How to increase the impact of whatever you say

by Daniel Batten on April 6, 2011

Pop quiz: would you rather see an average script played by a great actor, or a great script played by an average actor?

Of course you would rather have both! But whatever you chose – the point is: both what you say (the script), and how you say it (the actor) are important. And throughout work and life, have you noticed that you are constantly improvising scripts and acting them out with your words hundreds of times per week.

In the course of one year, you will probably deliver 100,000-1,000,000 lines at work, and even more when you are not at work. That’s more than Shakespeare’s complete works in the first month.

So what sort of script are you writing?

And how well are you delivering this script?

It turns out that 93% of the impact of what you say is in the delivery. That makes sense doesn’t it?

Yet, whenever we get ready to deliver any message – do you place the emphasis on what you are going to say, or how you are going to say it. Chances are that you, like most people will be putting 100% of your attention on 7% of what actually creates impact and influences people.

That means you are ignoring something that is 13 times more powerful that “what” you say, by not focusing on “how” you say it.

The 8 factors that count for 93% of what communication creates impact in communication and whether it is acted upon are our

– gestures

– voice

– posture

– amount to pause vs use of “fillers” (um, ah, “sort of”, “you know”) and jargon

– facial expression

– physical movement

– dress

– prior reputation. (“who” we are perceived to be)

Of course its one thing to know this, another thing to change it. So here’s how you can start to get a delivery that not only delivers, but predisposes people to say “yes” to your recommendations.

Ask yourself

– what impression do I want to create, and how will I create that through my delivery?

– what sort of my gestures, pace of speech and body language is going to best convey this impression (while still being 100% authentic, we are talking high-value tweaks, not pretending to be someone you’re not)?

– who am I talking to, and what can I mirror?

For example, if you want to get someone excited, for many people the access point will be to use bigger gestures. Do this, and the voice will tend to naturally become more expressive too. If you are talking to a direct person, use linear gestures. If you are talking to a visionary/creative – then use curving, sweeping and circular gestures.

Remember, 93% of impact is in the delivery. That means by spending time before any important meeting or conversation improving your delivery, you will significantly outperform a person who spends the same amount of time focusing on “perfecting” their content.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

juliet April 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Very helpful thank you. I’m about to do a presentation tonight and am right now trying to sort the content. You’ve reminded me to also step back and attend to my presence.

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