Have you ever sensed that the person you are speaking to isn’t registering hardly a word you are speaking of?
Why aren’t they listening? Somebody might ask this question in the back of their mind often during conversations, while giving a presentation, or even at home with the family.
The whole truth might be that: it’s most probably not just because of them, it could be because of you too.
Sometimes the truth is difficult to hear. We all have important things to say once in a while and we want to share these ideas with those who we think might benefit from hearing them. But sometimes it feels like just speaking to an empty room. Some people just look like they are nearly bursting with trying to remember what they want to say, not listening to what you are really saying, until you stop talking.
Well, if you do experience this, you are not the only one this happens to. The good news is that there is a simple solution that can help.
Your voice is an instrument – so learn to play it well.
The following tips will help you be engaging, have people be interested in you, and not into what they are going to say next. One way is by enhancing your speech vocal quality and patterns.
1. Your vocal “register”, or the expansive quality of your voice, coming from the chest or diaphragm always carries more power and authority. Unfortunately when people get stressed, or get emotional, their voices slip up into their throat and this somehow pushes people away. So the best solution is to take deep breaths and try to inflect your voice from your lungs, even when feeling uptight or stressed. Ask yourself – How does your voice feel or sound? If possible, add a bit of musical inflection to your vocal pattern, gliding a bit up and down, melodically so as to not sound monotone. Listen to voices, conversations, and presentations that you are drawn into.
2. Proper “volume control”: If you want to be heard, speak more quietly. Speaking quietly (and also less often) actually makes people lean into you and be more interested and engaged into what you are saying. Being loud, especially consistently loud, most likely is offensive to the listener; it pushes people away, mentally & physically. You know – how do you respond to TV or radio ads that seem to be yelling or commanding? You grab the remote and press (mute!). That’s what consistent high voice volume does to conversations. People are pressing their mind’s mute button.
3. “Pace”. Yes, your mind is going 100 miles per hour, but that shouldn’t mean that your mouth has to. Pacing can be to your advantage or to your detriment. Basically, don’t slow to the pace where the others in the conversation start filling in words for you. Better instead, use a combination of a rapid pace, then a slowing down for emphasis, interjecting some pauses occasionally along the way.
4.Gear towards reflecting these attributes in your expressions and conversations: Honesty – be true and clear with what you mean. Authenticity – be yourself; stand in your own truth. Integrity – do what you say, be trustworthy. Love – wish people well. Try to stay away from engaging in: Gossiping, Judging, Complaining, Excuses, Lying.
Also keep in mind it is always important to “listen to” the other person when they speak too. Maintain eye contact. Don’t think so much about how they look, or perhaps some other thoughts going on in the back of your mind. When you sincerely listen to another person they can feel it, and they can feel it when you are spacing out about something else other than what they are expressing to you.
With the above tips and with continuous practice, you’ll gradually become more of a conversational magnet.