An interesting article from Jame Sudakow revealing, what he claims to be, “eye-opening research about what actually influences your audience”. It’s based on the famous study by Albert Mehrabian, the UCLA professor emeritus of psychology, which has already been explored in Presentation Guru by Dr Nick Morgan. Mehrabian concluded that:
We get most of our clues of the emotional intent behind people’s words from non-verbal sources. And when the two are in conflict, we believe the non-verbal every time.
It’s too simplistic to make sweeping statements that it doesn’t matter what you say but how you say it; but the moral of the story is that it’s not all about the content. We live in a visual world and often forget that humans respond by seeing, hearing, and feeling. In her earlier post for us, Emma Bannister made the point that:
Visual learning methods are an essential tool for educators. But if you want the ultimate formula for a powerful presentation, incorporate all types of learning – visual, written, verbal and experiential.
Mehrabian’s study shows us how important it is to combine all these. Even if we dispute the numbers that Mehrabian found in his study, the point still holds that there is a huge amount of influence that doesn’t come from Verbal sources alone; and the speakers who want to become truly influential will bear this in mind when preparing and delivering their next presentations.
You can read the article in full here: Great Presenters Do 1 Thing That Most of You Don’t, Science Says
Note: you may have to sign up to Inc.com to read it but it’s free and worth it.