Slide Genius Logo

How to Communicate Non-Verbally During Presentations

February 23, 2023 / Blog

presentation communication non verbale

Non-verbal communication is an essential aspect of conveying your message during a presentation. It can amplify your message by helping you connect with your audience, emphasize key points, and maintain the audience’s interest . Therefore, it is vital to develop your non-verbal communication skills to improve your presentation’s impact.

Need a Presentation Designed? Click Here To View Our Amazing Portfolio

Let’s talk about the best strategies for effective non-verbal communication during presentations.

Preparing for your presentation

Non-verbal communication is as important as verbal communication during a presentation. Thus, preparing for your presentation allows you to incorporate and optimize both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Practice your body language and facial expressions in front of a mirror. You can also record yourself to review later. Being aware of your body language and facial expressions allows you to identify areas you need to improve.
  • Dress appropriately for your audience and the message you want to convey.

Using body language

Body language lets you communicate through physical movements to convey messages and feelings.

However, while it can convey confidence, enthusiasm, and credibility, it can also undermine your message. Unprofessional body language can make you appear uncertain, uninterested, or untrustworthy.

Here are some tips to help you use your body language productively:

  • Stand up straight to convey confidence, authority, and enthusiasm.
  • Make and maintain eye contact with your audience. Make eye contact with individuals throughout the room, not just one individual or section.
  • Use hand gestures to emphasize key points. Use gestures to indicate numbers or draw attention to specific areas of the slide.
  • Use posture to convey your level of interest and engagement. Avoid slouching or leaning back, as doing so can make you appear disinterested and unprofessional, and may detract from your presentation.

presentation communication non verbale

Using facial expressions

Facial expressions can convey a range of emotions, attitudes, and reactions during a presentation. Using appropriate facial expressions can help your audience understand your message more effectively and engage them on an emotional level.

Here are some tips to use facial expressions effectively:

  • Smile to show you’re friendly and approachable. Moreover, smiling can help you appear more confident and relaxed.
  • Use a variety of facial expressions to convey different emotions.
  • Avoid expressions that display discomfort, nervousness, or other negative emotions.

Effective non-verbal communication is an essential aspect of successful presentations. It can help you convey your message more effectively, connect with your audience, and keep them engaged.

By following the tips and strategies in this post, you can develop non-verbal communication skills to improve your presentation’s impact.

Partnering with SlideGenius can take the pressure off you as you prepare for your presentation. By handling the creation of visually appealing and informative presentation decks, SlideGenius can free up your time and energy to focus on the most important aspects of your presentation: preparing and rehearsing your delivery.

Contact SlideGenius today to schedule a consultation.

Popular Posts

presentation communication non verbale

Common Challenges in Tailoring Presentations—and Solutions

presentation communication non verbale

Dos and Don’ts of Pre-Seed Pitch Deck Creation

presentation communication non verbale

How to Write a Teaser Pitch Deck that Captivates

presentation communication non verbale

Tips for a Persuasive How It Works Slide

presentation communication non verbale

What Not to Do When Presenting Funding History

presentation communication non verbale

Why Raising Funds Without a Pitch Deck Can Backfire

Communication non verbale : définition, caractéristiques et exemples

Prospection commerciale

LE GUIDE POUR MENER UNE PROSPECTION COMMERCIALE RÉUSSIE

Gong, Calendly et HubSpot dévoilent les meilleures pratiques pour réussir sa prospection commerciale

personne s'exprimant avec les mains

Mis à jour : 27 juillet 2023

Publié : 08 août 2022

presentation communication non verbale

Qu'est-ce que la communication non verbale ?

C'est une manière de communiquer avec autrui autrement que par l'expression des mots. La communication non verbale désigne ainsi l'ensemble du langage corporel. Il peut s'agir de la gestuelle, des expressions du corps ou du visage ou encore des manifestations physiologiques. Elle peut être consciente ou inconsciente en étant le reflet d'une émotion face à une situation précise.

Quel est le rôle de la communication non verbale ?

La communication non verbale est utile pour comprendre le message de l'interlocuteur dans sa globalité. Elle peut appuyer ou altérer le message verbal, mais également transmettre une information émotionnelle sur la personne qui communique. Ce langage corporel influence la relation entre les individus en la précisant et en la renforçant. Il permet d'identifier les réactions de son interlocuteur, de commencer et de terminer une conversation.

Les fonctions de la communication non verbale sont informatives, voire parfois quasi-linguistiques il s'agit d'un rôle d'étayage. En effet, les gestes sont souvent l'équivalent de mots qui ne sont pas prononcés, mais que l'interlocuteur perçoit dans l'attitude de l'autre. Il existe deux types de linguistique non verbale : les gestes naturels et les langages construits, comme la langue des signes.

La communication non verbale joue donc différents rôles. Elle peut venir étayer le message par la répétition ou l'accentuation des mots prononcés. De plus, les gestes peuvent compléter la communication verbale en fournissant une information supplémentaire. Le rôle du non verbal peut également être de substitution, voire de contradiction. Il vient, alors, apporter une information sans communication verbale ou contredire celle-ci.

