- On November 17, 2019
Lawyers love words but often mess up the delivery by speaking too fast or in a drone. I always tell lawyers to vary their speed and volume for the best effect when in important face-to-face meetings like interviews. And now I love it when science backs me up — changing up your cadence and volume indeed reels your listener in! See this recent New York Times article.
The science behind this phenomenon is listeners are constantly evaluating speakers on their content, knowledge and delivery. So speaking louder is a cue to listeners that you are confident, and thus they find you more persuasive. Also your voice combined with your physical presence can make your audience pay much more attention than messages delivered in writing. As Wharton Professor Berger says: “Sometimes we think crafting the perfect email will be the best way to persuade people…. But what we find in our work is the voice can be quite impactful.”
So take advantage of those in-person meetings. Don’t just prepare what you say but how you say it. Connect with people. Make them want to listen to you more rather than tune you out!