Why ‘HOW’ You Say Something Is More Important Than ‘WHAT’ You Say

An amateur presenter or someone that's new to presenting thinks it's ALL about the content they're going to deliver. They'll think “What am I going to say”, "What should I show on the slide deck", "How am I going to memorise the content" etc.

But in actuality, one of the most important things is HOW you say something, not WHAT you say.

93% of communication is nonverbal. So you're focusing all your time on 7% percent which is what you say, the bullet points you want to get across, the order, the flip chart, all that stuff.

You need to also focus on your stage skills. The way you say something can completely change the meaning of what you’re saying.

So as an example, when it comes to phrasing, review the following:


I didn't say he stole the money.”  – this implies that “I” didn’t say it. Someone else may have said he stole the money.

“I DIDN’T say he stole the money.” – this implies I’m denying  say he stole the money.

“I didn't SAY he stole the money.”  – this implies I may have indicated he stole the money in another way, such as pointing him out, rather than using words.

“I didn't say HE stole the money.” – this implies that someone else may have stolen the money.

“I didn't say he STOLE the money.” – this implies that he might have borrowed, rather than stole the money.

As you can see, if we go through this same sentence, it can have a totally different meaning, depending on how you say it.

Imagine if I were to introduce myself at a course or seminar & spoke in a monotone way about how and why my business partner and I started Authentic Education.

Imagine if I stood in just one place on stage, and didn't have any animation or movement or emotion in my voice.

I’m sure that would create a very different perception of my knowledge and professionalism.

A lot of what you should be actually practicing is stage skills. This includes hand movements and gestures. Even different places you could go on stage.

As an example, when you're talking about the past, you can walk to a certain part of the stage each time. For example when you're talking about the past you could always walk to the left of the stage. Then when you talk about the present you always move to the center. And then when you talk about the future you always move to the right.

So there's lots of things you could do with stage skills. Just know, it's not just about what you say. It's about how you say it. You should be practicing how you say something just as much, if not more, as why you say it.

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Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.