Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me, right?
I know that I am not the only one who can think back to a time when words were used to completely crush my soul. A beating would have been far more pleasant than the lashes of these comments on my heart.
Words are a power that we each poses. That means that you have the ability to tear someone down or build them up simply by the words you speak. Intimidating though right?
In his presentation How to speak so that people want to listen, Julian Treasure shares his secrets to speaking, be it publicly or one-on-one.
7 deadly sins
These are the seven sure ways convince anyone you speak to that you have nothing worth listening to.
- Gossip – Talking poorly about others behind their backs.
- Judging – Finding fault in those around you.
- Negativity – Refusing to see the good in life.
- Complaining – Never being satisfied with what you have.
- Excuses – Avoiding personal responsiblitiy.
- Exaggeration – Making yourself look better by lying.
- Dogmatism – Mixing truth with personal opinion.
Any of these seven speaking-sins will result in you losing your right to hold the attention and respect of an audience while possibly harming those you speak to.
In his presentation, Julian lits four keys to positive speech. HAIL. These four letters stand for Honestly, Authenticity, Integrity, and Lovingly.
These four keys are helpful and fine on their own, but I personly have a system that I believe better equips one to speak in an impactful manner. THINK.
Before I speak, whether it be one-on-one or to a large audience, I ask myself the following questions.
T – Is it True? Are the words I am about to say true or are they mixed with my personal opinions?
H – Is it Helpful? Will my words improve the life of this person/personas?
I – Is it Inspiring? Are my worlds building up or tearing down?
N – Is it Necessary? Are the things I say needed at this time and place?
K – Is it Kind? Even if the following four questions can be answered with a “Yes” if this last one in a “No” then I should keep my thoughts to myself. You can tell the truth, be helpful, inspiring, and speak what is necessary while still being kind.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
You have the capability to build up those around you by the blessings you speak into their life. You can save a life, influence a movement, and change the world through the words you speak. So before you share your opinions, beliefs, ideas, or dreams, take a moment and THINK.