Listening is necessary in life and this does not only pertain to personal encounters but also in everyday circumstances in general. Take an oral exam, a seminar, a presentation or an interview perhaps. You’d have to pay careful attention and listen intently to the speaker/s in order to gain full insight of what they are saying or trying to convey so that you in turn could respond accordingly. But how does on listen better? We asked the experts over at the English Academy for some advice and listed below are what they had to say.
1st Tip: Calm those nerves. – In cases such as exams or interviews, one of the main reasons why your mind drifts into space or your hearing seems to be at a loss is all because of excess nerves and unnecessary anxiety. We can’t help but get nervous in certain situations but that shouldn’t hinder you from the things that you are supposed to do. Shake it off or at least fake it until you make it. Don’t allow it to get the better of you.
2nd Tip: Keep your focus. – When someone else is talking avoid thinking about other things. Consciously put your mind at the task at hand and listen. Remember about the saying that goes “mind over matter”? That is what you should do. If you feel like you are drifting away pull yourself back.
3rd Tip: Make eye contact. – This is a good way to keep yourself from thinking about other unrelated stuff. Avoid looking at your surroundings or noticing other details of the room or place that you are in. Look at the person speaking but don’t glare or stare them down either.
4th Tip: Keep yourself hands free. – Another thing that can hinder you from listening better is if your hands are busy with something. Perhaps a pen or a smart phone? Sometimes it is indeed necessary to have them with you as when you are listening to a board meeting presentation and taking down notes. Just see to it that you don’t distract yourself with them. The same holds true for cellular phones.
5th Tip: Practice makes perfect. – If you are well aware about your poor listening skills, the English Academy suggests that you better practice to improve. One way to do so is by listening to speeches or songs and then later on transcribing what was said or at least sharing the idea or concept behind them.