Logic would say that words are the core of any act of communication; however, two further facets are often neglected when learning how to transmit messages properly between individuals. In fact, spoken words are just a small percentage of the whole message and if anyone is willing to master their soft communication skills, they should rather be focusing attention on 1) voice tone and 2) body language. Out of curiosity, if you want to know exactly how important each of these is in the perception of a message, keep reading till the end.
It is impossible to not communicate; even the most silent stare is an act of communication. As mentioned before, each message consists of verbal, non-verbal and paraverbal outputs and despite one may feel very much in control of speech, quite often the subconscious voice plays a stronger role in communication. We give much more away than what we think and therefore, it is a recommendable exercise to train harder our observation skills. After all, the more attention you pay, the more information you’ll get.
Transmitting a message successfully is as much the speaker’s responsibility as the receiver’s. To ease up the understanding process, it is key to be clear and straight to the point, which means you have to have a set goal, be it ordering food or raising 1M€ investment. Depending on the context, there are plenty of resources at your provision, which we apply almost instinctively in our day-to-day conversations, including the use of questions, allegories or examples. Nevertheless, for more transcendent messages requiring a high impact on the listener, referring to the emotional language is the safest bet.
Good speaker’s root their efforts on the reasons ‘why’ and then build up their message towards the solution (‘what’). Passion, determination and strong beliefs commonly knock the emotional doors and tie bonds with your interlocutor. Make sure to address their pains and gains and drive the conversation to a win-win situation, especially if business is under discussion. If you’d like to know more about emotional storytelling (plus the 1,2,3 of an elevator pitch), make sure to check this article on the Blog.
Finally, back to our question from the beginning: what percentages take spoken words, voice and body language in communication. According to aPortada, a Barcelona-based agency specialized in corporate communication and human resources, the ratio for verbal language is a surprisingly low 7%. Up next is voice tone reaching up to 38% and finally comes with a staggering 55%, body language. So final takeaway: look up closely what your body has to say.