Good listeners know all the pitfalls !
Ladies and Gentleman.... Have you ever dreamed (or nightmared) to get onto a soapbox and harangue the crowd ? You want to tell them all about everything that matters ? Yes, it's possible, and the training starts with honing good listening skills...
When we listen to great speakers, we enjoy the experience and we get inspiration. We we listen to not that great speakers... we learn a lot about what not to do. It's incredible how easy it is to know how it could be done better, when sitting on a chair and watching others doing. This tendency is not a flaw. On the contrary, it is very useful:
It is the right moment to take mental notes and visualize ourselves doing exactly what we see the current speaker should be doing. We can even feel it in our body!
Saying others what they should do is not often welcome. So, unless they ask for very honest feed back, we'd better say nothing and show when it's our turn to speak, what we felt would word better when we were sitting. We might become humbler in the transition from critic to doer... and we might then understand why it's so much better to start by noticing and acknowledging all what's already good before thinking constructive criticism, and end up on a positive note again. No one is perfect!
So we start by listening to speakers - and we do this by not talking, be it in our head only, when others speak...and we end up listening to listeners whilst we are talking ! I say in a light way, but it's important. Audiences are made of people, and the best speakers are those who are able to make people feel heard and understood. The day I started my presentation by saying "We have been standing here for a long time, we are all tired, we need a break, so don't worry, it's going to be just a very quick word...." they were all instantly listening and taking me for a very friendly guy. I was talking about the pain they felt in their legs ! It even re energized them to be acknowledged in this way and they offer me five minutes of full attention.
When we can hear our listeners we don't fall under the assaults of ruthless hecklers... They are all on our side !