How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound
in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war
or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people
don’t listen to them. And why is that? How can we speak powerfully
to make change in the world? What I’d like to suggest, there are a number of habits
that we need to move away from. I’ve assembled for your pleasure here
seven deadly sins of speaking. I’m not pretending
this is an exhaustive list, but these seven, I think, are pretty large
habits that we can all fall into. First, gossip. Speaking ill of somebody
who’s not present. Not a nice habit,
and we know perfectly well the person gossiping, five minutes later,
will be gossiping about us. Second, judging. We know people who are like this
in conversation, and it’s very hard to listen to somebody if you know that you’re being judged
and found wanting at the same time. Third, negativity. You can fall into this. My mother, in the last years of her life,
became very negative, and it’s hard to listen. I remember one day, I said to her,
“It’s October 1 today,” and she said, “I know, isn’t it dreadful?” (Laughter) It’s hard to listen
when somebody’s that negative. (Laughter) And another form
of negativity, complaining. Well, this is the national art of the U.K. It’s our national sport. We complain about the weather, sport,
about politics, about everything, but actually, complaining is viral misery. It’s not spreading sunshine
and lightness in the world. Excuses. We’ve all met this guy. Maybe we’ve all been this guy. Some people have a blamethrower. They just pass it on to everybody else and don’t take responsibility
for their actions, and again, hard to listen
to somebody who is being like that. Penultimate, the sixth of the seven, embroidery, exaggeration. It demeans our language,
actually, sometimes. For example, if I see something
that really is awesome, what do I call it? (Laughter) And then, of course,
this exaggeration becomes lying, and we don’t want to listen
to people we know are lying to us. And finally, dogmatism. The confusion of facts with opinions. When those two things get conflated, you’re listening into the wind. You know, somebody is bombarding you
with their opinions as if they were true. It’s difficult to listen to that. So here they are, seven deadly
sins of speaking. These are things I think we need to avoid. But is there a positive
way to think about this? Yes, there is. I’d like to suggest that there are four
really powerful cornerstones, foundations, that we can stand on if we want our speech to be powerful and to make
change in the world. Fortunately, these things spell a word. The word is “hail,” and it has
a great definition as well. I’m not talking about the stuff
that falls from the sky and hits you on the head. I’m talking about this definition, to greet or acclaim enthusiastically, which is how I think
our words will be received if we stand on these four things. So what do they stand for? See if you can guess. The H, honesty, of course, being true in what you say,
being straight and clear. The A is authenticity,
just being yourself. A friend of mine described it as
standing in your own truth, which I think is a lovely way to put it. The I is integrity, being your word, actually doing what you say, and being somebody people can trust. And the L is love. I don’t mean romantic love, but I do mean wishing people
well, for two reasons. First of all, I think absolute honesty
may not be what we want. I mean, my goodness,
you look ugly this morning. Perhaps that’s not necessary. Tempered with love, of course,
honesty is a great thing. But also, if you’re really
wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge
them at the same time. I’m not even sure you can do
those two things simultaneously. So hail. Also, now that’s what you say, and it’s like the old song,
it is what you say, it’s also the way that you say it. You have an amazing toolbox. This instrument is incredible, and yet this is a toolbox
that very few people have ever opened. I’d like to have a little rummage
in there with you now and just pull a few tools out that you might like to take
away and play with, which will increase
the power of your speaking. Register, for example. Now, falsetto register may not
be very useful most of the time, but there’s a register in between. I’m not going to get very
technical about this for any of you who are voice coaches. You can locate your voice, however. So if I talk up here in my nose,
you can hear the difference. If I go down here in my throat, which is where most of us
speak from most of the time. But if you want weight, you need to go down here to the chest. You hear the difference? We vote for politicians
with lower voices, it’s true, because we associate depth with power and with authority. That’s register. Then we have timbre. It’s the way your voice feels. Again, the research shows that we prefer voices
which are rich, smooth, warm, like hot chocolate. Well if that’s not you,
that’s not the end of the world, because you can train. Go and get a voice coach. And there are amazing things you can do with breathing, with posture,
and with exercises to improve the timbre of your voice. Then prosody. I love prosody. This is the sing-song, the meta-language that we use in order to impart meaning. It’s root one for meaning in conversation. People who speak all on one note
are really quite hard to listen to if they don’t have any prosody at all. That’s where the word
“monotonic” comes from, or monotonous, monotone. Also, we have repetitive
prosody now coming in, where every sentence ends
as if it were a question when it’s actually not
a question, it’s a statement? (Laughter) And if you repeat that one, it’s actually restricting your ability
to communicate through prosody, which I think is a shame, so let’s try and break that habit. Pace. I can get very excited by saying
something really quickly, or I can slow right down to emphasize, and at the end of that, of course,
is our old friend silence. There’s nothing wrong with a bit
of silence in a talk, is there? We don’t have to fill it with ums and ahs. It can be very powerful. Of course, pitch often
goes along with pace to indicate arousal, but you
can do it just with pitch. Where did you leave my keys? (Higher pitch) Where did you
leave my keys? So, slightly different meaning
in those two deliveries. And finally, volume. (Loud) I can get really excited
by using volume. Sorry about that, if I startled anybody. Or, I can have you really pay attention
by getting very quiet. Some people broadcast the whole time. Try not to do that. That’s called sodcasting, (Laughter) Imposing your sound on people around you
carelessly and inconsiderately. Not nice. Of course, where this all comes
into play most of all is when you’ve got something
really important to do. It might be standing on a stage like this
and giving a talk to people. It might be proposing marriage, asking for a raise, a wedding speech. Whatever it is, if it’s really important, you owe it to yourself
to look at this toolbox and the engine that it’s going to work on, and no engine works well
without being warmed up. Warm up your voice. Actually, let me show you how to do that. Would you all like to stand
up for a moment? I’m going to show you the six vocal warm-up exercises
that I do before every talk I ever do. Any time you’re going to talk
to anybody important, do these. First, arms up, deep breath in, and sigh out, ahhhhh, like that. One more time. Ahhhh, very good. Now we’re going to warm up our lips, and we’re going to go Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba. Very good. And now, brrrrrrrrrr, just like when you were a kid. Brrrr. Now your lips
should be coming alive. We’re going to do the tongue next with exaggerated la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la. Beautiful. You’re getting
really good at this. And then, roll an R. Rrrrrrr. That’s like champagne for the tongue. Finally, and if I can only do one, the pros call this the siren. It’s really good. It starts
with “we” and goes to “aw.” The “we” is high, the “aw” is low. So you go, weeeaawww, weeeaawww. Fantastic. Give yourselves
a round of applause. Take a seat, thank you. (Applause) Next time you speak, do those in advance. Now let me just put this
in context to close. This is a serious point here. This is where we are now, right? We speak not very well to people who simply aren’t listening in an environment that’s all
about noise and bad acoustics. I have talked about that on this stage
in different phases. What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were
actually fit for purpose? Or to make that a bit larger, what would the world be like if we were creating sound consciously and consuming sound consciously and designing all our environments consciously for sound? That would be a world
that does sound beautiful, and one where understanding
would be the norm, and that is an idea worth spreading. Thank you. (Applause)

