How we think we influence people, and how we actually influence them, is very different.
We assume WHAT we say is most important. To have impact, what’s said must align with HOW.
Only 7% of what people absorb is due to what is said. 38% is voice tone. 55% is body language.
That’s if each element is aligned. When one’s out of sync, your message is lost.
I found this out while working for the DoE in Washington DC. I helped renewable energy companies to market their products and form joint ventures with governments overseas.
I was sent to a presentation training class, where we were filmed. When they played it back I realised two things;
My voice was really high, and because my hair covered my eyes, I kept jerking my head to the side as if I had a nervous tick.
It was horribly distracting. No one would take me seriously.
It’s not just me. Most of us have something that gets in the way of our being an effective speaker.
These distractions may not be immediately obvious, but they must be ironed out.
Video yourselves. Listen to your voice, look at how you move your hands. Check where your eyes are looking.
Practice speaking in front of other people. People who you can trust to tell you what you’re doing that’s distracting from your message coming across.