I had to attend a series of public meetings to find out how they worked. I sat in the public gallery and wrote down what the people were saying, not verbatim, but pretty much, so my head was down, facing into my notepad as i was writing and I was just listening to what the people were saying.
Instead of sitting watching people talk, I was sitting listening to them talk. You only have the words people are saying and how they are saying them, so you pay closer attention and it is like suddenly putting on a pair of 3-d glasses. You can hear the ebb and flow of the talk, where the participants are not listening to the others but merely waiting till it’s their turn to speak.
It was brilliant, like listening to a radio play. Another world opened up that was hidden because I wasn’t looking at people, how odd. Whenever I looked up the spell was broken though, it seems that not looking but listening removed the chatter that goes on your head when you’re watching someone talk, the evaluating etc and looking at the person speaking brings YOU into it. Just listening doesn’t though, it keeps the focus on that person doing the speaking.
It turns out that listening to sounds is better than trying to watch them.