7 Ways to Get People to Listen to What You’re Saying – Eva Wislow

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People who don’t pay attention to what you are saying are probably too rude and impolite. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it might as well be your fault. It’s not only about the persons that you are addressing – it’s also about what you are speaking and the way you are telling it.

If you want to get people to actually listen to what you are saying, you need to learn a few basic principles of successful communication. It’s not really a rocket science but it will take you some time and effort to figure it out.

7 Ways to Grab the Listener’s Attention

There are many ways to perfect your conversation skills. Grace Perry, an interpersonal communication advisor at Careers Booster, recently noted: “Knowing how to deserve someone’s attention is not a matter of talent. This is the skill that you learn and develop just like any other knowledge.”

But how exactly can you do this? Let’s see the 7 most practical ways here:

  • Analyze the audience

Before saying anything, you should always analyze your audience. Is it a casual meeting with the group of friends? Are you just hanging out with your family? Do you speak in front of the college students and professors? The number of options is countless. If you want to make an impression, you need to find the appropriate topic and to deliver the speech in a good manner. A casual conversation with a lot of humor will do well with your friends but it’s not the ideal solution if you talk to the potential employer.

  • Mind the body language

People receive most of the information visually, which means that you need to adjust your body language while talking. The way you wave your hands or lean forward – every little detail matters. Fortunately, body language is something that you could learn easily. A number of online guidelines will help you with that but you can also look at the famous speakers to see how they use nonverbal signs to impress their audience. Successful politicians and business people use it all the time, so check it out sometimes.

  • Be direct

The worst thing you can do in a conversation is to avoid making a conclusion. This is something that will definitely chase away all listeners. Listen to yourself while speaking and ask one simple question: what was my point here? If you can’t find the answer, don’t expect that your listeners will. Be direct and straightforward. This way, you will save everybody’s time and people won’t get confused. They will actually begin listening to what you are saying instead.

  • Keep an eye contact

Keeping an eye contact with other participants in the conversation is the precondition of a successful communication. Just think about it for a while – who avoids eye contact anyway? It’s usually the people who lie to you or don’t feel sure about their claims. Therefore, you need to establish a visual connection with your colleagues of friends. It will make you look more serious and convinced that what you are saying is right. At the same time, they will be forced to pay attention as you’ll leave no room for yawning or turning away from you.

  • Tell a joke

If your speech is long and filled with information of all sorts, you might notice that the listeners are getting bored. It’s a completely natural reaction and don’t allow this to disturb you. Instead, you should find a convenient moment to tell a simple joke that will get the audience back to you. Of course, we are not suggesting that you should act like a clown but making a nice gag will do well if you want to make people more interested.

  • Change the dynamics

Telling a joke is only one way to change the dynamic of the conversation. Dynamics is considered to be a unique dimension of speech and you should utilize it to receive more attention. If you see that you are losing the attention of your audience, ask them an easy question to change the dynamics. After that, they will be listening to you again for a while. But it’s not the only way: you can also change your intonation or stand up during the speech. These are all small details but they are enough to make the change the dynamics of the conversation.

  • Recap

The secret of the best speakers is to always make a simple summary at the end of the speech. You should recap the main points and once again emphasize the most important conclusions. For instance, you could announce that you’ll be making a short recap now, which will force even the most disinterested listeners to pay attention. After that, you can make your conclusion and rest assured that everybody will remember what was it that you were trying to explain.


Not being able to get people to listen to what you are saying can become a serious issue both in your personal and professional life. That’s why you should dedicate some time to practicing and improving communication skills. In this article, we presented 7 ways how to do it. Feel free to give them a try and let us know in comments which model proved to be the best for you.

About the writer: Eva Wislow is an Career coach and HR Manager from Pittsburgh. She loves to help people challenge themselves and achieve their most ambitious career goals.

Eva enjoys to stay up to date with the latest tech news. Connect with her on Twitter.