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How do we speak to be heard?

11 December 2020
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Proper communication with another human being is extremely important. Since ancient times, philosophers have asked themselves the question “how do we speak so that we are heard?” Clear and transparent messages are the basis of proper communication. A linguist, Professor Jerzy Bralczyk, is of a similar opinion.

Professor Jerzy Bralczyk in one of his lectures took up the question “how to speak so that we are listened to?”. In his lecture he raised important issues about speaking.

There is no universal recipe for speaking

There is no universal way to speak so as to be heard. Ancient philosophers pondered over this problem without coming to any concrete conclusion.

Wesoła rozmowa
(photo by Priscilla Du Preez, source: unsplash.com)

According to the professor, the lack of a universal rule of speech is not a bad thing, and setting general rules of speech could lead to manipulation or resistance to their application. Moreover, there would also be a probability of exposing the speaker to loss of credibility by following artificial rules.

Aims of speech

Prof. Jerzy Bralczyk believes that there are three main purposes of speaking:

  • establishing contact,
  • gaining credibility,
  • speaking efficiency.

All these three goals are realized not only on the verbal level, but also on the non-verbal level, in gestures and facial expressions.

Combination of competence and honesty

According to Professor Jerzy Bralczyk, the credibility of a speaker can only be achieved through the interplay of thoughts and speech – then words cease to be just words. Then, they are able to stimulate the audience’s imagination and change in their heads into whole images.

Also very important in speaking is the tone of voice, which often depends on the purpose of speech.

Principles of good communication

Rozmowa przy kawie
(Photo: Joshua Ness, source: unsplash.com)

Good communication is not only about clear and factual messages, it is also about the general attitude towards the recipient, which manifests itself in body language or voice volume. It is worth knowing that every conversation takes place simultaneously on two levels:

  • substantive, which includes logical arguments, e.g. facts, content,
  • emotional, which is dominated by feelings and moods.

What do you need to remember?

1. Know what you want to communicate

Use clear and simple messages so that the recipient knows what the speaker wants to convey.

2. Dialogue, not monologue

Dialogue is the basis of good communication, so give the other person a chance to speak. A conversation is not a monologue.

3. Attitude

Do not have a negative attitude towards the conversation. Every conversation has the potential for a positive outcome.

4. Voice

You can always tell your emotions from the tone of your voice and the speed at which you speak – ideally, you should speak 180-200 words per minute, although of course no one can count them all the time. That’s why it’s good to just speak naturally and calmly

5. Body language

Gestures, facial expressions and body posture are very important in communication. Body language influences how we are perceived by our audience.

However, there is no definitive answer to the question of how to speak in order to be heard. During an interview, verbal communication has to be coherent with non-verbal communication and this is what you should pay attention to first

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