Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Here’s Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.





  • assemble – fit together the separate component parts of (a machine or other object)
  • viral – (of an image, video, piece of information, etc.) circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another
  • penultimate – last but one in a series of things; second last
  • demean – cause a severe loss in the dignity of and respect for (someone or something) / do something that is beneath one’s dignity
  • cornerstone – an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based
  • hail (noun) – pellets of frozen rain which fall in showers from cumulonimbus clouds /
  • timbre – the character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity / the distinctive quality or character of someone or something
  • prosody – the patterns of stress and intonation in a language


Think about it

Answer the questions below. For answers, watch the video again and pause at time indicated in brackets.

  1. What seven deadly sins of speaking does Julian name? Which one(s) do you find worst? (2:41)
  2. What does HAIL stand for? (4:15)
  3. What is register? What have you learned about it? (5:14)
  4. How does prosody affect speech? (6:20)
  5. Why is it advisable to exercise before giving a speech? (7:45)
  6. How does Julian put his ideas into context?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

Now let me just put this ________ context to close. This is a serious point here. This is where we are now, right? We speak not very well to people ________ simply aren’t listening in an environment that’s all about noise and bad acoustics. I ________ talked about that on this stage in different phases. What would the world be ________ if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were actually fit ________ purpose? Or to make that a bit larger, what would the world be like if we ________ creating sound consciously and consuming sound consciously and designing all our environments consciously for sound? That would be ________ world that does sound beautiful, and one ________ understanding would be the norm, and that is an idea worth spreading.

Answers: http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_how_to_speak_so_that_people_want_to_listen/transcript?language=en


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