It’s Not Just What You Say

“…how we say something is more impactful than what we say.”

~ Darlene Price, Author
Well Said, Presentations and Conversations that Get Results

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it!

How are your nonverbal communication skills?

As much as 55% to 93% of a message’s meaning is transferred nonverbally![i]  If as little as 7% of what you say or hear is the verbal component of the message, then nonverbal communication is a skill you should certainly take seriously—if you want to be successful.

We send far more nonverbal messages than verbal ones.  A raised eyebrow or a headshake can easily represent disapproval that we may be too timid to express verbally.  Have you ever rolled your eyes but would never express that sentiment verbally?  Or, maybe you boisterously slammed the door to show frustration or rage in situations where you wouldn’t consider yelling or voicing your anger out loud.

We plan what we want to say and choose our words carefully, but our nonverbal communication is a natural language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions.  If verbal messages contradict nonverbal ones, we usually believe the nonverbal messages.[ii]

When we consider that everything we do has communicative value, it is easy to understand that—even when we aren’t speaking—we are still sending messages.  A simple handshake, our facial expression, even our clothing says something about us.  If we want to be successful, we must be mindful of the nonverbal messages being sent by others as well as the messages that we are sending.

Remember, what you say matters but how you say it matters even more!


[i] Bailey, B. (2018, Spring). The importance of nonverbal communication in business and how professors at the University of North Georgia train students on the subject. [Honors thesis]. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=honors_theses

[ii] Burgoon, J. K., Guerrero, L. K., & Floyd, K. (2016). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.

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