Public Speaking

Four Powerful Words for Powerful Public Speaking from Julian Treasure’s TED Talk

HAIL. The short acronym and four words from Julian Treasure’s TED talk that the inspiring speaker put forward as the four cornerstones of powerful presentation and public speaking.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Julian Treasure's TED talk

The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people don’t listen to them. And why is that?

Thus begins Julian Treasure’s inspiring “How to speak so that people want to listen” talk for TED.

Treasure elaborates on what he believes are the four “cornerstones” of powerful speaking.

The four words form an acronym for the word HAIL.

The Four Cornerstones from Julian Treasure’s TED talk are:

  • H – Honesty. Being true in what you say, being straight and clear
  • A – Authenticity. Just being yourself, “standing in your own truth”
  • I  – Integrity. Being your word, doing what you say and being somebody people can trust
  • L – Love. If you’re really wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge them at the same time.

Later, Treasure adds:

You have an amazing toolbox. This instrument is incredible, and yet this is a toolbox that very few people have ever opened, I’d like to have a little rummage in there with you now and just pull a few tools out that you might like to take away and play with, which will increase the power of your speaking.

Check out Julian Treasure’s TED talk for yourself here … and prepare to be inspired!


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ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of  corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.

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