Effective Communication Skills: It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Here’s a great way to improve your presentations skills by learning that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

An amateur presenter or someone that's new to presenting thinks it's all about the content they're going to deliver.

They'll think, “What am I going to say?”, "What should I show on the slide deck?", "How am I going to memorise the content?", etc.

But in actuality, in improving your effective communication skills, one of the most important things is HOW you say something, not WHAT you say.

93% of communication is nonverbal. So, if you're only focusing on what to say - the bullet points you want to get across, the order, the flip chart, and all that stuff, you're only focusing on 7% of your presentation.

You also must focus on your stage skills. The way you say something can completely change the meaning of what you’re saying and improve your verbal communication skills.

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

I didn't say he stole the money.”  – this implies that “I” didn’t say it. Someone else may have said he stole the money.

“I DIDN’T say he stole the money.” – this implies I’m denying saying that he stole the money.

“I didn't SAY he stole the money.”  – this implies I may have indicated he stole the money in another way, such as pointing him out, rather than using words.

“I didn't say HE stole the money.” – this implies that someone else may have stolen the money.

“I didn't say he STOLE the money.” – this implies that he might have borrowed, rather than stole the money.

As you can see, if we go through this same sentence, it can have a totally different meaning, depending on how you say it.

Stage Skills Are Also Important

Stage skills are a must if you want to have good communication skills. Imagine if I were to introduce myself at a course or seminar and spoke in a monotone way about how and why my business partner and I started Authentic Education.

Imagine if I stood in just one place on stage and didn't have any animation or movement or emotion in my voice.

I’m sure that would create a very different perception of my knowledge and professionalism.

A lot of what you should actually be practising is stage skills. This includes hand movements and gestures and even the different places you could go on stage.

For instance, when you're talking about the past, you could walk to a certain part of the stage each time. You could walk to the left side of the stage.

Then when you talk about the present, you could move to the centre.

As for talking about the future, you could always move to the right side of the stage.

There are lots of things you could do with stage skills.

Just remember that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

My advice is you should be practising how you say something just as much, if not more, as to why you say it. Check out our other public speaking tips here.

If you would like to improve your presenting and verbal communication skills, join one of our FREE Public Speaking Groups across Australia by clicking here.

Want to learn how to become a professional speaker and get paid well to do it? Enquire about our Present Like A Pro program here.

Read more about: Marketing

Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.