Archive for February, 2015

Communication Is More Than Just the Words

Ever felt like you delivered an award winning presentation, but didn’t get the business? Or have you encountered challenges getting prospects interested in your business even though you use scripts that worked well for others? Or have you ever had a good conversation with someone, but your attempts to further connect go unheeded? Why is this happening?

In 1967 Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, published a study that stated message believabilitydepends on consistency of 3 aspects of face-to-face communication. Surprisingly, the actual words account for only 7% of what we respond to in face-to-face communication. 55% of what we respond to is based on visual (body language) signals and 38% is based on tonality (voice tone). The actual words spoken, while important, have the smallest impact on how effective you are in communicating.

For example, you’re speaking to someone and they tell you “yes”, but in a begrudging tone. Do you believe their “yes” or the tone of their voice? Most people would say the tone. Now, let’s say the person says “no”, but their head is nodding “yes” and they’re very enthusiastic. Which do you believe – words or body language? My bet is body language.

For your message to be believable, all three elements must be in synch. When body language, tonality and spoken words are inconsistent, you send mixed signals that cause the other person to doubt what you’re saying. You memorize a fabulous script that has worked well for others, but you lack confidence in delivering it – you won’t get the sale. Your words and body language aren’t in synch. Ever seen overly confident sales people make sales without knowing the details of their product? Their confident body language and tone won the sale.

Ever deliver an important message to your team and wonder why the words don’t have the impact you anticipated? Perhaps your audience didn’t believe the message.

So often, we’re conscious of using the perfect words and pay no attention to the tone in which those words are expressed and our body language while stating those words. Keep the three elements (words, tone, body language) in synch and you’ll be surprised how you’re better able to build rapport with your audience.

Jeff Lovejoy

Business Growth Strategist



Jeff works with owners of local companies to help them achieve the success they desire from their businesses. He holds them accountable to the plans we build. By coaching my clients in the areas of Time, Team and Money, Jeff equips them with the tools they need to run their businesses successfully.

February 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment