A new study by the Sandler Sales Institute confirms what us in the media training business have been teaching all along. While words are important, the way you deliver content, whether a speech, pitch or lecture, is more important to your audience than the actual content you are presenting.

According to the Sandler study, when giving a speech, 55 percent of respondents indicated that physiology (body language) resonated most for them, 38% percent said tonality (voice) mattered most, and only 7% chose content as most important to the presentation.

Does this mean words don’t matter? Of course not. My experience tells me most expect quality content for a planned speech. But whether or not your speech resonates and is remembered depends on your ability to engage and hold the interest of the audience.