Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Only 7% of our communication is conveyed by words

London, UK

Do you agree with the thrust of Alan Stevens post which says - "Only 7% of our communication is conveyed by words (38% tone of voice, 55% body language)"

I side with Alan. You can dress like a tailor's dummy, have the smoothest, sexiest voice but as a presenter or speaker, the content of what you say is key.
In recent times, I've been on courses and have attended talks where the "7% rule" is rammed down people's throats by so-called "public-speaking **experts". Don't believe a word of it. Content, appearance and voice-tone are as important as each other.


** "ex" as in has been, "spurt" as in drip under presssure.

5 comments:

Lee Potts said...

Robert Befus did some digging to find out where this "fact" came from.

http://www.visualbeing.com/2005/08/13/do-you-see-the-words-coming-out-of-my-mouth/

He reached some interesting conclusions:

"Mehrabian’s studies relate to a highly controlled environment where the subjects were attempting to interpret only the attitude of the speaker from very limited information. The study did not address the transfer of content at all. To say based on this study that people get only 7% of their communication from the words they hear is just wrong. ... There is no evidence whatsoever in these studies to support the way most people use these numbers, and any presentation coach or Presentation Professional using these percentages in this way should stop doing so."

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"There is no evidence whatsoever in these studies to support the way most people use these numbers, and any presentation coach or Presentation Professional using these percentages in this way should stop doing so."


Sums it all up Lee doesn't it.

James Higham said...

Important points, to be sure, the first two but not at those percentages.

Anonymous said...

Sincerity/dishonesty affects the 'whole being' - body language being a good indicator. People's 'sixth' sense - intuition - is a trusty gift for protection.

The 'mirror of the soul' - eyes - are all revealing.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Anonymous, couldn't agree with you more. Fakers are easily revealed by most audiences.