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你讲话时有人在听吗?

2014-03-28    来源:sibuxiang    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Is Anyone Listening to You?

Have you ever had the feeling that no matter what you say or how you say it, you might as well be speaking in an obscure foreign language, because no one even seems to be aware that your mouth is moving?
你是否有过这样一种感觉,无论说什么、怎么说,都像是在说一种晦涩的外语,因为似乎根本就没人注意到你的嘴在动?

This feeling can manifest itself in many different contexts. Parents of young children are certainly familiar with the phenomenon. It’s especially acute in bi-lingual households. The conventional wisdom is that to raise bi-lingual children, the ideal case is that one parent consistently speaks only one language, and the other parent only speaks the second language. The child, or children, will at some point switch back and forth effortlessly between the first and second tongues.
这种感觉在很多场合下都会出现,有小孩的父母肯定对此更为熟悉。要是双语家庭,感受会尤其强烈。一般认为,培养双语儿童,最理想的办法就是由父母各自坚持使用一种语言,直到某一时刻,孩子自然而然地就可以在母语和第二语言间自由转换。

(While true, this also involves a “Tower of Babel” stage in which no one in the family seems to be speaking any common language.)
(这种看法没错,但也会经历“巴别塔”阶段,就是家庭成员之间看起来说的不是同一种语言。)

This is also a common occurrence in the workplace, especially in organizations which — like so many in China — have a lot of meetings. And there are, let’s face it, some organizations in China which have an incredible number of long, boring meetings. This is perfectly OK with me, as long as I am not required to attend them.
除此之外,这种感觉在工作场合也屡见不鲜,特别是在经常开会的机构——就像很多中国单位那样。必须承认,一些中国单位又长又无聊的会议数量惊人。但只要不用我参加,倒也无妨。

I hate excessive meetings, especially of the non-productive kind where someone up at the podium is reading page after page of achievements and statistics, and people in the rest of the room are hypnotized by the screens of their mobile devices. Like zombies. This is what I call a “Zombie Meeting.”
我讨厌会议过多,尤其是没有产出的会议。比如某人站在讲台上,照本宣科地朗读着各种成绩和数据,而其他人则沉迷于自己的移动设备,宛如僵尸。我把这种会议称为“僵尸会议”。

I had a teacher in high school who was brilliant but had quite a temper. If a student was goofing off or did something which required a disciplinary intervention by the teacher, the teacher would multiply the elapsed “wasted” time of the incident and ensuing lecture (e.g. 15 minutes) by the number of people in the room (e.g. 21 students plus one teacher), and proclaim that so-and-so had just wasted 5 ½ hours of our time. He had a point.
上高中时我有位老师,学问大但脾气臭。假如某个学生吊儿郎当或是干了什么违纪的坏事,这位老师就会用“浪费”在处理这件事上的时间换算成讲课的时间(比如15分钟),再乘以课堂内的人数(比如21名学生加1名教师),说这件事总共浪费了大家5个半小时。他这样说是有道理的。

Using this metric,calculating the total collective time wasted by very large boring meetings (VLBMs)in China could involve significant chunks of the calendar.
如果用这个公式计算一下中国大型无聊会议的总浪费时间,肯定是一个天文数字。

I’m not saying meetings are not important, but there is a huge different between a productive meeting and a Zombie Meeting. One big difference in outcome is that a well-organized meeting can motivate the people in the room, whereas a Zombie session has the opposite effect, taking the wind out of peoples’ sails, sending them out of the room in a daze, albeit with a slight sense of relief, akin to those involved in a successful prison break.
我并不是说开会就不重要,但有产出的会和“僵尸会”有显著的差别。从会议成果上看,组织良好的会能鼓舞人心,而“僵尸会”则相反,让人泄气,散会时不仅一阵恍惚,甚至还有点儿“成功越狱”后的庆幸。

Meetings are an embedded part of organizational culture. This is not easy to change unless leadership can be sold on the idea of improved results through better, shorter, more effective meetings.
开会是组织文化的一部分,很难改变,除非能让领导相信可以通过更好、更短、更有效的会议提高绩效。

In my own organization and through involvement withvarious boards of much larger ones, I’ve learned a few simple rules for running effective meetings.
通过在我们公司以及其他更大的公司董事会开会的过程,我学到了一些提高会议效率的简单法则。

