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‘No One Listens To Me’: Why Is Nobody Listening To You When You Speak?

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Why does no one listen to me?

Have you ever felt that people don’t listen to you while you speak or just thought, “No one listens to me; what am I doing wrong?” You must’ve often felt that there’s no point expressing when it feels like you’re talking to a wall. 

Well, there are numerous reasons why such situations occur, but to give you the shortest answer possible, it’s the lack of listening or clarity of speech on someone’s part. People often tend to listen to others to reply and not to understand. It’s also possible that people are not listening to you because you might be the problem. But we’ll help you identify those problems and give you the tips to correct them.

Tailoring our speeches and arguments according to the audience and topic isn’t always possible, but this can lead others to not listen to us. Listening effectively is as important a skill as speaking effectively; they are interdependent. You cannot separate one from thSeverale several communication mistakes you can make while ing that make people shut their ears and brains off of you. In this piece, we’re primarily focusing on issues from the speaker’s end by answering the question, “Why no one listens to me?” and ways to make people listen.

1. You ramble and lack direction

no one listens to me
Annoyed office manager explaining something to the client on the phone while sitting by desk in the office.

People get carried away while speaking and end up speaking more than needed. It’s a common mistake, like chasing a rabbit trail where you lack proper flow and direction. This often leads to you deviating from the topic or going in several directions simultaneously, making it difficult for the listener to follow. This lack of a clear direction can disinterest the listener in what you have to say. Would you like to listen to someone who just goes around in circles without a point?

But don’t worry, because it’s not a difficult mistake to fix. Preparing your speech beforehand is the best way to ensure it stays on track. Figure out your purpose and how you want to attain it so you don’t lose the listener mid-way. Most people suggest that you outline your speech so as not to miss out on any important elements and to stay on track. Just the way an artist would start by outlining their sketch, a speaker should start by creating an outline of the main points, sub-points, examples, etc

2. You lack clarity

no one listens to me
A young, confused man in casualwear is touching his head while standing by the blackboard with a written formula and looking at the audience.

The second reason people are not listening to you is that you aren’t sure what you’re saying; that is, you lack clarity of speech. Firstly, it’s the lack of understanding, and secondly, it’s the lack of clear communication. Making others listen to you is hard when you aren’t clear about your thoughts. And it’s even harder when you can’t communicate those thoughts in a simple, structured, and concise manner for others to follow. You may be speaking too fast or pausing too much; find more about the ideal speech rate here

Communication is more than just saying words. You must care for the listener and make sure they get the message. To combat clarity of thoughts, get into the habit of making notes. This will help you evaluate your arguments and understand them better. To improve your speech delivery’s clarity, try using simple language instead of puffing up your arguments with jargon and complexities. Also, work on your pace, accent, pronunciation, and diction. Confidence comes easily if you’re calm, so try these.

3. You lack confidence

no one listens to me
Speaker at Business Meeting in the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship concept.

Marcus Garvey once said, “With confidence, you have won before you have started,” and truer words have never been spoken. We’ve often heard the question “How to be confident in public speaking?” being asked because the lack of confidence can break your speech and make you invisible to your audience or colleagues, even if your words are great. If the listener feels that you lack confidence in your words, then it’s a given that they won’t have confidence in them either. Imagine you’re listening to someone speak about Artificial Intelligence, but they constantly contradict their statements. Do you think you’ll listen to them after a while? 

Once you’re confident, you can focus on what’s important: the content. It’s better to speak less with conviction than to speak more without confidence. It takes time to develop confidence in public speaking and presentations. Start by ensuring you speak loudly and within your expertise.

4. You only speak for yourself

no one listens to me
A business executive is giving a speech at the conference center.

Ask yourself, “Why does no one listen to me?” and ask yourself, “Am I speaking for everyone or just myself?” Speaking after considering everyone doesn’t come naturally to most; thus, a blunder you can make is speaking only from your point of view without considering others. Effective communication is only possible if all parties involved feel involved; hence, only speaking for yourself can lead to fading interest and reduced attention. Your communication must factor in how it’ll affect or impact others and how your audience or colleagues are involved. For example, if you’re discussing a possible marketing proposal with your team, you need to talk about everyone’s roles and ask for everyone’s input rather than just your own.

