The moment we are born, the communication skill we get engaged into is listening. Listening helps us learn our language. And from then, speaking and listening get interrelated. In many situations, it is asked to speak less and listen more but in public speaking, although as a speaker you have to speak more but with that you also have to listen more. Do not confuse listening with hearing. By listening more, we here mean that you should be an active listener. Active listening means that the speaker must realise that you are not just hearing what he is saying but you actually understand him. Passive listening may occurs when the listener has little motivation to listen carefully to the speaker. On the other hand, active listening is used to gain knowledge or to know others.
In public speaking, your responsibility is not just to inform the audience but also listens to them actively. By listening to the audience, the speaker can analyze if the audience is listening to him and is trying to understand what he is saying.
Here are some traits of an effective, competent and active listener you must consider:
A competent listener:
- Uses eye contact.
- Pays attention to a speaker’s verbal and nonverbal behavior.
- Does not interrupt the speaker.
- Does not finish the sentence of others.
- Responds using both verbal and nonverbal expressions as needed.
- Does not day dream or gets involved in his own thoughts.
- Asks questions or answers politely and wisely.
- Does not answer a question with another question.
- Provides feedback when the speaker is through with speaking.
- Tries his best understand the speaker.
- Does not dictate the communication.
- Shows willingness to listen and interest in the speaker.
- Keeps the conversation going as per the topic of the speaker and not as per his interest.
- Does not criticize the speaker.
- Is open-minded.
- Spends more time in listening to others than merely talking (although as a presenter, you will certainly be doing most of the talking).
The traits of an inactive/passive listener are surely the opposite of the above ones like:
- Shows impatience and keeps interrupting the speaker.
- Does not make eye contact with the speaker.
- Is preoccupied with his own thoughts.
- Is always distracted by some matter.
- Talks continuously.
- Shows no interest in what the speaker is saying.
- Provides inadequate or no feedback.
- Gives unwanted suggestions.
- Changes the subject of the speaker.
Listening can be the most powerful tool of communication and so there is no way you can ignore it. If you have to good in public speaking, you must be good in listening as well. All the fine public speakers are fine listeners too.
At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking’ you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development and Presentation Skills. In this course you will be trained in all those things that are needed to become a public speaker and a presenter. This is the best course for people have problems regarding their communication skills, presentation skills, interacting with people and in presenting themselves in front of public. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com