Keys to Good Listening

Keys to Good Listening

Tune In
Right as the lecture begins, determine the speakers topic and recall what you may already know about the topic.

Early in the lecture, continue the listening process by asking questions in your mind such as: "What point is the speaker making?", "What devices for support is he/she using?", "What do I need to specifically remember?" This process, if continued throughout the entire lecture, helps lead to an understanding of main ides, the speaker's organization of the material being covered, and supporting details.

This part of the process includes determining the basic message and answering the questions being raised during the total process. In order to accomplish this, you must anticipate what will be said, and take in what is said. Active alertness is always required.

This is the process of checking on the anticipated message after the message is delivered. To review, you must evaluate the message against your questions, fit ideas together, summarize ideas, and evaluate the meaning and impact of the message based on your circumstances. This review process should lead to further questions and keep you constantly tuned in to the lecture.


Effective and Ineffective Listening Habits

  •  Finding or creating something to arouse interest in a speech or lecture you must listen to.
  •  Trying to get the message rather than worrying about how it is presented.
  •  Listening to all that the speaker has to say before criticizing.
  •  Looking for major ideas and relationships among various points.
  •  Determining the speaker's organization first, then taking notes that reflects his patter.
  •  Really paying attention so that at any time you can summarize the speaker's main ideas up to that point in the lecture.
  •  Sitting where you will hear, then listening.
  •  Listening with a purpose.
  •  Subordinating specific words to the total meaning of the context.
  •  Anticipating what the speaker will say next, identifying ideas and support, recapitulating every few minutes what the speaker has told you.

  •  Calling the subject uninteresting.
  •  Criticizing the speaker's delivery.
  •  Getting overstimulated about specific points in the speech.
  •  Listening only for the facts.
  •  Trying to make an outline of everything.
  •  Faking attention to the speaker.
  •  Tolerating or creating distractions.
  •  Evading difficult material.