The Three Components of Human Influence

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The Three Components of Human Influence

(and How-to make them work for You!)

Influence is power. The power to influence others enables you to accomplish your desired outcome quickly and efficiently.

There are Three Components of Human Influence

1. WORDS: The words you say are 7% of it.
2. WORD CUES: How you say the words is 38% of it.
3. PHYSIOLOGY: Facial gestures, body movements are 55% of it.

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The Spoken Word is the smallest component to Human Influence but nevertheless must not be ignored. The usage of the right word in a certain situation can grab the attention of the message recipient. Learning how to string certain words together (i.e. phrases) for creative or superior sentence structure takes this one step further.

Increase your Influence with The Spoken Word by: Expanding your vocabulary, reading more well-written texts, learning how to speak to various people from different walks of life in way that appeals to their unique sensibilities, and by learning new languages. There will always be common buzzwords within your social circles or professional industry that are popular to use but don’t become repetitive, redundant or use jargon that others cannot understand. Often the usage of one unique word will set you apart from your peers.

Find words that sound intelligent to the ear, but yet are easily understandable to all, in order to grab the attention of your message recipient(s) and communicate your point more effectively.

Remember: Even one word can make a difference.

Word Cues

Word cues determine the delivery of your message. Word cues consist of tone, volume, pitch and the pace of your spoken words.

Increase your Influence with Word Cues by: Learning how to adjust your tone, volume, pitch and pacing to your audience. Know who to speak to loudly and quickly, and who to speak to quietly and slowly. You wouldn’t speak to a class of grade school children the same way you speak to a room explaining senior citizen benefits or vice-versa. Even alternating these factors within the same speech/same situation creates excitement through variety, unpredictability, and anticipation of what comes next.

Operatives: Emphasizing the right word in a sentence conveys the truth of its meaning. There is usually one word in any sentence that is most important in conveying the meaning behind a sentence. This is the operative word. It’s the word that when given the most STRESS, tells your LISTENER what is most important.

For example, if you were a lawyer discussing a case with a colleague and your colleague made the statement, “John’s mother is certain that her son is innocent.”…your response could be any of the following sentences. Say each one out loud emphasizing the bold word.

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How does John’s mother know if her son is innocent?

How does John’s mother know if her son is innocent?

How does John’s mother know if her son is innocent?

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If you felt the first sentence seems like the most natural reaction to the statement, “John’s mother is certain that her son is innocent.” then you understand what word cues are and how to use them effectively. The second sentence could be your partners natural response to the first sentence. The third sentence is the least natural of the three.

There are of course more complex sentences and groups of sentences in which your word cues can have a huge impact on the message delivered to your listener. Try to limit your operatives to two words per sentence maximum in any situation or you’ll confuse your listener and your message will be lost.


Physiology includes your appearance, the way your body moves, and your overall body language. This influences people to act or behave in a certain way in relation to the image you are projecting.

Increase your Influence with Physiology by: Being confident in yourself. Don’t be afraid to occupy space in a room with others. Command the room with your posture, appearance, and the way you move in and out of your interactions with others in the room. ALWAYS be aware of your physiology in any given situation. Our bodies and facial expressions are always communicating whether we want them to or not. This is 55% of what determines whether you make a good first impression when you enter a room or not.

Nonverbal cues provide information to the social hierarchy in any setting, and the level of confidence/self-esteem each individual is operating at in that hierarchy. The power of your stance, how much you talk, interrupt, make eye contact, and maintain an assertive vocal tone matter more than the words you speak or even how you deliver them.

Next week we will dive into this topic further since it is so important in human influence.


Words, Word Cues, and most importantly Physiology are the three components of human influence in which the way you communicate affects the level of influence you have with others. Next week we’ll explore the deeper power components of Physiology so that when you walk into a room you enter with the greatest chance of success for the outcome you desire. Subscribe below to get this content straight to your inbox.

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