To V or Not To V?


DTM, Richard Sng, has yet again wowed us with his dazzling display of rhetorical devices in his Basic P7 speech on the 3 Vs of Communication. To find out what these 3 Vs are, read on……..


To V or Not To V.


That is not the question, not according to the bard, William Shakespeare, who said, “ To Be, or Not To Be.  That is the question.

V ……………. Victory ?   Vitality ?   Visibility ?  None of these.


To V or Not To V. To Vocalise and To Verbalise.


Do you know who created or coined the tagline ‘ The 3 Vs of Communication ‘ ?

Nobody knows ?  Neither do I.  Meanwhile, I’ll take credit for that.


According to studies and research conducted by psychologist Dr Albert Mehrabian of University of California, Los Angeles, 55% of communication is done visually, 38% vocally, and 7% verbally.  A hefty percentage is non-verbal communication, body language.


Are these statistics true ?   reliable ?   correct ?

I have long ago debunked this myth !

True enough, on the front cover of the January 2006 issue of The Toastmaster magazine, and the article on page 25, the headings read ‘ Debunking the 55%, 38%, 7% Rule ‘.

“ Words are more important than you may think. “


Do not believe everything we read and everything we hear.

Analyse for ourselves.  Question the statistics.  Give it some thought.


Within 2 seconds of given a topic to speak impromptu, this guy dropped to the floor, knelt and proposed to the Contest Chair, “ Will you marry ? “

He was dramatic, theatric and very visual.

Is the 55% enough for him ?  Perhaps, more !


The ratio and proportion of the 3Vs vary according to the individual’s character and personality.  To what degree and to what extent is the visual, vocal and verbal aspect.


To V or Not To V


Much of my research on ‘ Vocal & Verbal ‘ image came from attending numerous talks, workshops, presentations, seminars and conventions, observing and listening to the speakers and presenters.

I read books, magazines, newspapers and searched various websites.

Some of them include : “ What to Say & How to Say It “ by David Belson, “ Say It With Power & Confidence “ by Patrick Collins, “ Oxford Guide to Writing & Speaking “ by John Seely,  “ The Toastmaster “ magazine and



To V or Not To V

VISUAL Image :

It has been said that we do not have a second chance to make a first impression.

What first impression ?  The image we portray ?  Which image ?

The 3 Vs !  Visual !  Vocal !  Verbal !

The majority of us will focus on the visual.

We spend the most money and the most time on our dressing, our clothes, our grooming and the accessories, shoes, handbags, perfume ………. to look good, great, gorgeous.

Some would rather be like the wallpaper, the painting or the vase, to be seen, to be looked at, to be admired.


To V or Not To V

VOCAL Image :

It is not about the VPPR ( no, not the Vice President Public Relations ), the volume, pitch, pace or the rate of speaking.

It is about focusing on the 3Ps  …………  being energetic, enthusiastic and emphatic in the tone of our voice when speaking, adding life, and not a lifeless, listless or lethargic voice.


It is also about clarity and coherence in our enunciation.

Would you rather listen to someone at a talk, seminar or conference who speaks sloppily, slovenly or one who speaks succinctly ?

Who comes to  mind as some of the better speakers worth listening to, apart from the speech substance ?  Our local personalities and celebrities ?


To V or Not To V

VERBAL Image :

It is about word usage, the choice and selection, to add colour, flavour and glamour, even splendour or humour, to our message, our speech, our presentation.

It is to use rhetorical devices, language tools to enrich, enliven and enlighten what we say.

It is about using the right word.  Saying “ She is your ‘ protégé ‘, instead of ‘ prodigy ‘ “.

To ‘ alleviate ‘ the pain, instead of ‘ elevate ‘.


To V or not to V.


Remember :

“ The ability to communicate correctly, clearly and creatively, iscritical and crucial.





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