New Wondrium Series Shows How Speaking Starts with Listening

ted Talks speaker julian treasure leads series on communication skills

By Jonny Lupsha, Wondrium Staff Writer

To communicate effectively, we must learn the skill of listening. In virtually every situation, we wait for a pause more than we actively listen. A new series by a Top-10 TED Talks speaker can help.

Man listening to woman speak
Finessed public speakers take into account the sound acoustics of their speaking environments and the necessity for well-developed listening skills. Photo by fizkes / Shutterstock

Wondrium has paired with the immensely popular TED Talks speaker, Julian Treasure, to bring his video series How to Speak So That People Want to Listen to a new platform and viewership. While there are many tips on how to speak, one of the most important is how to acquire the skill of truly listening—listening even to people with whom we disagree.

All too often in conversation, we find ourselves waiting for the other person to finish speaking so that we can respond to or rebut their statement. Actively listening and absorbing what someone says is a skill to be acquired, developed, and honed. In an exclusive interview, Brandon Hopkins, Wondrium content developer, said there’s a lot more to Treasure’s series than meets the eye—or ear.

Not Just for Public Speaking

At first glance, Julian Treasure’s How to Speak So That People Want to Listen sounds like it caters specifically to those interested in public speaking or giving a memorable presentation at work. However, according to Hopkins, there’s much more going on in the series.

“It does have all that, but it’s much more of an immersive experience than that,” he said. “He’s not just talking about how to be an effective speaker, because his whole philosophy is that you have to be an effective listener in order to be a good speaker. The keystone of his whole approach is ‘You have to be aware of what your listeners are listening for, why they’re there, what motivates them,’ and it’s not just tailoring your style to them—it’s understanding why they’re there [listening to you].”

When it comes to speaking in any capacity, Treasure dives into the balance between performance and content. Having good content, Hopkins said, is fundamental, because if a speaker is saying nothing of value, it doesn’t matter how well they deliver it. Understanding the listener, keeping an open mind and being aware of the listener’s needs and expectations are key to the series.

Sound Unconsidered

“It’s surprising to me because, frankly, I came into it thinking I wouldn’t be terribly interested in the series as a consumer,” Hopkins said. “But I really kind of fell in love with it, in part, because of his ability to express himself, and just because of all the cool things that he gets into along the way—about the environments that we’re in that involve sound, and the way that we have to interact with sound and with listening, […] in ways that we don’t consider.”

For example, an office’s design influences how we listen and hear to those speaking in the office. When a flight attendant on an airplane makes an announcement over the loudspeaker, the sound quality can affect how we hear and react to the message. Classrooms often have echoes that disrupt the learning process. The sound in our environments is all around us all the time, but we rarely think about them.

“[Treasure] says at one point there are going to be some moments, sort of like ‘Aha!’ moments in the series where you’re going to say, ‘Oh, I never thought of that before!’ and I think that that’s true,” Hopkins said. “Those moments for me were very memorable in the sense that I’d be watching and go, ‘Oh, yeah! That’s going to stick with me.’ I think those are the cool takeaways, [and] it sticks with you after you watch it.”

How to Speak So That People Want to Listen is now available to stream on Wondrium.

Edited by Angela Shoemaker, Wondrium Daily