The human voice. It’s the most powerful sound in the world. It is the only one that can start a war or say, I love you. Many people have the experience that when they speak, people don’t listen to them. Why is that? How can we speak powerfully to make a change in the world? How can we speak powerfully to make a change in the world?

What I would like to suggest, there are a number of habits that we need to move away from. I’ve assembled for your pleasure here. There is an exhaustive list, but this six are pretty large habits that we can all fall into.


First, gossip, speaking ill of somebody who’s not present, not a nice habit. And we know perfectly well the person gossiping five minutes later will be gossiping about us.


Second, judging. We know people who are like this in conversation, and it’s very hard to listen to somebody if you know that you’re being judged and found wanting at the same time.


Third, negativity, you can fall into this. This is the National art of humans. It’s our National sport. We complain about the weather, about sport, about politics, about everything. But actually complaining is viral misery. It’s not spreading sunshine and lightness in the world.


Excuses. We’ve all met this guy. Maybe we’ve all been this guy. Some people have a flamethrower. They just pass it on to everybody else and don’t take responsibility for their actions. And again, hard to listen to somebody who is being like that.


Exaggeration. It demeans our language, actually. Sometimes, for example, if I see something that really is awesome, what do I call it? And then, of course, this exaggeration becomes lying, out and out. Lying. And we don’t want to listen to people we know are lying to us.


Opinions. Somebody is bombarding you with their opinions as if they were true.

These are things, we need to avoid. But is there a positive way to think about this? Yes, there is. I’d like to suggest that there are four really powerful cornerstones foundations that we can stand on if we want our speech to be powerful and to make a change in the world. Fortunately, these things spell a word.

The word is hail, and it has a great definition as well. I’m talking about this definition to greet or acclaim enthusiastically, how our words will be received if we stand on these four things. So what do they stand for? If you can guess the H honesty, of course, being true in what you say, being straight and clear, the A is authenticity. Just being yourself. The I is integrity being your word, actually doing what you say and being somebody people can trust. And the L is love. I don’t mean romantic love, but I do mean wishing people well for two reasons. First of all, absolute honesty may not be what we want. Honesty is a great thing. But also, if you’re really wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge them at the same time. I’m not even sure you can do those two things simultaneously. So hail.

We hear the difference. We vote for politicians with lower voices. It’s true because we associate depth with power and with authority. It’s the way our voice feels. The research shows that we prefer voices, which are rich, smooth, warm, like hot chocolate.

People who speak all on one note are really quite hard to listen to if they don’t have any prosody at all. That’s where the word monotonic comes from or monotonous monotone. We have repetitive prosody now coming in where every sentence ends as if it were a question. When it’s actually not a question, it’s a statement. And if you repeat that one over and over, it’s actually restricting your ability to communicate through prosody. So Let’s try and break that habit.

These were also tips of speaking english.

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