Hey smooth talker

brain-153040_1280Some people talk too fast, some talk too slowly, and um, some are just incoherent altogether. At least that’s what I tend to find when approached by an exhibitor at an event, or even when I’m listening to a speaker during a seminar.

So much about our relationships and interaction with others is dependent on communication, and can either hinder or help the success of a sale on the show floor.

What’s more is that how we say something can be just as important as what we say. Two people can deliver the same set of words, but their tone, volume, pitch, and pace of speaking can completely change the message that is being conveyed.

According to the American Association for Public Opinion Research by a team from the University of Michigan, a speed of about 3.5 words per second was considered ideal and effective at getting people to listen to your pitch.

Simon Press

Interviewing senior exhibition director Simon Press at World Travel Market 2013

Their study found that with a medium-to-fast speed, you’re more likely to be successfully persuasive with the words you’re saying. The same research also found that as a man, a slightly deeper voice was perceived more powerful, but tone and pitch of a woman made no difference. The research also suggested that frequent pauses really helped getting the message get across to the listener, influencing them more.

People can often read into our intentions and thoughts depending on how we say something, so when our speech isn’t matching our behaviour, people may be quick to judge you as untrustworthy or manipulative.

Speechmaking coach Martin Newman, of The Newman Partnership explains that research has shown 60 per cent of effective communication comes from the body, 30 per cent from the quality, speed and tone of the voice – with just 10 per cent down to a presentation’s actual content.

So, whether you’re pitching a sale on the show floor, speaking in public, or simply trying to win a fight with your other half, think about how and what you want to say, and deliver.

What do you think #eventprofs, what are you actually saying when you talk? Comment below and have your say.

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