Great Speaking Starts with Great Listening

Many people want to be known as great speakers. Many people want to be known as the person who can make the point in a clear and compelling way. And yet many work on this skill by focusing initially on the wrong things.

Speaking well and sharing information is, first and foremost, about knowing how to take on information… how to identify what is most important… how to anticipate what the audience cares about… Speaking well requires that you know your audience, and you can’t know and understand your audience without actually listening to what they think and say.

But those who realize the value of listening well, accomplish two things: first, they enjoy the competitive advantage of understanding what others think and what might matter to them. That information can be helpful in a variety of ways as you prepare and practice what you want to say. And second, people who listen well become known as people who listen well. They become known as people who respect their colleagues and their audience. And this demonstration of respect in turn contributes towards a culture of respect that may spiral outward within an organization.

It seems counter-intuitive to many people we work with. We start off all our workshops by first focusing, sometimes only for a few minutes, on active listening skills. It has become a lost art. Everyone is clamoring to be heard, but very few people actually hear. Everyone is speaking, and very few are listening.

Listening well is a good thing, for many reasons.

And the point here today is that if you want to speak well, start by focusing on the art of listening well. You will gain lots of valuable information about what you should be speaking about, and what matters to those around you.

And if you listen well, you’ll distance yourself from the pack, because everyone else will be shouting to be heard.

Good luck, and have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

We transform teams and individuals with repeatable toolsets for persuasive communication.
Explore training, coaching, and consulting services from The Latimer Group.

Looking for more from The Latimer Group?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.