Friday’s emails always brings me one of my favorite newsletters call “Speakernet News”. As you probably guessed, it’s a newsletter devoted to helping professional speakers in any way it can.
In fact, most of the content (not counting the advertisements ) is from the readership so you know it’s been speaker specific tested.
Today, one such article was referring to “Busting the Mehrabian Myth” and if you’d like to enjoy the video that comes with it, go to:
In essence, the Mehrabian theory refers to how we as humans take in new information. So as the theory goes, words represent only 7% of what we understand, the tonality and volume of how we say it represents 38% and the way we use our bodies and facial expressions make up the remainder of the 55% of what we understand and comprehend.
How this has been understood in the speaker/presentation community is “don’t worry about your content because they won’t hear it anyway!”
Can words make a mess of your message if you let it, sure thing! But you control the key to how the words are used, within what content they are used and how clearly they are presented.
As a leader (yes, you are all leaders who are reading this right now), your communication skills are always tested every time time a syllable leaves your mouth. What I’ve learned through countless training courses and years of presentation experience (yes, and some of the best learnings came from those “failed presentations”) is that the best way to teach, pass on information or just generally instruct an individual or group is to do the following:
- Be very clear in your head what needs to be heard.
- Keep your message or instructions grouped in threes
- Give clear examples, stories or metaphors that relate not to you, but to the listener.
- Highlight important points and learnings with your tonality, volume and body language with once again remembering the circumstance and environment that you are talking in.
(Opps, I just broke my second rule!)
What other techniques or tricks do you use to help your listeners understand your conversation, point or presentation?