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Are You Making This Mistake With Your Message?

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Whether you’re holding a presentation at work, explaining what you do at a networking event, or selling yourself to a potential employer, you’re conveying a message. If that message isn’t conveyed clearly and effectively, your time is wasted and your message is lost.

Are you focusing 100% of your preparation time on the CONTENT of your message? If so, you’re not alone, but you’re not doing yourself a service.

Only 7% of your message is received through your content. The other 93% is through your tone and message. If you’re completely ignoring these things, you’re hurting your message.

“Your tone and your body language are important,” said Doug Melder, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company. “So important [that] it can either enhance or betray your message.”

So, does that mean you should spend 93% of your time on tone and body language and only 7% of your time on content? Absolutely not. Content is still king, and without good content, your message is sure to fail.

Instead of going to that extreme, bring your content preparation time down from 100% to 80%, before your next presentation, introduction, or meeting, according to Melder. This should give you plenty of time to focus on your tone and body language.

You always have enough content, he said. Spend that extra time focusing on your tone and your message. That will help ensure that your message is enhanced, not betrayed.

Your message is important, no matter what you’re trying to convey to someone. If you don’t articulate it effectively, your message will get lost. Are you making this mistake with your message? What have you done to overcome it? Will you implement this strategy?

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Ariella Coombs Ariella is the Content Strategist and Career Coach for Work It Daily. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.