Written on 14 February 2019, 11:03am
- The misinterpretation of the Mehrabian theory
- The four stages of competence
- How to avoid death by PowerPoint
There is a theory attributed to Albert Mehrabian according to which the non-verbal communication (NVC) accounts for 93% of the overall communication. In other words, what you say has virtually no importance, while how you say it (the tone and the body language) is almost everything.
Without negating the importance of the NVC, it is quite clear that the Mehrabian theory only applies in limited cases. In fact, the theory itself states that it applies only to communication about feelings or attitudes. This video does a pretty good job to debunk the 7% myth.
That being said, I strongly believe that the delivery can make or break a presentation. Take the same content and have it presented by two random people and you’ll understand what I mean.
The learning circle (or the 4 stages of competence) is a very useful way to visualize the learning process:
Finally, a presentation about how you should do your presentations 🙂 If you only have time to watch one video about improving your presentation skills, it should be this one:
In a nutshell, keep in mind the following simple principles when working on your next slides:
- use a dark background
- add a single message per slide
- use keywords or images, not sentences
- use size to highlight the important elements
- don’t use more than 5 objects per slide
That being said, you can deviate from the principles above in case you don’t present your slides on a stage in front of an audience. A slide like the one below could still make sense during a meeting where you brainstorm with other technical colleagues: