The sway of the subconscious

3 april 2020

Presenting just a soft skill? No way! It’s tough as nails because it’s governed by the gut.

Name me one other field where you only have 2 seconds to prove yourself and hardly ever get a second chance.

How so? Well, just compare these two models:

Respective Impact of Body Language (55%), Voice (38%) and Content (7%) | The Iceberg Theory: Subconscious (95%) vs. Conscious (5%) Behavior

The first model stems from communication science, the second from psychology. Note how nicely the blue and green parts correspond across both models.

The gist is that our subconscious has a much greater impact on our decision making than our rational thinking. We’re governed by the gut rather than ratio when it comes to making choices or purchases, when pursuing our passions and when communicating with others. So, where does that leave the rational brain? Little more than a highly sophisticated excuse machine, it merely follows suit, providing elaborate rationales after the fact. So, contrary to what we’d like to believe, content is NOT king.

‘So how does this impact my presenting?’, you might ask. What it means is that you need to grab your audience by the b*lls or the p*ssy, to quote the much-revered leader of the free world, long before trying to get into their heads with meaningful content.

After all, any audience decision regarding your trustworthiness, credibility and leadership is largely a gut decision. And it is made within seconds, before you’ve even had the chance to say anything substantial. It’s the difference between having a free ride or doing repair work for the remainder of your talk. In practice, it means that if you make optimal use of your body and your voice, your message will go down like candy.

Want to know more about the role of the subconscious in presenting? Make sure to read the entire blog series.

Are you looking to optimally use your body and voice and generate impactful content? Please contact me for more information and a free, non-binding quote using the yellow button at the bottom of the page.