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Why is good listening important for both the audience and the speaker? Provide an example situation in which good listening was not employed.

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It is important for both speakers and audience members to practice effective listening techniques in order to facilitate the communication process.

At first, it might seem counterintuitive to consider the role which active listening has in the role of public speaking. However, the best speakers understand how to engage their audiences well, and they strategically employ techniques that maximize listening skills. Effective speakers engage listeners by avoiding negativity and exaggeration. Audience members quickly tune out when they feel that the message is being delivered with judgement or inaccuracy. Instead, effective public speakers lean into authenticity and integrity, engaging listeners by making them want to listen. An effective speaker also understands that how he delivers his message affects how listeners understand and retain his message. A speaker's tone, pitch, body language, flow, and level of personal engagement with the audience will influence how listeners perceive the intent of the message.

Listening is also important for the audience. It is important for audience members to remind themselves to be attentive. Sometimes it takes a great deal of intentionality to listen to a speaker in the moment, ignoring all distractions and other mental tasks. Approaching a listening opportunity with a positive attitude also fosters better communication between the speaker and audience. Audience members can listen with discernment, even disagreeing with the speaker, yet it is important to fully hear a speaker's entire presentation before arriving at those conclusions. Keeping an open mind allows for better communication regarding differences of opinion or assumptions which have been made by the speaker or the audience.

An example of good listening from popular culture can be found in the movie Inside Out. When Bing Bong is feeling despondent over losing his Rocket Wagon to the Memory Dump, Joy ignores all cues that Bing Bong is sending, trying to force her own agenda on him and suggesting they push forward to the train. Instead, Sadness meets Bing Bong's grief with empathy and engages with him honestly. She takes the time to truly understand what he needs and then plans her message for those needs. Both the speaker (Sadness) and the audience (Bing Bong) are able to effectively communicate and find resolution that isn't possible with Joy's techniques.

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