This can be remedied by making your discussions interactive and not authoritative. It’s important to engage others in your speech or argument and take their feedback. Make it a point to be empathetic while speaking; it’ll help people connect with you and listen to you attentively. Try including what the person you are talking to said in your responses, and make sure you clarify things you don’t understand. A simple “Yes, I see your point about X” or an “I don’t know much about Y, so can you explain that to me?” can go a long way. Listening is also an important aspect of communication; we’ll come to that later. 

5. Your body language and words don’t match

no one listens to me
A casual adult man with arms crossed, body language for stress relief, masking insecurities, anxiety, and fear, as well as self-restraint or frustration

Body language includes your posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures, and can hugely impact whether someone listens to you or not. On one hand, if used properly, it can add strength to your verbal message and improve it manifold. On the other hand, if you lack energy, have a stiff posture, and are expressionless, it can make the listener disinterested and possibly bored. In fact, studies show that your words only convey about 7% of what you’re trying to say. The other 93% is communicated through facial expressions and the tone of your voice.

To ensure your body language and words don’t go in different directions, you just need to be interested in what you’re speaking. It’s also a good idea to maintain proper posture and gesture with hands to add visuals to your speech. I’ll be making a video on various postures and gestures soon, so hit the subscribe button and click the bell icon to get notified when it arrives.

6. You’re not open-minded and are interruptive

no one listens to me
Bored young girl refusing to listen to psychotherapist during an appointment with problematic teenagers.

Sometimes, the answer to your ‘why no one listens to me,’ can be “You don’t listen to them.” Finally, open-mindedness is a valuable part of good communication; people tend to forget that. So, one reason someone isn’t listening to you can be because you are not open to other ideas, are interruptive, and aren’t a great listener. You’ll eventually lose the attention of a person whose views you don’t consider. You’ll get the same in return if you show a lack of interest or interrupt the other person. 

People like getting attention; hence, you must give it to them. That’s the only way to avoid this mistake. You can improve your patience by letting the other person finish their point before you start yours. Even if you disagree with someone’s ideas, you should know that they still cherish them. So listen, and then you can express yourself in response. A quick and easy way to disagree amicably is to say, “I understand your views on X. I think about it differently. Would you be open to hearing an alternative viewpoint?” This will ensure that you don’t sound dismissive and makes the person more receptive, making it easier to convince them. (Optional: The worst case is that they say that they aren’t open to listening. You can say, “Well, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.”)

How long does it take to improve communication skills?

Improving communication skills is a process that varies from person to person. The duration it takes to enhance these skills depends on individual factors such as the initial proficiency level, the frequency and dedication to practice, and the openness to receiving and applying feedback. Consistent effort and a growth mindset that embraces learning and development can lead to noticeable progress in communication skills over time.

Can any tools or resources help me improve my communication skills?

Enhance your communication skills with resources like Yoodli, an AI-powered speech coach, or explore public speaking courses and workshops. These tools and platforms offer tailored guidance and training to help you improve your speaking, confidence, and overall communication effectiveness.

Why do people often not listen when I speak?

Are you feeling unheard? Unclear messages, ineffective communication methods, distracting environments, and even your own lack of engagement can hinder how well people listen. Recognizing these factors is the first step to improving your communication skills and ensuring your message lands with your audience.

How can I make my message more engaging and captivating to make people listen when I speak?

Be patient in communication. Listen fully before responding, respect all viewpoints, and acknowledge differences politely. This fosters open dialogue and increases your chance of being heard.

How can I improve my communication skills to ensure people listen to me?

Effective communication is multifaceted. To ensure your message resonates, practice active listening and open-mindedness. Avoid interrupting, truly hear others out, and cultivate patience. Respect different viewpoints, even when disagreeing. By approaching conversations with receptivity, you foster meaningful dialogue and ensure your message is heard.

Closing Thoughts

These were just a few mistakes that can make your speeches unheard, but you can always change that. It can be discouraging when you’re not heard at work or otherwise. Now you know how to make people listen to you, right? So stop thinking, ‘No one listens to me,’ and start working on changing that.

If you want to know what types of public speaking careers are out there, check this out!

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