The 3Vs of Communication

Have you been burning the midnight oil cutting from Word and pasting into PowerPoint?

Communication is not just about words, words, words. Words are just the first V. Actually, the least important V as fate would have it.

Here’s what you need to work on as you work on your next presentation

1. Verbal:

Ensure yours are well-chosen words, and strategic. Keep them few enough to be concise and convincing enough to be complete.

That said, public speaking is not ‘public reading.’ It’s really not about what you say, but rather how you say it.

That’s where the other V’s come to the rescue.

2. Vocal (para-verbal):

Your tone of voice adds or takes away from what you are saying. Vary your tone and pitch. Pause and pace yourself to engage your audience. Let them hear the meaning of your words in the way you articulate them. Most importantly, be audible.

Speak up, or speak not.

3. Visual (non-verbal):

This refers to every visible aspect of communication – anything that the eye can perceive. From your body language to your PowerPoint Slides. What picture is the audience getting? What message are you sending with your gestures, facial expressions and even your attitude?

So which is the most important V?

According to the widely-quoted Psychologist, Prof. Albert Mehrabian Menhebrain: “Words account for 7%, Tone of voice accounts for 38%, and Body language accounts for 55% ”

So there we are. It's not what you say; it's how you say it!

To read more on this subject and surrounding controversies, visit the following groups

Public Speaking


Speakers Federation

The author is an Executive Coach and Certified Trainer in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya

Copyright © Caroline Nderitu. 2013. All Rights Reserved.