I know what many of you are wondering.
Has Professor Albert Mehrabian every watched Doctor Who? Well, if he has, I suspect he would have been unimpressed with the Daleks.
Not that their destructive firepower or battle body armour were not awe inspiring – they were. For Professor Mehrabian, the problem would lie in one facet of their characters: tone of voice.
Mehrabian developed a communication model in which he demonstrated that only 7% of what we communicate consists of the message’s literal content. The use of one’s voice, such as tone, intonation and volume, take up 38% and as much as 55% of communication consists of body language. This 7 – 38 – 55 model is still much used today.
Furthermore, when voice only communication was analysed the figures were even more stark – 87% for tone of voice and only 13% for the words and language used.
So, where does this leave online communication by video conference call?
In the burgeoning world of online activity, this is a problem for countless professionals. In video conference calls, much of our communication armoury has been stripped away from us. How can we develop deeper relationships and greater engagement with clients, colleagues, prospects and introducers, when it is much more difficult to ‘read’ physical cues? Body language counts for much less online and is more difficult to interpret.
For me, the message is clear. Your tone of voice during a video call is more important than ever. Pace, volume, timbre, inflection and melody are all vital in making conversations interesting, especially when telling business-related stories.
For Dalek society, just as for the modern professional, a monotone voice will militate against the building of rapport (although not necessarily universal domination).
So, if your delivery is monotonous, it might be time to practice becoming more melodic. Alternatively, see if there are any vacancies with a race of extra-terrestrial cyborgs.