Scott Hodge


Substance, Sizzle, & Soul

May 29, 2008

Three basic assets of communication:

  1. Substance – the content of WHAT you say (e.g., facts, ideas, formulas, directions, strategies, etc.)
  2. Sizzle – HOW you engage people (e.g., your tone, pauses, volume, resonance, interaction); HOW you craft what you say (e.g., stories, metaphors, analogies)
  3. Soul – WHO you are (e.g., your passions, desires aspirations, and values) and WHY your message is important to you.

Substance accounts for only about 7% of of why people will remember and believe what you say.  Sizzle and Soul…..93%.

From Change The Way You See Yourself.

9 Responses to “Substance, Sizzle, & Soul”

  1. Man, you’ve been blogging some really substantive stuff lately (I hope that came off the right way)!

  2. Joe Thorn says:

    I like this Scott. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Marty says:

    Great word! So true

  4. Sam says:

    And it is rare that someone can have sizzle and soul and still have substance. Rob Bell seems to me to be the best example I know of that has all three on full throttle.

  5. Dude, I like the “sizzle” and the “soul”…almost sounds like a old school sermon title. You know, “GoDDDDD says, ‘you MUST have some SIZZZZZZZZLLLLLE in yo’ SOUL!”

  6. Joni says:

    I actually used to believe the opposite of this as I filled out my message outline and then felt guilty for not cataloging it in a binder for future reference. Then I repented. A pastor years ago who frequently went away from the outline to the utter confusion of his congregation, said that if the Holy Spirit is nudging you on something during the message, feel free to go there and tune out the rest of what he(the speaker) was saying. Don’t worry about filling in all the blanks. Pay attention to the one thing you are hearing. So now I’m ok with less information and more emphasis.
    Is this even related to this post? Sorry.

  7. Evan Rummel says:

    Great thoughts man! These are so true when you think about it. I wonder though if there is a balance of the three we should strive for – too much substance causes info-overload and lack of interest, making sizzle/soul irrelevant. Too much sizzle/soul but no substance causes doubt that we don’t really know what we are talking about if we don’t know anything.

  8. Lurker here. Thanks for posting this. I am going to grab this book for sure now.

  9. Unfortunately many feel they should then focus on sizzle and soul, rather than substance. A repentant pastor touched by the grace of God sure as heck better have some fire and substance. I tend to be strongest in #1 & #3. #2 just seems to come with repetition.

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