impressed with how well you listen. Great leaders are great listeners, and therefore my message today is a simple one – talk less and listen more. The best leaders are proactive, strategic, and intuitive listeners.

Listen not hear

Everyone wants to be heard and understood, but at one time or another most people don't listen and fail to understand the meaning of another person's words. It’s a fundamental human need to have your feelings acknowledged, whether or not someone agrees with you. Honest to goodness listening creates an intimate connection and makes you feel cared about.
You can hear someone speak without listening to the words. Hearing is an involuntary process that starts with noise, vibrations, the movement of fluid in the ears and sound sent to the brain. Simple!

Where it gets a little complicated is when the noise actually arrives to its final destination: the brain! This is where listening happens. Listening goes far beyond your natural hearing process. It means paying attention to the words that are being spoken with the intention of understanding the other person. Your personal perceptions and prejudices can affect the quality of your listening skills.

A good listener understands that communication is a two-way street. He refrains from interrupting a speaker with his own thoughts. Good listening also requires keeping an open mind, refraining from judgment and making direct eye contact. Finally, a good listener will not glance up at the clock or look down at his watch while the other person is speaking.

Public Speakers Need to Be Good Listeners

When a public speaker sets out to create his speech, he first do some research about the audience. The best way for doing research and gaining information about the potential audience is by asking open ended question, the questions that requires elaborate answers, and then listen to the answers. By listening to the responses he can make out many things about the background of the audience, this will help him to set the focus of the presentation

Also, he speaker should get to the gig early. It will give him time to socialize with the audience. As he peruses the crowd, he may stumble upon something interesting something personal bout the audiences, which may help to give a personal touch to the speech

During the speech, we should be “listening” the audience, taking cue from their responses and body movement. This sounds difficult but is not, Listen to the laughs, sneer or whispering. This will tell you whether the speech is holding the audience. You may have to take some decision on the fly gauging the response.


In the next blog we will be discussion on the tips of improving listening and stop hearing.