Tag Archives: 3V effect

My TED Talk: The Long Life of First Impressions

The importance of interpersonal skills in today’s tech-world cannot be underrated or undervalued, and that’s why I focused my recent TED Talk on them.  Please take a moment to view and learn about “The Long Life of First Impressions”
If you like it, please ‘like’ it and share to your social networks, or directly on YouTube. Let’s spread the idea!  Much appreciated!

What You Can Do to Communicate with Comfort and Trustworthiness

Hello Fellow Communication Enthusiasts,

Today’s post is about what you can do to communicate with comfort and trustworthiness.

Many business leaders, politicians and public speakers need to get a clear message out to their audience to “trust me”, “follow me” and “believe me”.  Right now in Ontario, Canada we are in the middle of a race to elect the next (or same) Premier.  Will it be the current Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty, PC Tim Hudak or NDP Andrea Horwath?  I have been doing some interviews with media on body language analysis and public speaking techniques for the voters to pay attention to as they watch their would-be leaders on television.

Let’s look at the 3Vs of communicating with comfort and trustworthiness.
Verbally, you need to use words that engage, build rapport quickly, and establish trust.  Use these words/phrases like these:
Friends, …
Fellow (Ontarians, Canadians, Business leaders, etc.)…
We are all in this together…
We all want to avoid a (mistake, economic recession, higher taxes, etc.)
I want to assure you that…
I trust that…
You can trust that…
You can believe me when I say…
Believe me, I will…

Vocally, your voice and speech need to be a lower tone/pitch, use medium speed with pauses before and after key words, phrases and points, and use medium volume with a clear voice.  You are going for a rhythm that is at times melodic or hypnotic but without putting people to sleep!  And you will match certain gestures with your stressed words.

Visually to establish rapport and trust, you need to be open and friendly (approachable) in your body language, use an engaging smile or even a laugh if appropriate, and not be wearing a ‘power suit’.  In this case we are attempting to create warmth and trust, not separation from the common group.  Your hands should gesture in open, symmetrical ways and predominantly be in front of the belly or up to the heart level.  Speaking ‘from the heart’ is great for our goals of rapport, comfort and trust.

Lastly, do not rock back and forth or side to side when speaking, and do not back up when making your points.  The audience will read this as a dis-connect between your words and non-verbal communication and it will be a problem.  Your base needs to be as solid as a rock, but your upper body of course gestures smoothly and appropriately with the chosen words.

I hope you use these 3V communication tips the next time you have to win an audience over.  If you are interested in learning more please check out more blog posts, and if you feel you would benefit from a personal assessment then contact me and we can set something up.

Enjoy your day and if you are in Ontario enjoy the upcoming election debate.  I know I will be watching the 3 leaders with a keen eye to see how they make us feel when they speak.

Speaking with Confidence (the 3V Way)

