Perhaps you may be offended, but I have observed that most people are shoddy listeners. I have come to feel that good listening goes against human nature. How often have I heard the expression that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we should listen twice as much as we talk? So should you have difficulties in listening, how then can you expect others to hone into what you have to say?
I have caught myself rambling. I have heard others ramble. If you want others to listen to you, put an end to expounding, and even worse losing focus and digressing. Listeners tune out quickly. You can be mindful to the pretend listener. In one on one conversations if you begin to hear “interesting,” “really?”, “Uh huh, and “is that so?” these are signs that he or she is not focused. Squelch that by interjecting, “How do you find this interesting?” or you could say, “What is your experience then on this matter?” These questions work to reign them back in and get them to listen.
President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Paraphrasing that, speak softly and carry a big message. It is important to keep your words clear and succinct. Pythagoras stated it well, “Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.”
When speaking lower your voice; it gives impact. In the same way, make a concerted effort to slow down your pace; slowing down draws attention.
Make it that much more interesting if you know people by name and you can mention them in your talk. Mention their work, their efforts, their accomplishments, and contributions; they know that you are paying attention, and now they will indeed give heed to what you have to say.
Simple solutions and common sense. Of course they are, nothing new and groundbreaking here. But I have encountered a lot of bad communicators lately, both speakers and listeners. Speak well and listen up!