You’ve heard the maxim:
“It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.”
B.S. I say… that statement is missing the mark significantly because it’s only partially right.
It’s not only what, but how you say it… AND when (or if) you say what you say that truly matters most.
It’s not enough to say the right things… You also have to say them in the right way, and at the right time. The tone, intention, and timing also have to be taken into consideration and executed properly.
Otherwise, the “right things” you say will fall on deaf ears, and therefore not connect to your audiences, for your purposes.
Here’s the 3 key communications components to master:
1. The content… the what >> the specifics; the details; the actual words you are saying (or writing)… are you talking about the right things? Make sure you are on-point with the subject matter at hand. Deal with one thing at a time.
2. The delivery… the how >> the style; the feelings you are invoking from the words you are saying (or writing)… are you coming off real, or real clueless? This is the area that most misunderstand, underestimate, and fail to master. If you’re saying the right things, but in the wrong way… you’re done. You might as well have said nothing.
3. The timing… the when >> dependent upon the situation; the right moments to say what needs to be said… are you aware of your “if-to-now-or-later-or-never” decision? Sometimes, saying nothing right now, is the right thing to do.
… all are all equally important for “great communication” to occur. If you think you’ve communicated clearly, but your audience (whether it’s 1 or 1000) doesn’t think so, you’ve failed.
Founder of Fastway, Fast Eddie Clark sums all of this up nicely with a single word… “dynamics”… when describing his band:
“I don’t think Fastway are in any way a heavy metal band really. The whole emphasis of our band is dynamics and vocals, and the songs should have some meaning. Heavy Metal bands don’t do that. They go woaaarrrggghhh…” (Creem Magazine, Dec. 1983) ~ Fast Eddie Clark
As in music, excellent dynamics also dictate excellent communication. Just because you may want to say it, how you want to say it, and when you want to say it doesn’t mean you always should. You can say what you will… but you have to ask yourself if this will serve you or the situation the best… Often it doesn’t.
It’s those who pause to consider the dynamics of their communication, before proceeding, who have the fewest feet to remove from their mouths.
So say what you will; just say it well, in the right way, and at the right time…
>> Select articles from the Sound Matters column series are also featured on AntiHero Magazine HERE.