Many people ask me how they can communicate with more confidence when they speak.  They ask if it is a matter of vocabulary choice, of speaking louder, or dressing in a new suit.  Today I would like to give some advice on that subject to you my readers.
First things first – understand that effective communication is not just about one aspect of communication.  It is not enough to just start using “power words” and expect everyone to bow down to your great communication skills, and give in to your new sales pitch.
My company name says it all:  3V Communications.  You need to evaluate how you are communicating verbally, vocally and visually.  Here are some techniques to use to help you speak confidently:
Do so-called power words help?  Sure.  It is always a good idea to have a deep vocabulary so that you can chose the correct word to give your speech or conversation a concise meaning.  The key is to have a word or phrase that is presented simply, yet it is powerful.  Do not ramble on trying to impress someone with your vocabulary and your knowledge of business lingo.  Short and concise will produce a confident result.  Also use strong, more committed words like “yes”, “will”, “able to”, “100%” etc. and use superlatives as well.   For example:
“The United States is 100% committed to protecting its citizens from terrorists.”
“Toronto is the most multicultural city I have ever seen.”
“Cubans are the best salsa dancers in the world.”
Speak loud enough to be heard by everyone, without yelling.  Speak from your diaphragm, which is an old actors’ technique.  Speak to the person at the back of the room.  When you are speaking confidently you must speak at a medium pace that uses appropriate and dynamic stressing of your key words.  We should also add eye contact and body language gestures to match our stress and intonation.
Examples of important stressing:
“Our company wants to do business with you so let’s make a deal today.”
(Too plain and not enough feeling)
Our company wants to do business with you so let’s make a deal today.” 
(Too much emphasis on you and your company’s desires.  Could come off as pushy.)
Our company wants to do business with you so let’s make a deal today.”
(Much more rhythmic and dynamic when spoken with a firm but friendly voice, and is balanced as well.)
Visual communication makes up to 55% of our intended feeling and attitude that is conveyed.  To show confidence you must have great posture, use lots of eye contact, smile often (when appropriate), have hand gestures that are in sync with your verbal and vocal communications, and you must know how to dress for success.  You must understand first and foremost which clothes look and feel best for your body type (i.e. not too tight, not too baggy) and you need to be dressed appropriately for the occasion. 
If you are wearing an item of clothing that you have had for 5 or more years, think very carefully to yourself how others view it before you wear it again.  It is important to realize that some people out there, particularly in the business world, have a keen sense of modern fashion and will judge you based on that if they see you are wearing a splashy tie, baggy slacks, scuffed shoes, a shirt with a collar that is the wrong size, shoulder seams that rest on your biceps, etc. 
For women they also need to be aware of outdated fashion, wearing huge shoulder pads, wearing hair and make-up styles from the 1990s, heavy perfume, and once again not wearing body type-appropriate clothes. 
Since I am not a fashion expert I will simply tell you that there are a number of fashion websites, blogs, books and magazines available as well as image consultants, should you need one.  Most people don’t, fortunately, if they listen to their trendy spouse or friend. I myself have gone through a number of changes in my dress over the last few years, all for the better I assume, because I listened to my fiancée. 
If you are not sure how confidently you are coming across, maybe it is time to ask someone you trust to review your 3Vs and see if there is any way to speak and be seen with more confidence.  If you need me, just let me know.
All the best,

Want to Read my Profile?

Recently I was interviewed for a local community newspaper, by a fresh new student reporter. I thought I would pass it on to you, in case you were curious to know more about me, my company, and how it all came to be. I think this is very well-written and I want to thank Elena once again for choosing me as her subject for this assignment, which was to profile a local business person. I have not edited it in any way. Enjoy!

Communicating with Confidence

Profile of Communication Coach Ric Phillips

By Elena Krasnova

He smiles as he opens the door and tells me to make myself at home. Following the advice, I choose the blue cushion rocking chair to settle in, as I get ready to interview Ric Phillips, the communication coaching expert. His office projects a vibe that’s almost too comfortable and informal, because his office also happens to be his home.

As I begin my questions, the phone rings. Ric apologizes and quickly answers it with a laconic greeting: “Ric Phillips…” From what I can make out, someone is calling about confidence coaching and Ric starts pitching one of his six-hour programs, as well as an upcoming workshop. So, it becomes clear that 34-year-old Ric Phillips is a one-man show and does everything himself: sales, marketing, advertising, and even IT, as he designs and manages his web site without any professional help. Operating out of his apartment, equipped with only a laptop and a towering bookshelf of communication resources, he is completely self-sufficient.

Yet although Ric’s company consists of only himself, it has a name –

3V Communications, which stands for three vital aspects of human communication: Visual, Vocal, and Verbal. This philosophy stems from a 1967 study conducted by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA. Based on that initial small study, Ric’s theory states that communication is conveyed visually (through body language, gestures, and appearance), vocally (through stress, intonation, rhythm, and volume), and verbally (through words and phrases). The combination of these three “V’s” creates a fourth “V” – the Vibe we project to others. “Using the three “V’s” in synchronicity creates a positive vibe with no mixed messages,” Ric says.

Evidently, communication coaching is much more than just teaching people to express their thoughts effectively. In his five years as an entrepreneur and a specialist in this field, Ric has innovated the concept of communication coaching by offering a variety of services that pertain to different aspects of human relations. These services include confidence coaching, networking skills, public speaking and presentations, first impressions, and accent reduction. By conducting public workshops, on-site company training, and one-on-one coaching sessions, Ric has helped hundreds of people, ranging from new immigrants to top business executives. He has been hired by companies such as BizLaunch, YES (Youth Employment Services), Blaney McMurtry Barristers & Solicitors LLP, Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, and various others.

