In an argument, the husband begins to raise his voice to his wife. Volume is higher, eyes are wider, gestures are more flamboyant…all signaling anger and frustration. The wife hears and sees all this, not only matching the set of non-verbals, but one up-ing him with a slightly higher volume (and perhaps an expletive or two).
Neither, at this point, are responding to the actual content of what each person is saying or trying to say.
How we communicate is so important that the how can influence the what of what we are saying. The medium influences, and many times is, the message. Think of a song with weird, senseless lyrics but with a catchy tune (this might be the criteria for a one-hit-wonder). Or a presenter with good looks and a silver tongue that spews harmful messages that you didn’t catch (ehem…politicians anyone?).
So spend a little extra time on your how. Your what depends on it.