How To Be Better At Talking

November 9, 2018 ☼ writing

I’m not the best talker.

I’ll admit it.

And if you ever talk to me, you’ll see what I mean.

When I talk, I’m often thinking out loud. This helps me, and annoys or worse bores the listener.

I struggle to cut to the point.

I can be funny, I can make people laugh. But it’s never after a punchline.

I can tell a story, but it can get easily derailed, or lose the plot.

I’m not even very good at arguing, something that seems to be innate to all Americans. I flip flop, and start sweating if I’m forced to prove my point.

Anyway, this is all to say, that I could benefit from some help.

The other day, I stumbled on a quick fix, that you might find helpful.

Because, we could all be better talkers.

It’s not something they teach in school. And for those of us who would struggle to put together a captivating public speech, remember, it’s not your fault. I think it’s something you can learn.

Here’s what I did.

The other night, I was riding home from work, and I wanted to reply to a message.

I should have waited until I was off the bike, but instead, I dictated and sent an audio message.

I thought about what I wanted to say, said it and saved it. Before you send audio messages, you can play them back to yourself.

We all know it sounds strange when you listen to yourself, so you’ll need to grit your teeth. But what happens next is really interesting.

You start to think.

Could I have said that better? Could I have spoken more clearly? Did my point come across? Do you smile or laugh listening to the story? Can you place yourself in the listeners shoes? Do you think they’d receive the message loud and clear.

Not only does recording yourself clean up your voice, it can also aid your writing.

Think about a tricky writing assignment. Asking someone out on a date. Asking for money. Most of us will toil over a few sentences, writing and rewriting. When you’re forced to say what you need to say with the red recording icon blinking in your face, you’ll get straight to the point. It may not be perfect the first run, but very quickly you’ll sound natural, normal and even persuasive, simply because you are using your own voice.

So, try it.

Send some short audio messages instead of typing, and you’ll not only be better at talking, you’ll be better to listen to!

And of course, I should I have read this post instead of typing it!