There are numerous communication coaching companies operating throughout Canada and the U.S., but none of them covers the wide spectrum of services offered by 3V Communications. Ric says that no one can do exactly what he does, because all the experts in the industry have different strengths, styles, and knowledge. Therefore, Ric developed his programs based on his own skills and education, personal interests, as well as extensive market research.

The business was first registered in 2002 and it offered accent reduction/tutoring services and job search skills. The programs gradually developed through trial and error, and finally the company became 3V Communications in 2007. Originally Ric wanted to be a life coach but quickly realized that it’s impossible to run a business in a category so broad. “Every life coach needs to specialize,” he says, so he decided to specialize by playing to his strengths.

These strengths come mainly from Ric’s employment background, which is very diverse. For eight years he taught English as a Second Language in various schools around Toronto and performed the role of Academic Coordinator at some of them. He also spent two years in rural China from 1998 to 2000, where he taught English at a teachers’ college, essentially training the students to become English teachers. Moreover, Ric’s teaching experience includes self-defense and martial arts, which comprise a large part of his personal interests.

Before China, Ric worked as a Customer Service and Collections Agent. This experience, he says, was the most important contributing factor to his business success today. He also spent a number of years counseling and working with people with addictions and mental and physical disabilities.

In addition, Ric’s background includes a very entrepreneurial family. His father, uncle, older sister, and brother-in-law are all sole proprietors who followed their dreams, which partly influenced Ric to become his own boss as well. Most of Ric’s friends too are independent business owners who make a living on their own schedules.

Of course, with its perks of being your own boss and freedom of routine, entrepreneurship does come with certain challenges. Apart from the regular problems of not having a steady cash flow and working unpredictable hours, Ric’s business faces even tougher industry-related obstacles. First, it is not a well-known market. Most people still don’t know exactly what communication coaching is and how it can help them. This stems into a second major challenge – getting people to realize the value of these services in terms of upgrading their lives.

So, how does Ric cope with the ups and downs of being self-employed? “I always try to remember my successes instead of failures, and allow myself to be proud of myself,” he says. Having extensively researched the psychological, emotional, and physical aspects of confidence, Ric has no problem maintaining a positive attitude, no matter what life throws at him.

Besides, he loves what he does. “The most satisfying and fulfilling thing about it is helping people conquer their fears,” he says, “that’s priceless.” Here he gives me a perfect example of a client he recently helped. She is a Senior Financial Analyst at an organization that hired Ric to do on-site training. “She was very shy and needed to improve her confidence and communication skills,” he says. So, they did a total of 12 hours of coaching with two different programs: ‘Winning First Impressions’ and ‘Building Confidence – Building Success’. Within a short time the staff and management noticed considerable improvement in her confidence and comfort level. She actually started to speak up and give opinions in company meetings, which she had never done before. “I was very proud of her,” Ric says, “It was a huge step.”

As for his future plans, Ric eventually plans on training people to be coaches, just like him. He also plans to write more e-books about communication coaching, which he already sells over the internet. He currently uses Google AdWords to advertise, which, he says, is very effective, and in this way hopes to make his business more sustainable on the web. He wants to reduce his one-on-one sessions and transfer most of his material onto audio-visual media, eventually giving him international recognition.

For the immediate future, however, Ric will stick to joint ventures. “It’s the quickest way to expand without the legal hassle,” he says. Occasionally Ric teams up with other coaches to do combined public workshops. This November, 3V Communications will team up with The Image Factor for a workshop called “Communicate Your Confidence: Inside and Out.”

All of us could probably use at least one of the services Ric Phillips offers, but so few actually take charge and make a firm decision to invest in upgrading our soft skills. Yet these are the skills that matter most when it comes to being successful in the workplace and our personal lives. Will Ric be able to get this message across to more people and expand his market? The road ahead will show.

Detecting Lies and Insincerity

It’s a terrible subject, I know, but it is a reality to be reckoned with in our daily business and social lives. In business we may meet a dishonest sales person, a customer trying to cheat their way to a complimentary item, the manipulative opposing team member in negotiations. In our daily life, think blind date, “friendly” neighbour, and some teenagers.

Lie detection is not an exact science, or else our courts would have a much swifter and more accurate delivery system of justice. However, there are some clues that we can pay attention to, and keep a mental file on certain people and their behaviours. Observation is the key here, but don’t jump to conclusions based on one gesture or comment! Look for synchronicity, or lack thereof.

