Your Words Are Almost Meaningless

Did you know your words are almost meaningless?

When I heard Richard Greene discuss this point at the Art & Science of Charisma I attended, it shocked me.  It didn’t make sense to me, but then he used this simple example:

Bill Clinton and Al Gore leveraged the same speech writers, if the words in a public speech were the main driver of whether a speech was good or not, then Al Gore would have been elected just like Clinton had.  Putting the political views aside for a minute, it does make some sense.  

Then Richard put up these stats about the percentage that these categories carry in any communication:

Words – 7%

Voice / Tone – 33%

Body Language – 55%

Based on his research, 93% of all communication is delivered with no words.  So if you had to work on any area of your public speaking, the words should be the last priority.  Which by the way he proved during the session when he had 30 seconds to prepare a 5 minute speech on the topic of “Potty Training 2 Year Olds” that was nothing short of magnificent.