Did you know that people have different ways they listen? Do you know the different types or styles of receiving communication? This knowledge is essential to be able to reach an audience with your message.
By the way, how do you listen? You may be quick to retort, "With my ears."
The challenge we face is best identified by the words of the beady eyed warden in Cool Hand Luke. "What we have here...is a failure to communicate." There is much to understand within the answer to that question regarding the silent side of communication.
On the web you will find numerous references to studies that indicate we retain only about 10 to 15% of what we hear.
First, if you actually see the study, please share with me where it is. I have yet to find it. However for the sake of argument, lets say this is true.
For our public speech to persuade, motivate or just inform our audience we need to make our message something they will not only hear, but something they will want to hear.
If most of what we hear will be forgotten, then increased understanding of how people take in and process what they hear will help us tailor delivery in such a way to increase retention. It will help us make what we say desirable to the ear and the hearing mind.
In addition to increasing the reception of what is said, it will have other beneficial effects on audiences. Learning to master this will enhance our ability to reach our audiences.
So many books on public speaking will say that audiences are generally the same. Science has demonstrated it is a bit more complicated than that.
The good news, Men, we have a genetic hard wired reason for not being a good in this aspect of communication. With increased knowledge of how the brain works, it is possible to not only improve communication, you can also improve your skill.
Do you know The Four Styles or the four ways people take in information?
For starters consider what their body language is saying about them? Be assured they are watching what your body language is telling them.
• Sociologists have discerned that some have a people-oriented style, wanting to hear all the colorful details of a story. An action oriented listener will want the speaker to get to the point.
• For information (Left brain facts, figures, information, details)
• Emotionally. Emotions of speech, voice tone, facial expression.
• When Children Speak
• When Adult Learners Speak
• To Subordinates
• To the Emotionally Disturbed
• To the Elderly
Communication is both intake and output. Mastery of both what we say and what we hear or how we receive information is an essential part of SpeechMastery. Even though we were given 2 ears and one mouth, of the two, use of the ears and mind at times can be as hard to master as the tongue.
To master our listening skill requires work. If you do, think of the benefits. Consider how it will enhance your ability to reach your audience. To truly know what they are thinking and meet their unique needs. It is a wonderful ability and a necessity to survive in the business world.
Some times that work is something as simple as just smiling at your audience. Not a big task, but something easy to forget. Just as you may try to read an audience, they are reading you. Let it be an uplifting story they see in you.
This is a partial list of things ways to help improve the ability to receive information. They have an added benefit of aiding retention. Remembering is as important as receiving.Concentration When someone is talking, make them the center of your focus. Eye Contact Your eyes are the key communicator that you’re engaged with the person speaking. Your eye contact not only tells them you’re listening. It can allow you to tell if they are sincere, telling the truth, are under stress. As you get more comfortable looking people into the eyes, you will start to learn more.
Facial Expression Perhaps the most important of Body Languages, facial expression can communicate visually your involvement in the conversation.
Feed Back Audible and verbal feedback communicates your interest in the conversation.
Use Your Voice to Share Your Care Your voice and more importantly your tone demonstrate the interest and concern with what is being said.
Emote Display your emotions by mirroring the person speaking. This will not only communicate that you're receiving the message, it can enhance your rapport.
Active Listening takes a deeper look at this.