If we follow the 3V Communications philosophy, we should look at 3 areas: verbal, vocal, and visual cues.

Verbal cues:

Stammering e.g. Uh…ah…uhmm…well…

Illogical order of a story, with “forgotten” details


Start and stop stories

Too many “neat” details that you didn’t ask for

Sounds too well prepared or rehearsed

Vocal cues:

Hesitating, shaky voice

Inconsistent pitch. Sharp rises in tone

Fast speed, then long pauses

Unemotional. Could be rehearsed

Visual Cues:

Face – blushing, or flushing

Nose – touching or rubbing the side (i.e. not a natural scratch)

Hands – closed palms, or hiding palms or entire hands under the table or in pockets. (Note: open hands have traditionally meant “no weapons”, open communication, friendliness, trust)

Eyes – lack of eye contact, or darting glances back and forth, or looking up and to the right, which can mean “visually constructing something”

Mouth – weird smile, especially with closed lips. Showing teeth usually is more genuine. Closed lips are a sign of a forced smile. Also hiding or covering the mouth is a non-verbal cue of “covering” the lie

An awkward laugh is also a sign of embarrassment, nervousness or deceit

The lesson here is to pay attention to people you meet and do business with, and try to make yourself observe more each day. Look for synchronicity between the 3Vs and the chances are higher that you will find the truth, in any situation. But remember, these things by themselves are not “smoking guns”. Follow up as you see fit, but keep your cool, in case you are wrong! Good luck detective!

Body Language Quick Hints

The way that we communicate non-verbally with our appearance, posture, gesture, gaze and expression can be such a powerful tool in the way that we feel and when communicating with others.

The manner in which you communicate your interpersonal skills are very important.  Effective communication is vital if you are going to succeed no matter what you are doing.

The way in which we communicate with people is broken down into component parts, and it is popularly believed that people to whom we are speaking understand what we say by interpreting these different elements in varying proportions.  The 7-38-55 ‘rule’ is popular in lore, but it’s based on a small and limited experiment done in the 1960s.  However, even if the numbers are not exact, think of these general principle of proportions:


· 7% of our message is interpreted from the words we use, including grammar.


· 38% is picked up from our voice – speed, tone, pitch, rhythm etc.


· 55% is what the other person sees – our body language, gestures, environment etc.

The “3 Vs” would then make up a fourth – VIBE – the overall feeling we send and receive.

Whole books are written on body language, but here are some quick fixes and recommendations that you should start to put into practice:

· Dress to win – Look at your appearance and ask yourself:

· Do I feel confident?

· Do I look confident?

· What could I do with my appearance to give me the edge?

· Handshakes – Never give a limp wrist handshake, make sure it is firm but not too hard

· Smile a lot more than you have been doing – even if you are a comedian! Smiles generate trust, openness and more smiles!

· Walk tall with your head and shoulders back. Walk at a quick, controlled pace breathing calmly.

· When you talk to people look them straight in the eye.

· Keep on moving – Motion creates positive emotion!

· If you are ever feeling down, just have a look at your body language and change it immediately. You WILL start to feel better and more confident immediately. Take a brisk walk if need be.

· First impressions count – so when you are going to meet people for the first time, think of what first impression you want to give them. A smiling face? A good remark? Firm handshake? Etc. Life is filled with first impressions…over and over and over again!

· Take more notice of other peoples’ body language. You can normally tell what others are feeling by the way that they are moving and using their body too. You can use this to your advantage when you are more aware of it. This is useful in meetings, negotiations, presentations, sales pitches, and yes, even on dates!

The 3-V Effect

Hello everyone!

Whenever you are considering how you communicate with people, please always ensure that
you are working the “3-V effect.”

That is, communication consists of Verbal, Vocal and Visual elements.
Verbal is your word choice. What impression or message do you want to
send? Choose your words carefully, and ones that your “audience” can
relate to, and understand.

Vocally send a message that matches your content. Loud or soft voice?
Are you including proper word stress? Sentence stress? Intonation?

Visually what message are you giving when your shoes are polished,
your teeth clean, your PowerPoint presentation short and sweet? Let’s
not forget body language like eye contact and smiling at the
appropriate times, just to name a few things.

So for now, just consider the 3-V effect when you are out there
communicating to people. I’m sure it will enhance your personal and
professional presentations!