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Tag Archives: Listening

Sound Serendipity

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Last night, after a near perfect beach day,  I rolled out my yoga mat.  No physical movement inspired me, so I just lay there, face down, stretched out, eyes closed.  

I noticed the sound of chirping crickets.  As I listened, I realized that the distinct throb of  chirping was on a unified beat. Somehow, I knew this but never noticed it. Cool.   Listening to the sound of summer was my entire practice, unexpected and delightful.


This morning, my public speaking feeds serendipitously led me to this TED talk by Julian Treasure. It’s about listening.  We talk alot about the power and importance of listening in public speaking, as it is the heart of connection.  It’s ironic that we are educated to read and write, but not to speak or listen. 

You will learn from and enjoy  this seven-minute video. Julian Treasure (great name!) is a grounded speaker, thinker and communicator.  He offers five ways to  increase your own conscious listening power. Plus (which is a plus),  it ‘s clear to me he is a devoted yoga practitioner. Today I will practice his second suggestion, “mixer” to increase my awareness.  Which will you chooses?

– Charlotte


Listen and Learn

“The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.”

Fran Lebowitz

Smart is great. Funny is better.  Smart and funny….well, now I am hooked.

There we are in conversation, someone is talking and we experience the rush of an idea and maybe we start to interrupt and maybe we know better and wait, (and wait) until they finish, but we are mentally reviewing our idea, thought, wonderful contribution to the conversation. It’s probably interesting, possibly witty, and maybe it contributes to a forward movement in the conversation, but whatever it is, we both know that the curtain of waiting has descended and we have stopped listening.

There is so much public discourse!   Too many people are talking who are only interested in what they have to say.  Good speakers are even better listeners.  A listening mind helps speakers. When you start planning your presentation, are you clearing out your own noise and listening for the kernel of clear thought? Are you listening for your audience and respecting the time they are giving you? And when you answer questions during Q&A, are you really listening to what is being asked or simply speaking to an idea that you prefer to “answer”?

So, it seems obvious; the opposite of talking is listening, but the reality is, for most of us it is in fact waiting… to talk.  I will laugh with recognition every time I read this quote. It’s brilliant. Next time the curtain of waiting descends on you, pause, hold that thought, keep listening and see what happens. We may both be surprised.

-Charlotte Dietz

Next: More Fran Lebowitz; a review of Martin Scorsese documentary, PUBLIC SPEAKING