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7 Deadly Sins of Speaking

Do you ever feel like when you speak, folks don’t listen? In this video, Julian Treasure shares tips to make your words more powerful: 7 Deadly Sins of Speaking.

What I like about these rules is that they’re so common sense. Treasure encourages you to choose your words wisely and put yourself into your listeners shoes. The 10 minute video above is definitely worth a watch if you have the time, but in case you’re reading this in a hurry, I’ve also listed Treasure’s 7 Deadly Sins of Speaking below!

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1. Don’t gossip. When you talk to someone who gossips, do you wonder whether they’re talking behind your back?

2. Avoid judgement. This goes hand-in-hand with gossip, in my opinion. When you judge, you make your listener feel like you’re judging him. And maybe you are.

3. Ditch the negativity. Do you know someone who has something bad to say about everything? That’s no fun!

4. Quit complaining. Complaining is a lot like negativity, but it’s more unbidden. Someone who offers up a laundry list of complaints is exhausting to listen to. Treasure calls complaining “viral misery.”

5. Stop making excuses. Don’t be a “blamethrower!” People who complain (#4!) and don’t take responsibility for their part in how things are playing out are hard to listen to.

6. Don’t exaggerate. Treasure says that this habit – which he calls “embroidery” – demeans our language. Exaggeration is the worst. (See what I did there?)

7. Ditch the dogma. No one likes being bombarded with opinions, especially when those opinions are presented as fact.

So, this list seems like it’s a little bit guilty of sin numbers three and four, but he doesn’t leave it at that. So how should we speak? On top of the 7 Deadly Sins of Speaking, Treasure offers four cornerstones of good speaking:

1. Be honest.

2. Be authentic.

3. Have integrity.

4. Operate from a place of love.

Treasure expounds on all of these points in the talk above and gives some examples of not just what to say but how to speak. Probably my favorite tip (and the one I need to work on most) is to forget our fear of silence. A silent pause is better than the “ums” and “ahs” that many of us use to fill those little gaps.

If you’ve got 10 minutes, I encourage you to give his whole talk a watch!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
5:12AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

Don't interrupt!!!

8:49PM PDT on Jul 24, 2014

Like article.

11:54PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

Excellent advice. It's more how we say things, well content is important too. Liked the last four guides as well.

2:41AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Going to be more mindful. Thank you.

11:14AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

I realized after 27 years do not answer back to a man. Don't talk to them & above all.. don't do a freaking thing they ask from you because it is probably against everything you stand for.

6:50AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Good reminder.

2:24PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014


5:40AM PDT on Jul 13, 2014


1:44PM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

Avoid use of word "should."
When I taught 1st year college students communication skills I started the course with an eye catching slide that read, "Don't SHOULD on people!"

11:18AM PDT on Jul 11, 2014


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