Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Three weeks ago, one of my clients, asked me to prep them for an online presentation they were about to give a week later. First, I started explaining the process of which I usually use in this scenario but he insisted he knows the material well and suggested he pitched once to me to see where he stands.
He started. Man did he know his stuff!!!! Well...I think he did. But not sure as I fell asleep after about a minute and a half. A UCLA research found that the impact your tone of voice has on your audience when speaking is 38% of the whole package. Let me spell it for you - THIRTY EIGHT!!! Almost half! By the way, the same research found that another 55% comes from your gestures. Your body language. Hence, I can only assume that when the pitch is online, the tone of voice has even higher impact. You see, if you know math very well, it does not mean you know how to teach math. If you are a super star basketball player it does not mean you are a good coach (this means you Mr. Isiah I was a huge fan as a kid but couldn’t stand you as a coach Thomas).
Yesterday, I attended this online webinar. A fairly senior manager from one large company started it off. SHE WAS READING!!! It was clear, frustrating and.....SLEEPY!!! I mean, come on!!! Don’t you know how important it is to kick off on a good note? How crucial it is, especially in an on-line session, to be able and setup the right ambiance for the event or you lose the audience?? It’s an emotional thing ladies and gentlemen - get your crowd emotionally engaged they will stay intrigued and remain tuned in. Get them emotionally detached and you lost them. Forever. The same goes of course when you face your audience in physical room. Except, the room itself, the lighting, the furniture, the presence of the people is what creates the ambiance. Everyone sees you. If you read then, you can get away with it a bit easier as you look up and everyone is there, looking at you.
"The three elements...account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings: words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking." Albert Mehrabian, UCLA
You know how when it's dark, your hearing gets better? As if one sense compensates for another. One of the psychological essence of Emotional Relevance is to understand that dynamic of the senses. Our senses react according to our emotional state. When you are pitching online, your audience's senses are much more sensitive so when you read in an online session....it is at least 38% more noticeable... By the time she got to introduce the first speaker I was so ticked off I hung up. So I took my client through my process which includes a first step of a mini interview. Basically so I understand the WHAT and then, I can work on the HOW. This is what I do after all. Through elements of Emotional Relevance in different means of communication so you can sell more, retain your customers longer. I ended up emceeing that event. We invited another Subject Matter Expert and turned it into an interactive interview like discussion. Just the mere fact that the audience heard three different tones of voice already made it more intriguing for them. My client was highlighted (even though he did not speak as much as he initially planned) as the expert and the participants stayed online throughout the entire session. Not one dropped. Folks. How to emcee is a profession. How to moderate is an acquired talent. People invest a lot learning how to do it. Be honest with yourself and get someone to help you with the HOW. After all, 93% of your impact on your audience comes from the HOW and only the remaining 7% come from the WHAT. Oh, and that lady from yesterday who was reading her material for a good 10 minutes and helped me with my afternoon nap...man, she knew her stuff.