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Best Public Speakers: Studying Julian Treasure

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Julian Treasure is a British sound expert, author, speaker and former musician. He is the founder of Sound Agency, an audio branding business. Treasure’s Ted talk How to speak so that people want to listen is the 6th most viewed TED talk of all time.

What we reviewed: TED Talk on how to speak so that people listen


  1. Strong vocal presence: Julian has a low-pitched voice, projects well, and starts clear and definitive. (:14)

  2. Poised physical presence with engaging eye contact: He maintains a still frame and uses eye contact to include all of his listeners. This behavior demonstrates being comfortable and confident. (:14)

  3. Gestures: Julian opens up his body to the audience by extending his arms and turning his palms up. Palms up is a very inviting gesture. He also uses intentional gestures to emphasize key points. (:35, :53, 4:19, 6:00, 7:22)

  4. Tells quick stories that add humor: These periodic changes in his style briefly increase the energy level of the audience. (1:20, 3:56, 6:00)

  5. Nice pace and use of the pause: Julian speaks at a rate that is easy to follow and he uses pauses effectively to hold the listeners' attention. (2:13, 2:24, 6:23, 9:40)

  6. Engages the audience: He gets the audience to stand up to participate in vocal warm-up exercise. Julian also leads by example and demonstrates what others should do. (7:50)

Strategies for improvement:

  1. Add more vocal variety: Julian’s natural style is more consultative in nature - he speakers slower and softer in his teaching moments. He could show more passion and excitement during his entire presentation, not just while demonstrating exercises. (6:45, 8:00)


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