How to Speak so People Listen

Grab their attention and get your message heard

Mike Clayton

“Great communication is at the heart of all business; Mike's approach makes this accessible to everyone.”

Mike Ames
founder of Flair Business Growth Consultancy

Speech and communication are astonishing achievements that mark our species out from the rest of the animal kingdom.

But often, we speak and yet people don’t listen.

Everyone knows how vital good communication is in any business. But what’s the point if no-one’s listening to you?

How to Speak so People Listen shows you how to make sure that what you’re saying is being listened to and making a difference. Using proven techniques from the world’s most successful communicators, debaters and conversationalists, you’ll discover how to:

  • Always be heard by speaking in a compelling, persuasive and powerful way

  • Seize attention, make an impact and leave a memorable first impression

  • Think fast and quickly adapt your message to suit your audience

  • Stand out at meetings, conferences, networking events and chance encounters

  • Be confident at public speaking – someone people really want to listen to

Effective tools, strategies, tips and tricks will make sure you’re able to command attention and know that whenever you speak, people will want to hear what you have to say.

Get a flavour of the content from my One Minute Tips videos.

Take a look at my How to Speak Infographic, below.


1. Thinking about Speaking

  • The Power of Speech
  • Barriers to Communication
  • Making Speaking Work

2. Getting Started

  • Levels of Listening
  • The Structure of How to Speak so People Listen

Part 1: The Four Steps

3. Get Something to Say

  • You need to have something to say
  • Be Interested
  • Meet People
  • Be Well-informed
  • Shape your Point of View

4. Get Attention

  • Make an Entry
  • Have Presence
  • Hook your Audience
  • Hold Your Audience

5. Get Your Message Across

  • Compelling, Persuasive and Powerful
  • Compelling: How to create a compelling and engaging structure
  • Persuasive: The Three Secrets of a Persuasive Argument
  • Powerful: The Impact of Words

6. Get Results

  • Influence and Beyond
  • Respect
  • Psychology
  • Persuasion
  • Memory

Part 2: The Four Situations

7. Focus on Conversations

  • The Art of Conversation
  • Basic Conversational Skills
  • Telephone Conversations
  • Speaking with Little Purpose
  • Speaking with Real Purpose

8. Focus on Complicated Conversations

  • Creating Complications
  • The Tools for a Complicated conversation
  • How to manage a Complicated Conversation
  • Bad News
  • Tough Messages
  • Arguing
  • Breakdowns
  • Conflict

9. Focus on Meetings

  • Meetings are Important
  • Chairing
  • Participating
  • Networking
  • Selling
  • Being Believed

10. Focus on Public Speaking

  • The Five Parts of Speaking
  • Style
  • Memory
  • Delivery
  • Preparation
  • Speaking
  • Handling Questions and Challenges

Closing Words

Amazon Review *****

"I got recommended that book through Chartered Management Institute and I am glad that I put my hand on ...
This is position that is giving insight in to how to speak...
Get it and master your speech..."

Amazon Review *****

"I am particularly impressed with 3 key things about the book. First, the simple message resonates with the simplicity and directness of the book's title and it encapsulates a very basic human need - to be listened to. Second, I find the layout to be particularly easy and memorable especially with the use of the visuals and 3rd the bite size actionable insights/tips makes this book my favourite 'go to' reference material."

Amazon Review *****

"Anyone can speak. But do people listen? Often they don’t! This gem of a book by Dr Mike Clayton guides you to be heard, get attention, stand out, and to become influential. Don’t miss this book that’s packed full with tools, tips and tricks."

J J Dove
Amazon Review *****

"Very well written. Engaging. Great practical tips that are easy to use in any situation. I would highly recommend it."

How to Speak so People Listen is filled with valuable resources; in particular, there are over 20 Speaker’s Checklists.

I have prepared ten items for you to download and put into your briefcase or onto your mobile device.  These are free pdf files and all I ask is that you respect my copyright and, if you copy them to a friend or colleague, that you tell them where you got them from and how good the book is (your honest opinion, please!)

I have also made a series of videos to accompany the book.
You can see my One Minute How to Speak so People Listen Tips here.

For a summary of some of the key ideas, take a look at the How to Speak so People Listen infographic on the next tab.

Chapter 3: Get Something to Say

My One Minute Tip Video: “Be Interesting”

Chapter 4: Get Attention

Speaker’s Checklist – Attention Grabbers

My One Minute tip Video: “Grab Attention”

My One Minute tip Video: “Hold Attention”

See Amy Cuddy’s TED video “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” below

Chapter 5: Get your Message Across

Speaker’s Checklist – Story Plots

Speaker’s Checklist – Power Words

A Poster, summarising the meanings of Compelling, Persuasive and Powerful

My One Minute tip Video: “Compelling, Powerful and Persuasive”

See Creativity Works’ marvelous video “Busting the Mehrabian Myth” below.

Chapter 6: Get Results

My One Minute tip Video: “What’s in it for Me?”

Chapter 7: Focus on Conversations

Speaker’s Checklist – Conversation Starters

Speaker’s Checklist – Telephone Tips

My One Minute tip Video: “Listening”

Chapter 9: Focus on Meetings

Agenda for Results

Chapter 10: Focus on Public Speaking

Speaker’s Checklist – What to Pack

Speaker’s Checklist – Checks to make on Arrival

Speaker’s Checklist – Openers

Speaker’s Checklist – Closers

Newsletter Tip-sheets

I email out free newsletter tip-sheets about 16 times a year. Click here to subscribe to my Thoughtscape newsletter.

Take a look at the archive of previous newsletters, including many on the theme of speaking so people listen.


Fascinating snippets on my How to Speak so People Listen Pinterest Board

Amy Cuddy on Power Poses: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

See Amy Cuddy on Power Poses on the TED Website

Busting The Mehrabian Myth

See Busting The Mehrabian Myth on YouTube

How to Speak so People Listen: Infographic Number 1

Six One Minute Tips, for
How to Speak so People Listen

My One Minute Tip Video: “Be Interesting”

My One Minute tip Video: “Grab Attention”

My One Minute tip Video: “Hold Attention”

My One Minute tip Video: “Compelling, Powerful and Persuasive”

My One Minute tip Video: “What’s in it for Me?”

My One Minute tip Video: “Listening”

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