Business Communication–Micro-Messages are the Most Important

2 Nov

Imagine yourself as a salesperson, trying to sell one of your company’s products to a group of clients. How are you going to prepare for your presentation?

Most people will be busy writing the presentation summary and choosing the right words to say. However, people often neglect the importance of micro-messages.

Micro-messages are subtle signals that we give off while conveying or receiving a message. The subtle signals we send can influence what other people think of us. Micro-messages include our gestures, expressions, and tone of voice. When we are having conversations with other people, for example, we can send a positive micro-message by leaning forward to show that we are interested in what they are saying. Research shows that people pay more attention to the subtle signals than to what we say.

Using the sales scenario from above, here are components to sending positive micro-messages:

  • Voice. Confidence communicated by our voices can speak louder than our words. Speak up and be confident. If you sound excited about the product, then your clients are more likely to be excited, too.
  • Gestures. Be mindful of your body language. In a sales presentation, rolling your eyes and folding your arms give off the impression that you are not excited about the product. Having meaningful hand gestures will help you deliver ideas effectively to the clients.
  • Appearance. We draw conclusions about others without them saying anything. It is human nature to base a portion of our judgment on appearances. If you are dressed well and act confidently, then chances are, you already gained your clients’ trust.
  • Greet people. By greeting someone, you give the impression that you have respect for the person. First impressions carry an enormous weight, especially if you want to make a sale; you have one chance to get off on the right foot. If you see your client on your way to the bathroom, for example, do not look down because you feel awkward. Smile and say hello.

Why are micro-messages so important? Positive micro-messages help effectively convey our spoken and written messages, while negative micro-messages will get us on people’s blacklist in no time.

by Yuwei Lu

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One Response to “Business Communication–Micro-Messages are the Most Important”

  1. Elisabeth Green November 9, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    I think Steve Jobs is a perfect example of how important and effective micro-messages cam be for a presentation. Jobs would be so hyped up about his product, causing the audience to naturally become engaged and excited about the product as well. As you stated, a presenter’s gestures, tone, and appearance can truly make or break a presentation. The audience will remember a strong and confident speaker who believes in his idea or product, and great products have the potential to fail if their presenter doesn’t fully engage the audience with his or her micro-messages.

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