Have you noticed how often what you say is misinterpreted because of the TONE of your words? Frequently it’s not what you say but how you say it. The tone of your words can communicate so much more than the actual words.
Zig Ziglar in his book, Secrets of Closing the Sale demonstrates how the way you say something can dramatically alter what you mean to say. In the sentences below, accentuate the one word which appears in CAPS. Simply put extra emphasis on that one word as you read out loud. Each sentence is exactly the same, but watch what happens when you place emphasis on the different words.
“I” didn’t say he broke the cup. (Someone else said it)
I DIDN’T say he broke the cup. (I flatly deny saying it)
I didn’t SAY he broke the cup. (I implied it, though)
I didn’t say HE broke the cup. (Someone else, not him)
I didn’t say he BROKE the cup. (Perhaps cracked it, but definitely did not break it)
I didn’t say he broke the CUP. (It was actually a small jug)
Aren’t the differences interesting? All because you merely accentuated a different word in the exact same sentence!
By noticing our voice inflection and intonation, we can work magic with words, and improve our positive communication skills in dramatic ways. Practice noticing “how” you say things to people even more than “what” you say to people.