Sunday Share – Julian Treasure: Sound, Listening, and Speaking So People Want to Listen

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Thomas and I are, by and large, visual creators (aside from Thomas’ band –The Northmen CD Release –, of course, and my noodling on the guitar occasionally). So much of what society is involved with is visual, visual, visual. Just think about the internet and how we funnel our experiences and knowledge through screens, and even if it’s talking heads on a TV or screen, it’s still a one-sided conversation.

Sunday Share is something new we’re experimenting with here at Cooper + O’Hara, where we share thoughtful material to take the time to think about. Sundays are typically quiet retrospective days spent on recreation, family, or just thinking. We know we might not get the largest number of views on a Sunday, but if you’re interested, we’ll be here… and if you wait till Monday we’ll STILL be here! 🙂

So, for the first Sunday Share, here’s two great TED talk’s from Julian Treasure, and a subsequent podcast from Six Pixels of Separation interviewing Julian. Julian’s thoughts really made me stop to think about the importance of sound, as well as auditory communication in our business and life.

If you do like long-form discussion and want to expand on these thoughts and principles definitely check out the Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast # 433 – With Julian Treasure, and other podcast episodes from them as well. Always thoughtful and interesting.

Julian Treasure works at The Sound Agency. Articles he has written on their blog can be found here.


A few extra thoughts for the fellow photographers out there:

If you’re a portrait photographer you inevitably have to talk to people. Developing rapport with your subject by way of conversation can often make or break the photo. Ditch the idea that you HAVE to talk and behave a certain way to get the most out of the people you photograph. It’s more important to experiment and pay attention to how it is that you are – are you a talker whose energy is contagious and makes the room alive, or are you a quiet observer with moments of questioning curiosity? Or something else entirely, or within a spectrum of those things. Find your true conversational self.

One caveat, and it is a bit of a contradiction from what I said earlier, be aware that even if you’re a “big talker” it is absolutely crucial that you take the time to listen to your subject in order to know that you care about their thoughts and opinions. By extension they will start to trust you and your vision if they know you have them in mind.

Edit: There’s a really interesting looking Kickstarter project ending this week. A documentary called In Pursuit Of SoundIf you pledge $25 you get a digital download of the move … but if you pledge $100 you also get $50 worth of rewards AND 1 online course from Julian Treasure either in Conscious Listening, Powerful Speaking, or Soundscaping. Check it out!



p.s. What did you do/doing this Sunday? Do you like the idea of Sunday Share? Comment below!

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