Julian Treasure is an entrepreneura sound and communication expert, and five-time TED speaker. He kicked off his speech on “How to speak so that people want to listen” by saying:

The human voice is the instrument we most play; it’s the most powerful sound in the world and yet many people have the experience that when they speak, many people don’t listen to them.

Why is that?

How can we speak powerfully to make change in the world?

There are a number of habits that we need to move away from which He called: The Seven (7) deadly sins of speaking

  1. GossipSpeaking ill of somebody who is not present

Gossip is not a nice habit; of-course we know very well that the person gossiping will five minutes later be gossiping about us!

  1. Judging

It’s very hard to listen to somebody if you know you’re being judged and found wanting at the same time.

  1. Negativity

  2. Complaining:

  3. Excuses:

Some people have a blame thrower; maybe we’ve seen people like that or even probably at some point, we may have been excuse-makers – Just pass the blame to everybody else and never taking responsibility for our actions.

  1. Lying

For example, what do we call something that we do really see awesome? Exaggeration, right? Actually, this translates into lying and of course, nobody will want to listen to liars.

  1. Dogmatism – the confusion of facts with opinions.

When facts and opinions get conflated, you’re listening into the wind and someone bombard you with their opinion, you’ll think they’re true.

Julian Treasure went further to list out four (4) very powerful foundations we can stand on if we want our speech to be powerful and  really make change in the world.

  • H:   HONESTY – being true in what you say, being straight and clear.
  • A:   AUTHENTICITY – just being yourself, standing in your own truth.
  • I:     INTEGRITY: Doing what you say and being somebody, people can trust
  • L:    LOVE – (not romantic) – Just wishing people well.

First of all, absolute Honesty may not be what we want, but honesty tampered with Love makes honesty a great thing. If we are really wishing people well, it will be very hard to judge them at the same time. We have an amazing Toolbox, a so incredible instrument and yet, it’s a tool box that very few people have opened.



You can locate your voice, whether in your Nose, Head, Chest or Throats (where we mostly speak from). If you want weight, you may need go down to your Chest Voice.

We vote for politicians with lower voices because we associate depth with Power and with Authority.

  1. TIMBREThe way which your voice feels

Research shows that we prefer voice which are rich, smooth, warm; but if you don’t have this, you can actually get trained by doing amazing things like – breathing, posture and exercises to improve the timbre of your voice.


This is the meta language that we use to impart meaning in conversations; people that speak all-in-one note – monotonic – are very hard to listen to; you can’t differentiate any sentence they make, whether it is a question or a statement, and this restrict our ability to communicate.

  1. PACE

We can get very excited by actually saying something very quickly, or we can slow down to emphasis; we can even go silent – there’s nothing wrong with it in a talk, though it can be very powerful.

  1. PITCH

This often goes along with pace and you can do a lot with it; you can communicate slightly various and different meanings in a conversation.


You can have an audience by getting really excited or you can get them pay attention by getting very quiet. Imposing your sound on people around you carelessly and inconsiderately is not nice.

Where all this comes to play most of all, is when you really got something very important to do like: you might be standing on a stage giving a speech, asking for a raise, proposing marriage, or wedding speech, etc. Whatever it is, if it is very important, you owe it to yourself to look at the toolbox, and the engine it’s going to work on and no engine works well without being warmed up by being engaged in some vocal exercises warms up your voice.

What will the world be like, if we were speaking powerfully to people who are listening consciously, in environment which were actually fit for purpose?


What will the world be like, if we were creating sounds consciously, and consuming sound consciously, and designing all our environment consciously for sound?


– that would make a world of beautiful sounds and what we’re understanding will be the norm, which is an idea worth spreading.

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