I talk and get paid for it. Most women love to talk. In fact, the average woman speaks about 30,000 words a day, while the average male only speaks about 15,000. Sharing this information with my husband, he was clearly surprised. Though he agreed that women probably talk more than men, the twice as much figure really floored him.
After a moments reflection, he questioned why I thought that was so. Tongue in cheek, I responded that women speak twice as much as men, because when talking to men, they have to repeat themselves so much. Scrunching up his face, he looked at me and said ,”What?”
Women talk to re-new, while men stop talking to re-new. When a women ends her day, she wants to talk about it. When I man ends his day, he doesn’t want to talk about it. He had 15,000 words, he used them up at work…he’s done.
Though listening is a critical part of the process, there’s no doubt that talking is an important aspect of communication. In fact the nature of any relationship is based on the methods of communication between the people involved. If you can talk to someone you have a good relationship with them and if you can’t, you don’t. Though that may be an over-simplification in terms of the quality of a relationship, it’s significance remains.
As a public speaker, there are many communication concepts that keep proving themselves true, but here are four that deserve some emphasis:
#1 The stupidest people are usually the loudest.
#2 Light travels faster than the speed of sound, which is why many people look smart until they open their mouths and start talking.
#3 Stories lubricate the memory and usually enable the listener to recall or re-tell the information heard almost verbatim. Besides making a point in a non-threatening manner, using stories to communicate has another up-side. We actually tend to trust people who tell stories.
Psychologists tell us that this is a throwback to childhood, when those who told us stories were people we trusted; our religious leaders, favorite relatives, teachers, and parents. From our youth, most of us have become conditioned to believe that story tellers are trustworthy people.
I still fondly recall the popularity my grandmother had in my childhood neighborhood because of the wonderful stories she would tell. (I also think she may have served booze.)
In any event, though many parents use stories to put their kids to sleep, I, as a speaker use stories to wake people up.
#4 Summarizing and getting to the point are disappearing art forms. Most people have no idea how to capsulize a thought, or get to the point without garnishing their message with unimportant details while incessantly rambling on.
Of course, there are times for idle chit-chat, times when I just adore hashing our something down to the trivial. However when getting to the point is imperative, I’ve noticed that most people today just can’t seem to do it.
Wondering about this, I started considering the “get to the point” style of country-western music. I know of its increased fan base and growing genre popularity over the years. After thinking this through, I believe country western is so popular because each songs message is clear, succinct, unambiguous, concise and… tells it like it is.
With a country western song, you don’t have to interpret the lyrics, seek out the symbolism, hunt for the metaphors … the message is right there. For example, Johnny Paychecks, “ Take This Job and Shove it”, Jerry Reed’s “She Got the Gold Mine, I Got the Shaft” , Loretta Lynn’s “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” and Billy Currington’s “God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy.” Now you may not be a country western fan but you can’t deny that at least you understand what those songs are all about… in other words….you get the point.
Thanks to e-mail, texting, tweeting and the like, we really don’t have to talk much any more to communicate. Since scientists say that our pinkie fingers, wisdom teeth and appendix, are obsolete, let’s hope our voice boxes won’t be added to that list.
Nicki Joy, is an international sales/motivational speaker and the author of “ What Winners Do to Win" and "Selling Is A Woman's Game"
Whether selling a product, service, concept or yourself…
we all have to hone our communication skills.