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Ch.

4 Listening
What kind of listener are you?
Speech Communication Applications

Listening Is More Than Hearing


HEARING To passively know that a sound has been made.

LISTENING To actively know and understand a sound.


The physical reception of sound waves to the eardrum.

The interpretation of what the ears perceive.

According to Websters New World Dictionary, when you listen

you make a conscious effort to hear.

Importance of Listening

Listening is not a natural skill we have to consciously work at it.


Studies show that we remember only 25% of what we hear - that means we forget, ignore, distort, or misunderstand the great majority of incoming messages.

Importance of Listening

Most Frequently Used Communication Skill


We are listening/hearing 80% of our waking hours. 60% of worker errors are due to poor listening skills. 80% of executives ranked listening as the most important workplace skill.

Importance of Listening

Vital to all types of Organizations


Listening effectively to customers, employees, coworkers, teachers, parents, etc Improves quality of work/increased productivity Saves money Builds better relationships

Signs of Poor Listening

Obstacles of Listening

Environmental Internal physiological Internal psychological Semantics

Group Activity

In your group - discuss solutions to each of the obstacles of listening


(environmental, internal physiological, internal psychological, & semantics)

List them out on paper Each team will present their information to the class. & the class will take notes on solutions

Bad Listening Habits


1. Assuming the topic will be boring 2. Criticizing a speakers delivery

3. Interrupting to disagree
4. Listening only for facts 5. Too much detail in your Note-Taking

Bad Listening Habits


6. Pretending to listen 7. Tolerating or creating distractions

8. Avoiding listening to difficult material


9. Reacting emotionally by tuning out 10. Daydreaming

Payoffs of Good listening


Learn more Better organization of time Better opportunity for promotions

Translates to more money++++++

Better speaker Earns RESPECT of others Better relationships

How to Improve Your Listening

Maintain eye contact.


Of course you will need to look at your notebook to write your notes, but eye contact keeps you focused on the job at hand and keeps you involved in the lecture.

Focus on content, not delivery.


Have you ever counted the number of times a teacher clears his/her throat in a fifteen minute period? If so, you weren't focusing on content.

Improving Listening

Avoid distractions.
Don't let your mind wander or be distracted by the person shuffling papers near you. If the classroom is too hot or too cold try to remedy that situation if you can. The solution may require that you dress more appropriately to the room temperature.

Treat listening as a challenging mental task.


Listening to an academic lecture is not a passive act--at least it shouldn't be. You need to concentrate on what is said so that you can process the information into your notes.

Improving Listening

Stay active by asking yourself mental questions.


Active listening keeps you on your toes. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you listen. What key point is the professor making? How does this fit with what I know from previous lectures? How is this lecture organized?

* Decide to be a good listener!

Take a moment to look over your notes, ask questions, and paraphrase what you have learned from listening.

Quickly write a summary.