Communication is the exchange of ideas, information, and feelings between two or more people. It is a complex process that involves various components such as what you say, how you sound, and what you look like. The are known as the three V’s of communication – Verbal, Vocal, and Visual. These components work together to help individuals convey their message effectively. Once you understand
the total communication package, your chances of getting your point across the first time will greatly increase.
What You Say
The verbal component is only 7% of your overall message. It is the use of words to express ideas, thoughts, and emotions. It can be delivered through different mediums such as speaking, writing, or sign language. In verbal communication, the words used must be chosen carefully to convey the intended meaning accurately. It is important to consider the tone of voice, the choice of words, and the context in which they are used.
The tone of voice plays a significant role in verbal communication. It refers to the way the words are spoken, including the volume, pitch, and speed of delivery. The tone of voice can convey emotions such as anger, excitement, sadness, or happiness. It can also affect how the message is perceived by the listener. For example, if the tone is harsh, it can make the listener defensive or even angry, even if the message itself is not intended to be negative.
The choice of words is also crucial in verbal communication. The words used must be appropriate for the context and the audience. The use of jargon, technical terms, or slang can be confusing for some listeners. It is important to choose words that are easy to understand and to avoid using words that can be misinterpreted.
How You Sound
Vocal communication is the way in which words are delivered and it makes up 38% of your message. It includes elements such as volume, pitch, tone, and speed. These elements work together to create the desired effect. Vocal communication can convey emotions and attitudes that are not expressed through words alone.
Volume refers to the loudness or softness of the voice. It can be used to express emotions such as excitement, anger, or sadness. For example, a loud voice can convey excitement, while a soft voice can indicate sadness.
Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of the voice. It can be used to convey emotions such as anger, enthusiasm, or boredom. A high-pitched voice can indicate excitement, while a low-pitched voice can indicate boredom or fatigue.
Tone refers to the overall quality of the voice. It can convey emotions such as confidence, doubt, or enthusiasm. For example, a confident tone can inspire trust, while a doubtful tone can make the listener question the message.
Speed refers to the rate at which words are spoken. It can be used to convey emotions such as excitement, nervousness, or impatience. For example, a fast pace can indicate excitement, while a slow pace can indicate boredom or reluctance.
How You Look
Visual communication is the use of nonverbal cues to convey a message. It includes elements such as facial expressions, body language, and gestures. Visual communication can complement verbal and vocal communication and help to reinforce the message being conveyed. At 55%, this element makes up the majority of your message.
The visual component of communication also includes the use of visual aids such as images, charts, graphs, videos, and other visual elements to convey information and meaning in communication. Visual aids can enhance communication by making complex ideas easier to understand, by engaging the audience’s attention, and by providing a clear and memorable way to convey information.
To communicate in the most effective way possible, consider the three V’s. Make sure that what you say, how you sound, and how you look is conveying a congruent message so that your message is received the way you intended.
For more ways to improve your communication, check out our workshops or my book Communicate Like a Boss.