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100 Responses

  1. Cristian I says:

    I have this fantasy that the real motive to mr. bald have done this lecture is because he wanted to make the crowd act like idiots

  2. Ishaaq Ahmed says:

    Hitler definitely watched this.

  3. Frank Harwald says:

    Right off the back of my mind, 2 things mostly overlooked these days that are paramount too achieve this are:
    -indicate good will towards the listener
    -know & work towards the listeners' incentives

  4. El Diablo says:


  5. Ronnie Joe says:

    Thank you!

  6. This one! says:

    So what would the study of voice be called?

  7. dewie says:

    I can just imagine a bunch of people applying for a job position, all gathered outside the boss' office going:
    "BA! BA! BA! BA!"

  8. Lionell Thomas says:

    Very nicely presented.  Very telling…

  9. Wayne McGuire says:

    exact same ad as robot vacuum cleaners.

  10. cq33xx says:

    don't listening to this crap people, it is all what you say, not how

  11. brenda poole says:

    I am guilty all of those but lying. I don't lie, I will always tell the truth. That's why people don't like me. My husband says sometimes I need to lie, it saves people's feelings. If I someone asks me a question, and I don't want to tell them. I will not lie, I just say I don't want to talk about it. It works, try it.

  12. Dog lover360 O-O says:


  13. abhi r says:

    Sleep well

  14. The Teen Engineer says:


  15. Kinda Curious says:

    Really inspiring speech.

  16. James Upton says:

    This is lightweight bullshit.

  17. Neortik says:

    Who did the exercise at the end it was funny ?

  18. Michael Baker says:

    paid to say nothing

  19. Mehdi Bamou says:

    8:10 this is the best (also funny) part ?

  20. Seeker says:

    Oh good lord, I can already see people in the office before meetings like "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

  21. makis mastro says:

    In the real world …… Gossip is everywhere …people like the gossip ….

