Outstanding communication, to impact and influence the listener, does not have to mean that you have something super interesting to say, it means that you have communicated it in an effective way. It’s more about your methodology, not your content.

Research tells us that your content, ‘what you say’, is only 20-30% influential and impactful to the listener. Leaving the rest of 70-80% influence and impact to our Methodology, which is ‘how we say it’. (Even though a university lecturer has more content, they will not influence as many people immediately as their methodology lacks.)

In this discussion, we will be unpacking the various elements of methodology which includes;

  1. The 4 areas of nonverbal intelligence

  2. The 6 C’s of Influence

Let’s first look at the 4 areas of nonverbal intelligence which is something that professional speakers and comedians have learnt and mastered.

  1. Facial Expressions are key to both understanding people, mirroring their behavior as well as uncovering their likability and certainty. There are two elements here: Eyes and Facial muscles. Up to 90% of your certainty is through your eyes and many leaders crave certainty in their conversations. As leaders, we must show our certainty by not blinking too much, staying strong, and making eye contact. Learning when and when not to engage our facial muscles determines when you want them to come across you as a likeable and easily approachable person, or when you want them to come across you as a person with certainty and congruence.

  2. Gestures are imperative when it comes to showing your confidence. When you are speaking, keep your elbows bent and only move your hands when you speak. And when you pause, freeze the gesture. Remember to be graceful with your gestures when you are speaking. Keep your gestures minimal when speaking ‘one on one’. While when speaking to a crowd, keep your gestures larger.

  3. The third element of intelligence is  the “Voice Patterns”. Even though “Voice Patterns” sounds under the verbal category, this is still classed as an element of nonverbal intelligence. The lower your voice, the more credibility you have. And if you end your sentences in a lower tonality than the way you started the sentence, you will come across to be more confident.

  4. Body language & breathing is the 4th element of nonverbal intelligence, and we will split this in two, ‘waist down & waist up’. From your waist down, only move for a reason and a purpose, keep it locked. While your waist down is locked, you can move around as much as you like from the waist up, as long as it is graceful and with certainty. When it comes to breathing, breathe from your diaphragm and your voice will be lower.

The “6 C’s “of communication are important for first impressions when mastered you can show that you can lead, mirror & stand strong in any tough situations or with a senior executive .

The 6 C’s are:

  1. Confidence: You must show confidence in every situation – stand strong, speak strong, look strong.

  2. Competence :You must be competent with every word that you are saying, do not communicate anything unless you are confident in what you are saying, it must be relevant, interesting and applicable.

  3. Charisma: Being Charismatic in your communication is imperative for likeability & first impressions, this requires swagger and a smirk.

  4. Credibility: Credibility requires you to show that what you are saying is grounded with research, facts, statistics, and / or evidence. However, one of the most important elements of credibility is ‘Visually’ which is how you look. Are you dressed for the occasion? Do you visually look appealing to the customer? Looking sharp is important.

  5. Certainty: Certainty in how you communicate is more imperative in today’s world than any other time in history. The reason for this is that through 10 years of unprecedented change, we are more uncertain than ever before. What we want from leaders today is certainty.

  6. Congruence: Leaders have big bullshitometers in order to impress leaders. We must show our vulnerability, and speak with truth & authenticity. People will know if you are congruent or incongruent, only speak the truth .

The future of communication for leaders is about mastering your nonverbal intelligence and capturing the essence of these 6 C’s in order for you to be successful. Today more than ever, we must learn how to influence better and show power through communication. Ultimately, the greatest way to do this is through quality feedback. Everyone wants to give you feedback, even your mum. Get quality feedback….

Sam Cawthorn is a 7 time author with his last book Storyshowing, becoming International bestseller . He is the CEO & Founder of Speakers Institute which runs communication & influence training for professionals globally. Our difference is that you learn the theory first then when you come to our live events our qualified trainers give you quality feedback.

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