After today’s presentation to 200+ staff from Macquarie Telecom I was left to reflect on the positive feedback and a few concepts about speaking and presenting, or simply communication. I say simply yet the vagueness of the word communication actually makes for a complex discussion, but that is for another time. While taking some time tonight to reflect on today’s session I was interesting in seeking out some clarity around the concepts of who we engage, connect, communicate and interact. Again this was a little broad so I simple tried to find info on the notion about verbal and non verbal communication. Namely a pioneer in the field Albert Mehrabian. Now this lead me to an assumption made about the concept and something I have sensed for some time and yet until now did not feel a need to seek it out. What I found was a little video about busting the Mehrabian myth…
Personally it has been something that when asked to present I would always feel extremely nervous about. How can it be that the content or words don’t matter as much as how you say it? The feedback I often receive is how through energy, approachability and insight I often engage groups in a way that inspires. I mention this not because I feel like boasting but because I am extremely curious as to the impact I have and others have with small and large groups. My interest is in why and how we engage and the authentic nature of connecting even in a short time frame like a 30min or 1hr presentation.
When I present I prepare greatly with clients and do a heap of information gathering to ensure I understand at least in part where the organisation, group and individuals are coming from and where they wish to head. To me it has always been important to get the words, language and content right. The match is not by chance and the connecting messages stimulated through briefings and interactions prior to the presentations.
Today was not just about tone, and body language or facial expression, it was a lot more and even with words, messages and stories there was more. The Mehrabian myth can be understood as simple miss communications. Simplicity in the form of trying to make sense of a concept related to all of us. Yet weighting the impact of importance forgets the greatest of human capacities. We adapt, we flex and we learn. Much for than what is mentioned is going on and this leads to more subtle forms of the interactions we have. The grading of information is so vast and unlimited and we can probably never full know what is hitting us and what is influencing us when we talk communication.
This is just the tip of the ice berg I imagine. Not just the myth or the concept a person proposed but all those who communicate it in any form including approximations and distortion. It all matters and I am aware how important it is as a facilitator and presenter it is to stay open, genuine and connected.