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BlogElul Day 9: Hear

This post is part of the #blogelul project started by the inimitable Ima On (and off) the Bima. I am using it as my motivation to rejuvenate this site and get myself back into the swing of things.


blogelulRecently Julian Treasure gave a TED talk on “how to speak so that people want to listen” (you can watch it here). While some of his focus was on the technical aspects of speaking – timbre and volume, pitch and prosidy – he opened with an interesting look at the speaking habits which help or hurt you as a speakER (ie: a person who speaks to others)

His 7 deadly sins of poor speech:

  1. gossip
  2. judging
  3. negativity
  4. complaining
  5. excuses
  6. exaggeration
  7. Dogmatism (confusion of fact with opinion)

Check that out. He didn’t say “people with a higher voice have trouble being heard”. He didn’t identify stutterers or call out up-talkers (those people? who always end a phrase? as a question?).

No, he pointed out that the things which harm you most are the things you talk about.

I don’t think Torah would disagree much with Mr. Treasure’s list.

Nor do I believe it would have much to complain about with regard to the four good habits he points out:

  • Honesty – be clear and straight
  • Authenticity – be yourself
  • Integrity – be your word
  • Love – wish them well

Elul is the month where we open up conversations: conversations with our family and friends as we attempt to make amends for ways we have wronged them this past year; and conversations with God, also making amends, but also setting ourselves up for the big conversation which will begin Erev Rosh Hashana. On that night we have what may be the most important conversation of our year, maybe of our lives.

Mr. Treasure points out that, “If it (the conversation) is really important, you really own it to yourself to look at this toolbox, and the engine its going to work on. And no engine works well if it hasn’t been warmed up…”

Treasure ends his presentation by walking the audience through a vocal warm-up. Good thing for us that God gave us a full month of warm-ups before our big talk.

Let’s use the time wisely.

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