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Chapter 3. All the World's a Stage > Why You're Reading This - Pg. 24

All the World's a Stage 24 Encores and Exits Being able to listen well is an invaluable skill for effective speakers. We all have bad listening habits that can be overcome with training and practice. This list covers three of the most common bad-listening habits: · Pseudo listening occurs when you only go through the motions of listening. You look like you're lis- tening, but your mind is miles away. Correct this by really focusing on what the speaker is saying. · Self-centered listening occurs when you mentally rehearse your answer while the person is still speaking. This focuses on your own response rather than on the speaker's words. Correct this fault by letting the other person finish speaking before you begin to frame your answer. · Selective listening happens when you listen to only those parts of a message that directly concern you. For instance, during a business meeting you may let your mind drift away until you hear some specific information that is directly relevant to your concerns. You'll be a more effective communicator if you listen to the entire message. 10. Sincerity.Effective public speakers believe in what they are saying. They're genuine, not gold- plated. They make it easy for their audience to believe their message, too. Why You're Reading This Having the ability to speak clearly and effectively pays off in every walk of life, from acing job inter- views to working as the president of a successful corporation. The ability to write and deliver a speech also is of enormous value, partly because there aren't a whole lot of people who can do it with any skill or grace. There's no doubt that you've seen it over and over yourself: Good speeches with a dash of humor, a touch of class, and an entertaining approach can be the difference between winning or losing a business deal; between raising a little money or a lot for your favorite worthy cause; between having your listeners on their feet applauding with enthusiasm or skulking for the door; and between an audience nodding in understanding or nodding off. The Least You Need to Know · Everyone feels nervous about speaking in public; it's an inborn physiological reaction. It's what you do with the fear that counts. · Good public speakers have knowledge, self-confidence, a strong self-image, and integrity. They convey an important message and prepare thoroughly. · Effective speakers listen closely to what others are saying. They process what they have heard and avoid common listening faults. · The ability to speak clearly, cogently, and competently in public pays off. · Any idiot can learn to speak in public with confidence (and it will be even easier for you because you're no idiot).