(2 Minute Read)
Writing is hard. A pair of studies done in the late 60's (Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967 and Mehrabian & Ferris, 1967) dissected communication into three parts:
55% = Nonverbal (Body Language/Facial Expressions)
38% = Tone
7% = Words
The exact number doesn't matter. What's interesting is that most of communication is body language and tone. For example, two people can use the same words but mean different things.
Imagine someone yelling "I hate you!", after you killed their fish vs. a friend who whispers, "I hate you", after you push them in the pool at the end of a sunny day in Riverside. Same words, but their body language and tone both aid in clearly expressing their emotional truth behind the words. It's what acting teachers call "reading between the lines" when looking through a script.
On the other hand, how easy is it to misinterpret a text message? (Here's a hilarious Key & Peele clip that captures this point exactly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naleynXS7yo )
Of the three, words make up the smallest portion of communication. I switched my major to creative writing so I can learn to use words better. It's been tough and I haven't written a blog post in a while. I guess, learning to communicate with precision is a lifelong endeavor.
That's just one reason why I'm starting a podcast! Woah that came out of nowhere. Oops. With a podcast, not only do I get the words, but I also get the tone of voice. Yay, that covers ~45% of communication!
Also, I've recorded a handful of conversations already and I was surprised at how fun it was to converse with someone for 2 hours with no distractions at all. The microphone creates a space where people care what they say and how they say it. It sounds like the perfect space to practice communicating.
Here's to learning how to become a more effective, efficient, and creative communicator.