  22. Tunahan Aldemir says:

    Alt yazınız bir var bir yok yapacaksaniz tam yapın

  23. Ibrahim LAKBIR says:


  24. poppychula says:

    listen to understand, not just to reply

  25. Holly Snoop Dogg Fuzzy Catt says:

    Oi, as I frustratingly struggled to keep from furrowing my brows while simultaneously attempting to locate that crucial but missing body-part, notably a penis, on my female body, I made it barely through "Embellishment"(which I refer to in TrumpsterAmerica as Absurd-Hyperbole) holding back giggling, before I completely lost it guffawing as I delved into- "Dogmatism" , it's numerous sub-categories, my favorite- 'Lying'. In a word, to describe my confusion, "incredulity". To be fair and respectful to the Speaker, I put it on "Hold" to check the date – I always assume that everything is current. Ah, 6/2014, right, Situation Aware (B.A.D). Our Speaker is describing truisms, his list of many points are accurate, albeit most of them based upon his personal experiences holding conversations in non-USA countries with mature adults. Viewing the date then comparing it with today's 8/12/19 New World Order in TrumpsterAmerica, I'd been comparing it to my personal experience : The inability to hold any sensible conversation with a Red Hat. In fact , finding a mature adult, holding a sensible conversation with any of them, finishing an entire sentence without being personally insulted, is the equivalent of Finding Waldo- ain't gonna happen, Waldo is in Deep undercover. My bad for not checking the date as there is no way this lecture would have made sense at a Trumpster Rally (he used multi-syllabic words) or for that matter, at any gathering: Not in in 2019 TrumpsterAmerica, nor in BrexitEngland, nor in parts of Australia, Venezuela, or for that matter, I can't think of any place on earth this would hold water in our Current World Order. Think back to Pre- WWI, Pre-WWII , listen again, listen to Putin, Dump, KJU and you'll understand my confusion – It's not Julian Treasure's error, it's mine.

  26. FAWAD RYSANI says:

    I like his head it is shining

  27. Interesting Content says:

    Check out Interesting content's page! We've got some great expert advice for professionals in the marketing field!

  28. HPB Vlog's says:

    This video make me more confident on myself.Because I don't know no clear techniques for conversations.I am so glad by your videos ,Thanks a lot .I am from India and in learning English.So in above comment is there any mistakes so i am sorry.Forgive plz.

  29. jeraz yume says:

    who stay and listen? ?

  30. Useless Kapi says:

    3:32 okay… Now I can't take this guy seriously any more. The words "your" and "truth" should not be used together because in this rational world there is only the truth, one and only truth, there can't be anything thats "true to you" or "true to him/her" there is just truth. And using that phrase "your truth" tells to me lot of about the person judging by other people who like to use it in their motivational speeches, presentations and arguments. Even though he said not to judge, you also should try to avoid saying things that are just down right false.

  31. JJ JJ says:

    Why does this have so many dislikes?

  32. FractalsAndMore says:

    No one cares about honesty anymore. People are more likely to believe lies than the truth.

  33. Anonymus 321 says:

    This was an amazing ted talk

  34. IlBarbone Sudicio says:

    This is the best ted talk ever XD

  35. Gaxt ing says:


  36. Melanie Lesicka says:

    What I want to know is how much anxiety plays into this. Because I often find myself saying things different out loud than I would like to because I'm uncomfortable or nervous. Like the pitch goes up or my register goes down and then what I'm trying to say isn't portrayed to that person the way I'd like. It's so weird.

  37. Archaimbault Alperen Ozgokcen says:

    Düşüncelerin cahilizmin gölgesinde vâr olmuşsa eger, yalan yanlış sözlerini insanlara dinletmeye çalışmak terörizmden başka birșey değildir.

  38. Paltheus says:

    A true European (or Western world value). In the Middle East it is exactly the opposite or you will be treated like you are gullible, unless you have something to offer…

  39. Orion Access says:

    The seven deadly sins of speaking. More like the seven keys to being a retail manager.

  40. Abdul Rahim says:

    7 deadly sins
    1. Gossiping
    2. Judging
    3. Negativity
    4. Complaining
    5. Excusing
    6. Penultimate (exaggeration, Lying)
    7. Dogmatism (the confusion of facts with opinions)
    Things to do
    H Honesty
    A Authenticity (be yourself)
    I Integrity
    L Love
    1. Arms up, take a deep breath and sigh out ahhhhh (2X)
    2. Warm up your lips BA BA BA BA
    3. Brrrrrrrrrrr
    4. la la la la
    5. roll your tongue and do Rrrrrrrr
    6. WEEeeeeaaaaAWW

  41. Payal Waghmare says:

    I would like to listen this video again and again.

