Speaking in a Way so People Want to Listen

This post is inspired by a TED talk whose focus is literally on speaking, but the ideas are equally valid for writing.

The TED talk is by Julian Treasure and is titled How to speak so that people want to listen.

First let me say that I do violate the principals he teaches, but I recognize the truth of what he says and strive to move to where the way I speak (and write) is in line with his principals.

It seems reasonable to believe that doing so consistently will enhance your reputation, both online and offline.

This post does not repeat the TED talk (although it is embedded below), and I strongly suggest you watch it. Either by clicking on the link above, or by clicking on the video below. It’s just shy of 10 minutes long.

Second, let me list what he strongly suggests we avoid, as they harm our credibility:

  • Gossip
  • Judging
  • Negativity
  • Complaining
  • Excuses
  • Exaggeration
  • Dogmatism, which he defines as the confusion of facts with opinions.

In case you didn’t watch the video, what we should do when we speak (and write) is expressed below by the HAIL. The letters stand for:


Be true in what you say.


Be you. Stand in your own truth.


Be your word.


Which he defines as wishing people well. When you genuinely wish people well, the negative patterns listed at the beginning of this post become harder to do.

HAIL and Thought Leadership SEO

The HAIL of Julian Treasure and the Thought Leadership SEO of Evan Bailyn, fit very nicely together.

My advise is to watch the TED talk, read the Thought Leadership SEO post linked to in the prior sentence, and take them to heart. I’m trying and the more of us who do so, the better off we’ll all be (and yes I know that last sentence is a statement of judgement).

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