Communication succeeds when your message is received.
Experts counsel that less than 10% of the words you speak are heard and accepted. How your message is communicated accounts for about 40%, with the remaining 50% being related to what your audience observes while you’re delivering your message.
Successful communications connect with the audience in 4 ways:
- What people see (visual connection): All communication creates an impression of the communicator that either strengthens or weakens the message. Be aware of how you look to others – dress and act appropriately for the audience, the situation and your message.
- What people understand (intellectual connection): A productive intellectual connection requires that your knowledge of a subject be credible and that it reflects your conviction. Sharing a personal experience often validates your credibility and conviction, opening people’s hearts and minds.
- What people feel (emotional connection): People feel your attitude, positive or negative, when you’re communicating. While you speak, they observe your energy, intensity and sincerity. This either attracts or alienates them, impacting your connection attempt. Your attitude always overpowers your words.
- What people hear (verbal connection): Everything you do with your voice while communicating affects your potential to connect. Your tone, inflection, timing, volume and pacing impact the response you will receive. When the need to connect is vital, ensure that your message is clear and direct, and plan how you will deliver it.
Your words may be powerful, but they are just a small part of a successful communication.
How might these 4 connection elements strengthen your communication effectiveness?