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Lisa Akesson's picture

The power of face-to-face communication in an increasingly technological world

In a world where we spend vast amounts of time on emails, text messages, social media and automated services, one wonders if technology and social media are in fact, anti-social, taking us away from that very important face-to-face communication with another human being.

A new piece of reserach has looked into the amount of times British smartphone users check their handsets and on average, it is 221 times a day! The relationship we have with our phones and technological devices seems to have taken over our face-to-face interaction with each other.

Back in 2009, Forbes asked 750 business professionals: "Do you still feel face-to-face communication is essential for business?" The results were that 8 out of 10 respondents said that they preferred face-to-face over technology.

Increasingly, scientists in fields as diverse as neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology and network theory are discovering that human beings are hardwired to sense and respond to the emotions of others. Businesses have long marketed their products and services within the belief that consumers make logically based decisions. But the reality is that humans make collaborative decisions and are driven by their emotions.

The benefit of speaking with friends, colleagues or clients face-to-face, is our power to influence and build stronger, more long lasting relationships. If you are able to read a person’s facial expression, body language and decipher meaning through the nuance of their inflection and tone, you are far closer to developing that all important intimacy, trust and rapport necessary for any successful business relationship. As Dr. Kate Roberts, a Boston-based school psychologist puts it: “These are all fundamental to establishing human relationships. And they’re all missing with most forms of modern technology."

Live meetings deliver the rich and powerful experiences that virtual meetings can’t. They deliver motivation along with messaging - and inspiration along with information. So whether you are discussing a work situation, putting yourself across at an interview, pitching a new idea, presenting an update or inspiring your employees to take action, possessing the essential skills on how to communicate with confidence is vital.

So the next time you think about using a technological device to get your message across, think again. Would there be a greater benefit if you spoke directly to the person in question? How much more of a lasting impression would you make with him/her? What would it add to your personal or business relationship? Would you end up with a better outcome?

Here are 3 key things to be aware of when presenting your message face-to-face:

1) Your Physical Presence ... own your space with energy and confidence

2) Your Vocal Presence ... ensure your voice is supported by your breath and that you allow pitch, pace and pause to reflect your meaning

3) Your Audience ... know whom you are speaking to and adjust your style and behaviour to match that person without losing your authenticity

This article was first published in http://www.lisaakesson.com/#!Interviews-

Image Credits: 

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22406955@N07/6217573246">Women's Business Social 051</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

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