Marketing Advisor Update

Sales and marketing tips, insights and advice for service businesses amd companies selling complex or technical products.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Presentation Skills Myth De-bunked

For years many presentation skills workshops have promoted the "fact" that the meaning of your message is accounted for mainly by your body language (tone of voice and gestures) - with only 7% being attributable to the actual words you use.

For a detailed exposure of this myth see this blog post by New Zealander Olivia Mitchell.

My view...

Yes, the original research from the 1960's may have been misquoted. However reality is that the impact you - as a presenter - make on your audience is a combined result of your words, voice, mannerisms, gestures, and of course any visual aids or props you may use.

That is... both content (words) and delivery (style) are important.

Yes, the "fact" that words alone account for only 7% of the message is not correct. Doubt this? check one of the many technically-oriented presentations given by Bill Gates - he still gets a message across even though he usually does very little apart from the words he says. (When it comes to presentations he's certainly not an entertainer!)

My message here is that a presenter must manage all aspects of the presentation to get the result they are aiming for from their audience.

Presentations are about communication. It's about getting a result. Moving people to action - either in thought or in person.

To learn more about how you can improve your own presentations skills check out my presentation skills workshop coming up in Sydney and Brisbane.

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  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Peter Bowler said…

    It's good to see that the myth is being de-bunked. But it's also good to see that we are not heading in the wrong direction. Personality, gestures, and animation all make for an engaging presentation. If you can add something more to an already good verbal presentation, you should do so.
    Peter Bowler
    Time to Market

  • At 6:07 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Presentation skills is so important. Well said. I agree with Peter that our passion and energy will add to a presentation.


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