It is an established fact that people respond to others not merely according to the words that are used, but on the connection they experience with the person. When people communicate with others, they mostly believe that the message is all that matters. But the reality is that communication goes beyond words. Research has shown that what we say accounts for only 7% of what is believed, the way we say it accounts for 38% while what others see accounts for 55%.
Surprisingly, more than 90% percent of the impressions we often convey has nothing to do with what we actually say. Does that tell you something? So if you believe communication is all about words, you’ll be better off having a re-think, otherwise, you will always have a hard time connecting with others.
In order to connect with your audience, any message you try to convey must contain a piece of you. You need to be more than just a messenger. You must be the message you want to deliver, otherwise, you won’t connect. Your attitude often speaks more loudly than your words. Your message must be more than just a message. It must have value and deliver on the promise it offers to your listeners. It also should have the potential to change other people’s lives. You should tailor whatever you want to say to fit into the needs of your audience.
If you want to succeed in connecting with others, you need to be sure your communication goes beyond words which you can achieve by connecting on four levels.
Connecting Visually– If you want your audience to remember what you said, you would have to back up your words by showing your ideas alongside. Anytime you are in front of other people to communicate, the visual impression you make will either help or hinder you. If you are groomed and wearing the right clothing for your speech or meeting, then that’s a good place to start. Secondly, your facial expression should convey something positive. Improve on your ability by smiling at people and being expressive.
Connecting Intellectually– In order to connect with people on an intellectual level, you must know two things: your subject and yourself. There’s no substitute for personal experience when we want to connect with people’s hearts. If you know something without having lived it, your audience experiences a credibility gap. Effective communicators are comfortable in their own skin. They are confident because they know what they can and cannot do.
Connecting Emotionally– If you want to win another person over, first, win her heart and the rest of her is likely to follow. Communication does not depend on syntax or eloquence but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. You need to be positive, believe in yourself and focus on others. By so doing, you will be able to connect with others, making it possible for others to feel what you feel which is the essence of connecting on the emotional level.
Connecting Verbally– What people hear. Words are the currency of ideas and have the power to change the world. What we say and how we say it make quite an impact. Tone, inflection, timing, volume, pacing – everything you do with your voice communicates something and has the potential to help you connect or disconnect from others when you speak.
In order for you to connect with your audience, your message must be your own and so must your style. Develop your skills as a connector in every kind of situation and never forget that communication goes beyond words.