Here is the full text and summary of researcher Vivian Ta’s talk titled “Communication in the 21st Century: Is It What You Say, Not How You Say It? “at TEDx KitchenerED conference. In this talk, she argues how and why verbal behaviors, rather than nonverbal behaviors, are most critical in today’s digital society.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Vivian Ta – Psychology researcher
What’s more important in communication, “What you say?” or “How you say it?”
Generally, the consensus tends to lean more towards how we say things: our body language, or our non-verbal behaviors, as social scientists call it.
And if you look online, you’ll quickly find this to be true.
Most of the attention historically and currently has been paid towards the importance of non-verbal behavior within communication, because non-verbals supply a lot of information that isn’t projected or supplied verbally.
In fact, as I was looking up examples for this talk, I even came across an article titled “What TED talks speakers teach us about presenting”. And one of the things that they focus on is the power of nonverbal. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, or is it?
I want to challenge that perhaps what we say: our verbal behaviours are much more important than we realize. Perhaps what we say has been so much more important now than it ever has been before in history. And perhaps we’ve been focusing on the wrong aspect of communication for a while.