Do you ever wonder, are people really listening when I speak? People may look like they are listening, but how do you know if you are actually impacting them? Afterall, the goal of speaking is not to just get people to sit still until you are finished talking. You want to impact them and help them grow.
You want to serve people in some way through your speaking. I’m still processing each one of the bullet points I’m about to share. I hope I never stop growing, and if I ever do, anyone please hit me over the head with a bag of nickles and remind me to keep improving!
HERE ARE 21 STUMBLING BLOCKS THAT MIGHT KEEP PEOPLE FROM LISTENING TO YOU WHEN YOU SPEAK
- You use too many words. Making something simple is hard and requires fewer words.
- Long sentences. You try to say too much or you speak too fast. You aren’t giving people enough space between words to consider what you are saying.
- Cowardly. You are not speaking courageously about the topic.
- Fake. You aren’t being transparent about your own flaws. You don’t admit you still are in process on the issue.
- Using big words. Your language is not simple.
- Criticize others. You judge, criticize, or make fun of other people. If you criticize other people, your audience will instinctively think that you might be critical of them too.
- You don’t pray for others. At the most maybe you pray for yourself and for your favorite sports team to win. But you don’t pray for your audience, to win their hearts. That’s a travesty.
- Unapproachable. People don’t feel like you welcome feedback, discussion, or even disagreement.
- Shallow. You don’t talk about important or meaningful stuff enough.
- Inconsiderate. You don’t put yourself in other people’s shoes very well.
- Uncaring. People are more apt to listen to someone who they feel cares for them.
- Uptight. You don’t let yourself be carefree. You are too worried about what people will think of you so you get paralyzed and want to be perfect.
- Boring. You don’t have a very good sense of humor.
- Drab. Always talking about what’s wrong with the world and the negative aspects rather than being cheerful.
- No tact. You don’t make very much effort to be sensitive to how people are hearing what you say.
- Bad timing. People usually receive things better when the timing is right.
- Complaining. Griping and moaning about your own woes or the woes of the world (which we can’t control).
- You don’t talk about specific ways to solve problems, you just talk about problems and don’t suggest any good solutions.
- You don’t give people genuine hope.
- Untrustworthy. You haven’t put much effort into building trust with people.
- You are not idealistic enough. People want vision. They want to follow a big dream. Maybe you are playing it too safe and only talk on the level of what can be attained rather than casting vision for greater goals that require faith.
LET’S IMPROVE HOW WE SPEAK
You want people to respond with enthusiasm and action when you speak. The first step is to keep growing spiritually to develop compelling leadership character (which is the main priority). Then there are a few skills to help grease the tracks for people to listen to you. Maybe one of these suggestions will help.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS:
- 12 Step Checklist to Make You a Better Speaker or Teacher
- 10 facts every CEO should know about verbal communication