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How to be Heard summary

Julian Treasure

Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening

3.7 (193 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'How to be Heard' by Julian Treasure is a guide on becoming a better communicator in a noisy world, emphasizing the importance of listening, vocal variety, and body language for effective communication.

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    How to be Heard
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    Sound has the power to affect us in many different ways.

    Of course sound is important to us, even when we don’t pay attention to every single sound around. But, surprisingly enough, sound also has physiological and psychological effects on us.

    In the physiological sense, sound can influence our overall health, especially when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. According to the World Health Organization, around 8 million people in western Europe suffer from sleep deprivation due to traffic noise that exceeds acceptable levels. This not only leads to higher levels of stress and depression, but it also weakens the immune system and makes us more prone to violence and anger.

    As for the psychological or emotional effects of sound, a study from Sweden’s Lund University describes how music can trigger emotional associations and images in our mind’s eye. For example, when people hear the first two notes of John William’s classic theme song from Jaws, a sense of fear is automatically heightened as the image of a shark enters their mind.

    In a similar vein, sound can also affect us on a cognitive and behavioral level, having a notable impact on how we think and how productive we are.

    Research shows that ambient noise in an open workspace, such as overheard conversations, are so distracting that they can reduce productivity levels by two-thirds. Likewise, a survey of 1,800 British workers showed that approximately two hours of productivity each day were lost due to unwanted noise.

    Last but not least, there’s the way sound can change our behavior.

    The mayor of Lancaster, California, R. Rex Parris, tried to reduce crime in the city by setting up speakers throughout the downtown area, known as The Boulevard, that played bird songs, lapping water and other calming sounds. According to the town’s Sheriff, crime in Lancaster subsequently dropped 15 percent – and the town has also made plenty of media headlines as a result.

    Now that we have a better understanding of the potential of sound, let’s look at some of the obstacles it faces.

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    What is How to be Heard about?

    How to be Heard (2017) identifies proven ways to become a powerful speaker, the kind that commands people’s attention and keeps them hanging on your every word. Author Julian Treasure also examines the steps people can take to improve their listening skills, allowing them to better understand what’s being said and making the listener feel that they’re being heard. These tips can help improve both communication skills and our most important relationships.

    How to be Heard Review

    How to be Heard (2017) by Julian Treasure is a book that offers practical advice on becoming a better communicator and making our voices heard. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • With its valuable techniques and exercises, readers can enhance their communication skills and effectively convey their message.
    • The book provides real-life examples and relatable stories, making it engaging and relatable for readers.
    • Delving into the psychology of communication, Treasure explores the power of sound and helps readers understand how to use it effectively to captivate and inspire others.

    Best quote from How to be Heard

    Hearing is a miracle, and far too complex and extraordinary to be taken for granted the way we do.

    —Julian Treasure
    example alt text

    Who should read How to be Heard?

    • Couples who want to repair their relationships through better listening
    • Readers eager to overcome their fear of public speaking
    • Managers and leaders who want to inspire people with their words

    About the Author

    Julian Treasure is an acclaimed international speaker whose TED Talks have accumulated over 40 million views and have been ranked among the top ten TED Talks of all time.

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    How to be Heard FAQs 

    What is the main message of How to be Heard?

    The main message of How to be Heard is the importance of effective communication in all aspects of life.

    How long does it take to read How to be Heard?

    The reading time for How to be Heard varies. It typically takes several hours, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is How to be Heard a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How to be Heard is worth reading as it provides practical tips and insights to improve your communication skills.

    Who is the author of How to be Heard?

    The author of How to be Heard is Julian Treasure.

    What to read after How to be Heard?

    If you're wondering what to read next after How to be Heard, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis
    • Creative Schools by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
    • Speaker, Leader, Champion by Jeremy Donovan and Ryan Avery
    • Listen Like You Mean It by Ximena Vengoechea
    • You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy
    • Quiet by Susan Cain
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Presence by Amy Cuddy