I cannot count the amount of times that I have been on stage and while answering questions afterwards I think to myself, “were you even listening to what I said?”

I’m sure many of us have been there at one time of another. I remember when it shifted for me. I had a massive epiphany some years back that changed how I look at presenting, and it has had a profound effect on how I show up, and an even greater impact on how others receive my message. It is something like this:

“Talking is not telling, telling is not teaching, and teaching is not training”

On some level this is obvious, yet I see so many people speaking from stages that if you were to take the “not’s” out of that quote, live their lives by it and wonder why they struggle.

Let’s break these statements down and rebuild how we speak to others.

Talking Is Not Telling

People love to hear themselves talk. In fact, it is the number one sound that people like… the sound of their own voice. However, just because a person is talking does not automatically mean they are telling something of importance. Certainly, there are times for mindless chatter with intimate friends, yet many find it hard to make that transition to ‘professional communication’ and end up with disastrous effects.


The first thing we must remember and keep in our mind is that talking is not necessarily telling. In important conversations there should be a tell, a teaching moment, and a transference of training to make an impact and to have it be sustained.

The telling of talking is the sharing of information that makes an impact. This is where your storytelling comes in. Tell them a story. Any story really, but one that connects you with them. Next, we must teach.

Telling Is Not Teaching

After we tell a story, that impact must be turned into influence. Influence includes two parts (teaching and training), and both need to be shared.

Turning the story into teaching is the pivot point in a conversation. From here, we make the story personal. Creating avenues for the other person to learn something. This can be done as simply as asking questions to them like, “how do you see this in your life” or “have you ever experienced something like this” which will open up deeper connections and conversations. All we need to do is respond to their answers to our conversations with new insights. These new insights become teaching points.

Teaching Is Not Training

Finally, we must tie it all together and turn teaching into training. Here is where the breakdown can occur. For many, there is no difference between teaching and training. Well, there. Is. Teaching is a noun, and training is a verb.

To the person being taught, the primary function is that of listener, a passive activity, whereas training is being active. Think of a personal trainer inside the gym. When they are teaching, we are listening and when they are training, we are doing. It is the same concept when it comes to communicating for impact.

Provide opportunity for the person to take an action on what you are talking about and you move from influence to impact. That is the goal… creating impact.

Influential Communication Provides Impactful Dialogue That Produces Income

Understanding this angle of communication will make you and your conversations influential and impactful. The more impact we can create, the greater our influence will be, and the result will be more income for you. In business, income of course equates to money, however, there is also relationship income.

Relational income is real and authentic. That authenticity allows us to speak from a place of influence that creates impact. As our worlds changes, this becomes the foundation which provides the framework for us to stay relevant, be real, and produce results.