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It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

In a recent blog posting, we mentioned that non-verbal activity is said to account for up to 93% of communication. Since non-verbal skills play such a huge role in how your message is received, this week’s blog will focus on developing these skills to make the most out of your communication.

One important factor in non-verbal communication is how you use your voice to deliver your words.  In other words, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

Recently, a client mentioned to me that it has been brought to his attention that the people he is managing have complained that he is too curt in the delivery of his words, and it puts people on the defensive. I heard similar comments recently while doing research for a speech to be delivered to a group of principals. A common theme was that principals often don’t adjust their tone to the audience. They speak to the students and/or the parents in the same manner and tone that they might use to address their staff. This too may cause an already irate parent to become defensive.

It is important to tailor your voice and manner of speaking to the situation as well as your listener. Your voice alone can communicate whether you are being playful or serious, casual or formal, personal or businesslike. It can also convey whether or not you are confident in your speech. Your intonation, volume, and which words you choose to emphasize will all play a role in how your message is received. In order to create an appropriate tone, take the time to envision your audience and how you would like them to view you and your message. To better get a better idea of what you may need to work on, record your voice and then listen to it critically: how would you feel if you were on the receiving end of that message? As you listen, think of ways in which you can adjust your tone and inflection to create the image and personality you want to project.

 Next week, we will continue our conversation on non-verbal communication with more helpful tips. In the meantime, visit www.corporatespeechsolutions.com for more excellent information on how to improve your speech and intonation.