How you say it is as important as what you say

Recently I went to hear the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra play It was a concert for middle school students and they were demonstrating how the use of pacing, tone and sound can convey a message, even when there are no words.

As the conductor explained what they were trying to demonstrate, you could see a number of the students rolling their eyes and snickering.

Then the orchestra started to play. As their pace quickened (sorry if this isn’t correct terminology but hopefully you understand what I mean) the students became more excited and moved forward in their seats. When the pace slowed, they sat back a bit and waited anxiously. The percussions started up and the excitement returned. Then there was a soft solo by a violinist and the room became completely quiet so everyone could hear.

The concert only lasted 45 minutes and at the end, the students gave a very excited and very genuine ovation.

This made me think about people speaking. When people give presentations, they frequently spend a great deal of time on the content and not nearly enough time on the way they present the content.

Do you think about your intonation, pacing, volume etc? Do you realize how much you can affect the final message with things other than the actual words?

If you are excited about something, make sure the excitement is “heard” in your voice as well as your words. If you want to get someones attention, alter your volume. Sometimes, this means speaking louder and other times it means speaking softer..

There is much you can do to convey your message outside of just the choice of words. Give this some thought and you can become a better communicator

Have a great day!


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