It Isn’t What We Say

Here’s a fascinating study. Students were asked to watch silent videos of teachers teaching a class and then rate/rank those teachers

The student’s watched the video for somewhere around 4 to 5 minutes and then rated the teacher’s ability to teach.

Now these are silent videos, so all that the students could see and rate was the teacher’s facial expressions and body language.

Next, they compared the ratings or rankings of those students (who had watched the videos) with the ratings given by the ‘live’ students the teacher had the whole semester.

What’s amazing was that the ranking and grades matched

That’s right – the rankings / ratings and the grade matched up.

For example, a teacher who had gotten fours and fives from their ‘live’ students after a semester long class received the same rating from students who watched a silent video of them for about five minutes.

In a later study, rather than getting the students to watch 4-5 minute videos, they were given videos just 20 seconds in length

Again they rated the teachers and these ratings were compared to students who had attended the class – live, for the entire semester.

Once again the ratings matched up.

This shows that words don’t matter nearly as much as we think they do.

What this means for you, is that when you walk into a room, or meet someone for the first time, etc. – they form, or have formed their ‘first impression’ of you, in many instances even BEFORE you’ve said a word!

When you are preparing a presentation to a colleague or at work or when a teacher is preparing for a class, we all put our biggest energy, focus and effort into organizing WHAT we are going to say, we rarely think about HOW we are going to say it.

Maybe that’s putting the cart before the horse…….

When working with clients – are you the same perhaps? Do you pay attention, more attention even, to HOW you say things than to WHAT you are saying?

If not, then perhaps RIGHT NOW is the time to start doing so.

How you say something is more important – people’s first impression of just your body language is important and very accurate.

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