BACK TO BASICS #6: It’s more than words

Welcome to 2011 – the year I predict personal branding is really going to raise its profile in the UK as more people than ever are going to discover the power of being more successful just by being themselves.

So whether you’ve been following my Back to Basics series to get to grips with the fundamentals of personal branding, or have just been reminding yourself of what’s important, here’s the latest installment for your reading delight.

In my last blog I highlighted how using positive language will go a long way to creating a positive personal brand – it’s a lot easier for people to buy into a ‘can do’ brand than a ‘can’t do’ one.  But not only do your words need to be positive, your delivery of them does too.  Here’s why…

The psychologist Albert Mehrabian discovered that, when people give us messages, we take only 7% of our information from the words they speak.  Instead, it’s their tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%) that give us the lion’s share of what we need to know. 

So when a ‘can do’ person says, “I’m great at working with a team,” the energy in their voice and the smile on their face will make sure you absolutely believe them.  But if a ‘can’t do’ person says the same thing, with a voice like a wet weekend in Wigan and their back to the rest of the room, they’ll never be believed.

Or another example (one for the ladies): you walk into the living room all dressed up for a night out and ask your other half, “How do I look?”  He replies, “You look great,” but as he’s saying it with a distant voice and his eyes on the telly, you know what he actually means is, “Uh…did you say something?  Go on Rooney, get it in the back of the net!”

So the vocabulary, tone and physiology have to match at all times for your brand to be authentic.  I’ll explain one last thing about projecting a positive brand in my next blog, so stay tuned folks!

If you’ve enjoyed these musings, don’t be shy…leave a comment!  And please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at  Thank you!

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for PEOPLE, helping clients to market themselves so they stand out from the crowd, building a reputation that enables them to be even more successful just by being themselves.   Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford, Wakefield and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a service unlike any other. 


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