Let people know in advance that the meeting will start promptly at the scheduled time, and follow through accordingly. If people are late, that’s their problem. Don’t make the majority pay for the lateness of a handful of people.Announce the closing time when you announce the starting time, and conclude the meeting on time.
提前让与会者知道会议将按时开始并如期推进。如果有人迟到,那是他自己的问题,不要让大多数人因为个别人的迟到而付出代价。在宣布开会时间时,要一并宣布结束时间,并按既定时间结束会议。

Provide participants at least a basic agenda in advance, especially if any audience participation is welcome (which is usually desirable as a general rule of thumb; otherwise why have a meeting?). Give people a chance to think and prepare in advance.
提前向与会者提供哪怕是最基础的会议议程,尤其是什么人都可以参加的会议(这是经验法则,否则为什么要开会?)给大家会前准备和思考的机会。

If you are chairing or directing the meeting, try to incorporate some appropriate humor into your opening comments to break the ice, and get the audience relaxed.
如果会议由你主持或主导,试着在开场白中加入适当的幽默,打破坚冰,让听众放松。

Recently my brother Bob told me about a situation he had encountered at a previous employer. In departmental meetings, there was always one individual — who happened to be very smart and very articulate — who would dominate the question and answer and discussion part of every meeting. The boss didn’t discourage this, and the rest of the group deferred to this guy’s bright ideas and aggressive style. Over time, the meetings evolved into a virtual dialogue between the boss and this one individual.
最近,我兄弟鲍勃给我讲了他以前单位的情况。在部门会上,总有一个既聪明又能说会道的人包揽了每次会议的提问、回答和讨论。老板并没有阻止他,其他人也依从了他的聪明和主动,久而久之,会议就慢慢演变成他和老板的单独对话。

As the chair of the meeting, it’s very important that you find ways to encourage rather than discourage participation and dialogue. Some people tend to be quiet and won’t speak up without encouragement and coaxing.Quiet people are just as capable as talkative ones of coming up with bright ideas and perspectives. A well-run meeting will help bring these ideas out.
作为会议主持人,想办法鼓励大家参与并发言十分重要,千万不要打压。有些人比较安静,非经鼓励和劝说是不会作声的。但安静的人同善谈的人一样,都有聪明的点子和看法。能把这些点子挖掘出来,会议才算真正成功。

Some meetings require the presentation of data, which can be greatly enhanced by the use of appropriate audio-visual aids. PPTs are also frequently mis-used, however, to the detriment of the meeting’s effectiveness. The best example of a very bad way to use PPT is to put the speaker’s entire comments on the slides. He or she then reads them out word by word, line by line, slide by slide. The effect is the same as slipping sleeping pills into the drinking water.
有些会需要展示数据,辅以适当的音像手段可以改善展示的效果。但是,PPT常被误用,沦为降低会议有效性的帮凶。举例来说,最不当的使用方法就是把演讲人的全部讲话都放在PPT上,然后逐页逐行逐字地念出来。其效果就如同给人们喝的水里下安眠药。

This is a matter of personal style to some extent, but I tend to use PPTs very sparingly. If you think about what you really remember from that meeting way back when, it’s more often than not a story or anecdote rather than a chart or graph.
某种程度上这跟个人风格有关,但我自己倾向于少用PPT。如果你回想一下以前开过的会,记得最清楚的往往是故事、轶事,而不是图表和表格。

Also, although this is also a cultural issue, it is commonplace in international meetings for the chair to ask the audience to disable the ring tones on their mobile devices. Like “No Smoking” signs, this practice is embraced somewhat inconsistently in China, but I think it is an inevitable result over time, out of simple politeness.
还有,尽管各地文化不同,但现在在国际会议上,主持人通常都会要求听众将手机铃声关掉。对这一规定,中国各地的接受程度参差不齐,就像对待“禁止吸烟”标牌的态度。但我认为,假以时日这必将实现,出于简单的礼节。

As for the question of whether anyone is listening to you or not, the answer is also part of running an effective meeting : making regular eye contact with your audience. If you do this, you’ll enhance engagement and your own sense of how focused your audience is. The answer to the question will be clear.
至于是否有人在听你讲话,也和会议的有效程度相关:要经常和听众进行眼神交流,既可以鼓励听众,也可以更好地观察听众的关注程度。所以这个问题的答案不言自明。

Down with Zombie Meetings!
让“僵尸会议”走开!

(四不像)



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