Speak so People will Want to Listen

         Here is a link to Julian Treasure’s website.

          In this TED Talks presentation, Julian Treasure, an expert on sound and speaking, gives the audience advice on how to improve their public speaking so that other people will want to listen. He begins by saying that the human voice is the most powerful instrument in the world, and the best way to bring about change in the world is to use your voice So, how can we use our voice better to bring about change? Well, Mr. Treasure tells us the things to avoid when speaking with others and the different ways we can improve our own speaking through pitch, prosody, and other resources. In his presentation, he demonstrates this advice first hand, by using the different resources to enhance his own speaking and captivate the audience.

Julian Treasure uses various multimodal elements in his presentation, even though he is focusing on speech, to help communicate with the audience. To analyze the way he uses multimodal elements, we will look at the time frame in the video from 6:20-6:40. At this point, Julian is telling the audience how to use the pace of their voice to add effects and emotion to their speaking.

         Multimodal elements

Time image was taken: 0:51

          He demonstrates this point orally by speeding up and slowing down his voice to add effects to his own presentation. When he speeds up his voice, it adds excitement to his speech, but when he slows down his voice, the words he is speaking are more emphasized. Finally, he demonstrates the impact of silence when speaking, which helps add power to the end of a sentence. By demonstrating these effects with his own voice, he proves the point that the pace of your voice can add different effects to your speaking.

Julian also uses visual evidence to emphasize his point through images and body language. The image below shows the picture used in Julian’s slideshow. This image shows a toolbox, with different elements of sound depicted inside the toolbox. This image is used to enhance his point that each of these elements is a “tool” that you can use to improve your speaking. Even though he goes in to focus on pace at this moment, the image still brings the audience to the idea that we must use these “tools” on our own to enhance our own speaking.

Visual communication Time image was taken: 6:22

          Julian’s body language is also important in the presentation. The image below shows a moment when Julian uses body language to enhance his voice power. Notice his head is leaning over and his hands are directed to a specific point. Just by looking at his body language, you can tell that he is trying to emphasize something. Which is exactly what he was doing in this moment with his voice as well- he was trying to emphasize certain words by slowing down his voice. By adding this body language in with his voice, he adds even more emphasis to those words.

Body language

Time image was taken: 6:26

          By adding all of these multimodal elements together, Julian Treasure’s presentation becomes very smooth and is really engaging for the audience. Not only do the various elements help for a great presentation, but they help to develop a clear and strong argument. The human voice can be used to bring about change, however by adding other elements together, the change can begin to be seen.

3 thoughts on “Speak so People will Want to Listen”

  1. This talk focused on sound and its characteristics, so do you think this lecture would have been as effective if it was only given as an audio recording?

  2. No, I definitely don’t think this presentation would have been as successful if it were just a recording of his voice. The fluctuations and power of his voice really help make his point, because he is trying to tell the audience how to speak better, however the visual and physical elements that I mentioned really makes the presentation more smooth and presentable. Without the other elements, it would be really hard to engage with the audience therefore making it harder to get his point across to them.

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