Most of us are familiar with the common voting phrase “the ayes have it.” Since “ayes” and “eyes” are pronounced the same…let’s think about how that relates to our communication. In my experience with coaching clients, they tend to ask if they should speak the same way they write. My answer is no and here’s why:
1. Although we can communicate in writing or verbally, what we write is designed for the eyes but what we say is meant for the ears.
2. This means our target audience may be our readers or our listeners and naturally they have different expectations.
3. Written communication tends to use longer sentences whereas verbal communication uses shorter sentences/phrases.
4. Written communication tends to use more of an overall complex structure whereas verbal communication uses a more basic or conversational structure.
5. Written communication is devoid of emotion whereas verbal communication can make use of vocal variety and be far more dynamic.
6. Written communication can only make use of punctuation (e.g. commas, periods) to affect rate whereas verbal communication can capitalize on the power of the pause.
7. Written communication has no ability to use eye-contact in order to connect with readers whereas verbal communication potentially has the ability to send and receive visual cues with listeners.
Based on this information, hopefully you can understand why I often tell my clients that they don’t want to speak the same way they write. Our readers and our listeners have different needs and expectations and can’t always be addressed the same way.
So when it comes to your verbal communication, “the ayes (eyes) have it” is better stated… the ears have it. Let’s hear your opinion.