Lee's 'Better Communication Results' blog

A blog to help YOU communicate better for better business results!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The 7-38-55 Myth

No doubt all of us in the business of communication have at one stage or other heard of the three percentages of communication reception: 7%, 38%, 55%
  • 7% - the received percentage of the message communicated by the words you use
  • 38% - the received percentage of the message communicated by your vocal tone
  • 55% - the received percentage of the message communicated by your non-verbal gestures

Ever wonder where those figures came from, other than perhaps from the top of someone's head? Robert Befus clues you in on the actual research that drives those numbers.

Robert's conclusion? The studies used to generate these venerable numbers are too tiny and specific to be generalised across to we working communicators. We should stop holding them up as a 'written in stone' artifact.