The Components of Influence – and What it Means for Your Personal Brand
Personal branding to me is more than simply marketing oneself. There are a million and one ways to do this; but all the marketing in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you aren’t able to influence anyone to buy in to your product or service. I thought about this as I watched a video that a friend of mine, Matthew Harris, shared with me. The video was a presentation conducted by Nick Sarnicola, co-founder and Global Ambassador for Visalus Sciences. He makes in excess of $350,000 per month. That’s staggering! After watching the video I felt I had to share a bit of the information Nick delivered. I made it my own but the principle still stands.
55% Physiology (body language/posture)
“Your posture will say volumes about you before you even open your mouth to speak”
Physiology in this case refers to your body language. Others call it posture. Your posture most often is evident to your listener whether the person you are speaking to can see you or not. You see, its a matter of how your listener perceives your posture to be. To illustrate my point, go slouch on your couch like you’ve never slouched before. Pick up the phone and call one of your friends…any friend. Then, try having an engaging, energetic, and compelling conversation over the phone while staying in your super slouched position. It becomes that much more difficult keep it up huh? Even the way you feel about yourself at that very moment can be affected by you slouching on the couch. Now try standing upright, and give yourself some space. Own that space. Now, try giving that engaging, energetic, compelling speech over the phone again. Totally different right?
Your body has a funny way of conveying the appropriate set of emotions and actions based on your posture; verbal and non verbal.
A general rule of thumb is to try to be enthusiastic about the subject. Enthusiasm is attractive; so to maximize the effectiveness of how we communicate affects others, let’s check our physiology as we choose to engage our listeners. By this alone we would have already garnered more than half the intended (or unintended) impact.
Simple things to do to make you naturally engaging.
- use hand gestures
- don’t slouch
- keep your body moving
30% Voice Qualities (how you say what you say)
The tone of your voice (your voice fluxes) literally has an effect on how others take in the information you’re feeding them. More importantly, how you say what you say will either seal the deal or break the deal. I could swear at you with a harsh and angry tone, and you’ll probably get offended, or I could smile and caress the swear word and chances are you probably won’t get too offended, if at all.
When the tone of your voice matches your physiology (posture), 85% of the work is already done. All you have to do now is say the right thing.
15% The Words You Use (what you actually say)
This is an art in itself, but don’t be mistaken to think that you have to be a genius here. As long as what you say is not illegal you’re fine, lol. Ok let’s get serious. The words you use, backed by a strong, unwavering belief in whatever you’re communicating will send a direct and clear message that you mean business; and the influence that you will have over your listener will be incredible. Job done.
Forget trying to find the best buzz words, or the 5 most convincing words to use in a conversation. The actual words themselves are only worth 15% of the overall sum, while 85% of what you are communicating has nothing to do with the words that are coming out of your mouth. Take that in for a moment.
Your physiology (posture) = 55%, your tone of voice (how you say what you say) = 30%, and what you say…the words you actually use equals the remaining 15%. All these must all be in check in order to effectively influence. This is called CONGRUENCY. To sum it all up in one phrase would be, being congruent yields influence.
Make no mistake. How you present yourself has a huge impact as to how others perceive you to be. If you want to influence and inspire others, you must align yourself with the qualities that influencers and inspirational leaders possess. One such quality, again is, an unwavering belief in what you are communicating. This belief will influence body language, speech, and the words you use. Therefore what comes out of their mouths will be that much more compelling.
For those interested, here’s the video presentation featuring Nick Sarnicola.