  42. Aini Hussain says:

    Sometimes it's good to sto talking in front of ppl with whom your wavelengths doesn't match ..they'll not listen to u anyways

  43. Abdullah Farid says:

  44. Robin Evans says:

    you suck

  45. JGdownunder says:

    Fine youtube I'll fucking watch it

  46. wenwen Zuo says:

    L is for LOL

  47. [T]urboTax Support Phone Number says:

    helpful….keep it up

  48. Ooo Wee Baby! says:

    Best TedTalk – heard it 10 times now and still love it.

  49. Doit Doit zel says:

    That won't be fun if I avoid all those.. Lol

  50. Hector N. says:

    My experience is that most say they want honesty, but you then realize that it's only true if it aligns with their opinions.

  51. Velocity Sam says:

    Am i the only one who feels like i wish i knew this earlier?

  52. rocamontana says:

    Do they know these things at the UN?

  53. IknowwhoseIAM 1 says:

    The Kardashians speak on one note, that's why I never watch that crap! Sorry ?

  54. Imnuri ale celui Prea'nalt Londra says:

    YouTube recommendations
    This video
    2015: naah
    2017:hmmm not jussst yet
    2018:takes a sip
    2019: yea it's time

  55. john Taylor says:

    Damn I'm useless, I always do all of the bad ones, it's all my dad's fault.

  56. Ravinder Ozha says:

    6:42 Is Mr. Duncan sitting with a cap?

  57. ian De says:

    I don't even like listening to him

    mission failed

  58. SGI- Philippines Buddhism says:

    Very awesome. Thanks for this it helps me a lot. Please give my regards I'm from Philippines. Let's support each other

  59. Aboe Bobington says:

    Should probably be included in the curriculum.

  60. Jon Ash says:

    Not a great speech to be honest. He delivers way too much info in only ten minutes. He talks about 7 sins, then discusses 5 more things (HAIL), and continues with 6 toolbox concepts.

    I guarantee you most of the people in the audience as well as youtube viewers aren't going to remember much five minutes later.

  61. Ruby Byabang says:

    Sooooo Goooooooooooooooooooodddddddddddddddd

  62. forgiveaspie says:

    Molon labe said people who believe these things are brainwashed: "that's how politicians convinced people that open borders, negativity toward national sovereignty, killing the unborn, treating someone who has the mental illness of thinking they’re trapped in the wrong gender as perfectly normal, morals are bad, being an individual is bad, competition is bad, not assimilating into the culture or learning the primary language of the country you moved to (legally or illegally) is perfectly fine"

    Molan, I can show that you are brainwashed: Do you (your political party) prefer freedom, or gov't involvement in your personal business?

    A right winger like you would say you prefer "FREEDOM". Why don't you think YOU are brainwashed a little bit? Why do you care about those unimportant silly topics, instead of the deficit, spending half of tax money on foreign wars, gov't secrecy and corruption? Get it? There are big concerns that actually matter to YOU personally. The things you mentioned don't. Most the things you mentioned are none-of-your business, in the LAND OF THE FREE, you are free to manage your own border, identity and image, family/relationship, morals. Aren't republicans supposed to believe in small gov't?

    So, so Mr. Molan Lane, you have you been brainwashed to support America or to have a certain opinion on silly unimportant topics that don't actually concern you?

    (This guy Molan's post is indistinguishable from a bot posting disinformation to brainwash people and manipulate public opinion, with a generic tangential persuasive post.)

  63. Alan says:

    You're asking us to be authentic but also to not be negative. What if we're having a bad morning?

  64. Logan says:

    Hit '8' over and over again, then lick your lips.

  65. Babu John says:

    Sir, you took it all from the Bible

  66. john hamilton says:

    Could you repeat that entire Ted Talk? I wasn't listening.

  67. Sagicatius says:


    When a talk becomes a chant. Sounds kinda scary. Ba Ba Ba Ba.

  68. xXTheBl4ckC4tXx says:

    An idealists, he doesn´t understand that deception brings you farther in life.
    It is best if you can deceive and make it the new truth.

  69. Mike Lopez says:

    Most of this is useless information. There's no fucking secret to listening. You either tune in or don't, depends more on the subject matter than anything else, but yes, there are stupid people in the world who will fall into these trappings and listen for that reason.

  70. Mathieu Blake says:

    The Dont's
    Habits to move away from — Seven deadly sins of speaking:
    1. Gossip
    2. Judging
    3. Negativity
    4. Complaining
    5. Blame-throwing (Excuses)
    6. Embroidery, exaggeration –> lying
    7. Dogmatism (my way or the highway; conflating fact and opinion)

    The Do's
    H.A.I.L — Four (4) cornerstones of powerful, change-making speech
    H – Honesty: Being true – straight and clear.
    A – Authenticity: Be yourself. [Standing in your own truth.]
    I – Integrity: Be your word. [Doing what you say.]
    L – Love: Wish them well.

    Toolbox (the voice) – Some tools
    Register – (P.s. Depth is associated with power and authority.)
    Timbre – The way your voice feels — rich, smooth, warm (can be trained!)
    Prosody – the sing-song, the meta-language, the root 1 of meaning in cnversation.
    Pace – including silence (don't have to be filled with ums and ahs)
    Pitch – to indicate arousal, etc.
    Volume – excitement (loud), attention-grabbing (quiet)

    Warm up your voice!
    1. Arms up, deep breath in. Sigh out.
    2. Ba-ba-ba-na
    3: Brrrrrrr
    4. Exaggerated la-la-la-la
    5. Roll an RRRRRR

    6 The siren – Weeee (high)… awwww (low) [Repeat] The only one if able to do only one.

  71. Arshi Mallick says:

    Thanx sir

  72. H Kay says:

    Do singing exercises

  73. Roy Tan says:

    As he's speaking, im scrolling the comments instead

    And i oop-

  74. Deep mistry says:

    1:26 that sleeping uncle???

  75. Bowen Jiang says:

    What accent is this

  76. SubjectRandom says:

    I'm often clear and straight and did you know that many people don't like it, they don't.


    Fantastic Julian Treasure. I really enjoyed your explanation.

  78. Billy Revolution says:

    Can't preach something that you yourself aren't even good at

  79. About health says:

    Isn't it something naturally gifted?

  80. Law Channel LAW LL۔B LLM says:

    Kutti ka bacha cow ki olad khoty da puttar .stop killing in kashmir

  81. Nathan Thomas says:

    Bit of a boring speaker tbh

  82. Christine Parma says:

    I love that quote: "Complaining is viral misery." Yes! It infects and debilitates the host (speaker) and the receiver alike. Absolutely amazing talk!

  83. DigiMoney Promo says:

    Complaining is vital to resistance


    I just wish that someday I'll be opportune to attend a TED talk programme. It's like I just found a purpose far away from me. I don't know how, but I think according to the American sci-fi movie "Men in Black", that "Nature has a way of bringing us to where we are supposed to be, the moment we are supposed to be". I love TED!

  85. High Pressure says:

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story….jimmy carr….

  86. Neil Wilson says:

    So the things to avoid are everything Ben Shapiro does. Makes sense.

  87. RicKohJeh says:

    Does anyone remember Sharpay & Ryan?

  88. Wassily Kandinsky says:

    So I ask this nice gentleman:Why does Donald Trump and other demagogs have (and had) so many listeners despite (or is it because) their speech is full of negativity, gossip, complaining, etc.?

  89. Jeizriel Louise says:

    Sharpay did that

  90. fuckyoutubelogin says:

    Because talk is cheap, action is everything. Whats wrong with western societies is that the top is filled with smooth talkers, who can't accomplish anything themselves

  91. Michael Tkaczevski says:

    How to speak so people listen: "Bababababa BRRRRRR."

  92. Emma Louise says:

    Why subtitles?

  93. Dadson worldwide says:

    in the west weve had political partys creating new words and definitions that breeds and bullys society to be so negative and disshonest.
    lack of moral valie has degraded happyness as well.
    encouraging political correctness is just wanting people to lie and never speak your mind which doesnt allow behavoir to be crotisized thetefore they never know how wrpmg they are.weve got a bad bullying movement pressuring tolerance .
    to much tolerance .
    Lack of parental punishment leads to thuggish angry kids.
    sometimes you have to shame abd upset people for the greater good for them and others.

  94. PianistMiskoV says:

    Stranger : How to speak so that people want to listen?

    Me : 8:49

  95. Edson das Mercês says:

    Excelent talk! I believe the most difficult habit to move away from is the pauses filled with "uhm" or "eh". And is impressive how you didn't use any of these words/sounds in a 10 minute speech (I mean, not that I've noticed). This fact encourages me to police myself in order to avoid this habit next time I present a talk or even in a casual conversation. Thank you very much!

  96. João Vieira says:

    Watching this talk made me think that public speaking is likely an art. Just as no one wants to hear a song that has only one tone (monotonous) or will not be long interested in a painting that does not have colors, textures or shapes that catch your attention, if you do not know how to structure your speech, use your voice wisely, and avoid falling into vulgarity, people will not want to hear you.

    The speaker needs to use his voice with the same skill that a musician plays his instrument and that the painters use his brush.

  97. nallapati umamahesh says:

    I loved it.

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