Les éléments-clés de la communication non verbale

  • L'apparence physique.
  • Les gestes et l'attitude.
  • Les expressions physiologiques.
  • L'espace et la distance.

Observer le langage non verbal d'un locuteur permet de mettre en lumière des traits comportementaux de ce dernier, qui ne sont pas exprimés par les mots. C'est un atout favorable pour cerner la personnalité des individus. La communication non verbale favorise donc une meilleure compréhension de l'autre. Mais également, elle permet de convaincre de manière aisée un public en adoptant une gestuelle, une posture ou des expressions physiques adéquates.

L'apparence physique

L'apparence physique est l'un des premiers éléments visibles d'une personne. C'est suite à cette apparence que se dégage une première impression sur la personnalité de l'individu.

Elle englobe aussi bien les vêtements, les accessoires, le maquillage, la coiffure. Les couleurs choisies sont aussi un indicateur important dans la communication non verbale. Elles dévoilent les sentiments et sont le reflet de l'humeur.

L'allure générale d'un individu véhicule trois sortes d'images : celle projetée, celle souhaitée et celle perçue. Il est donc essentiel de porter attention au choix vestimentaire pour véhiculer une bonne image. Par exemple, une apparence négligée peut porter préjudice lors d'un entretien contrairement à une allure plus soignée.

L'apparence physique reflète l'identité de chaque individu et renforce également le sentiment d'appartenance. Elle est particulièrement importante pour donner bonne impression.

Par exemple, si vous êtes à votre aise dans votre tenue vous serez plus confiant et vous inspirerez la confiance. Attention tout de même à rester dans les limites des codes liés aux circonstances et aux destinataires de votre communication non verbale. Il est d'ailleurs possible de jouer sur l'effet miroir qui induit immédiatement une impression positive. Pour ce faire, il suffit d'adopter les codes vestimentaires de vos interlocuteurs ou ceux reflétant les valeurs de l'entreprise dans laquelle vous vous rendez. De même, pour avoir l'air sympathique, il faut généralement éviter les tenues sombres.

presentation communication non verbale

Le kit pour développer son leadership

Dans ce kit, découvrez le guide du coaching commercial, le guide du manager du futur et le modèle de gestion des commissions.

  • Coaching commercial
  • Avenir du management
  • Motivation des équipes
  • Et plus encore

Merci d'avoir soumis le formulaire

Cliquez sur le lien pour accéder au contenu en tout temps

La voix est un élément-clé dans la communication non verbale. C'est le vecteur de la communication verbale et donc des mots, mais également un miroir des émotions.

Au simple son de la voix, il est possible de déterminer si un individu est enjoué, stressé, nerveux ou même sourit.

Cela se caractérise notamment par l'intonation de la voix, qui donne vie et sens aux mots. Il est important d'adapter son ton en fonction de l'audience et du message à faire passer. C'est l'intonation qui permet de capter et de retenir l'attention du public.

Par ailleurs, la vitesse employée est également un bon indicateur, tout comme le volume sonore. Par exemple, parler de manière rapide ou saccadée est signe de nervosité ou de doute. À l'inverse, un discours posé reflète une certaine confiance en soi et une maîtrise du sujet. Le volume, quant à lui, est à moduler selon l'auditoire. Il ne sera pas le même si le locuteur s'adresse à une personne de son cercle proche ou à une salle remplie d'auditeurs.

D'autre part, chaque individu possède un timbre de voix particulier, fluctuant d'aigu à grave.

Le ton employé lors d'une conversation va tout d'abord définir la relation que l'interlocuteur souhaite établir. Lorsqu'il est froid et coupant, il induit de la distance. Au contraire, un ton chaleureux génère le rapprochement des individus. La respiration, le volume et l'articulation de la personne qui parle indiquent également son état émotionnel. Respirer profondément et de façon constante sont la marque de l'énergie et du dynamisme. Un volume plutôt bas donne à montrer une certaine hésitation ou de l'inexpérience. Une articulation très marquée révèle au contraire une tension.

Les gestes et l'attitude

La gestuelle et la posture incarnent des messages inconscients sur la personnalité et l'identité d'un individu.

La posture qu'adopte un individu envoie des signaux à son interlocuteur. Incliner la tête, croiser les jambes ou les mains, avoir le haut du corps droit sont autant de messages reflétant les intentions intérieures.

Par exemple, les bras croisés font référence à une attitude fermée. À contrario, un dos bien droit et des mains contrôlées sont le reflet d'une confiance en soi.

De plus, la gestuelle traduit des informations sur l'état émotionnel dans lequel se trouve un individu. Par exemple, le simple fait de se frotter le nez ou de se passer la main dans les cheveux peut être le signe d'une anxiété ou d'un mensonge. Alors qu'adopter des mouvements plutôt lents et maîtrisés marque une certaine aise.

Un geste le plus souvent décrypté est la poignée de main. Serrer la main de façon appuyée et musclée indique une dominance et une supériorité. Alors qu'une poignée de main plutôt molle est le signe d'un manque d'énergie, de détermination et de confiance en soi.

Les premiers gestes réalisés, lors d'une conversation, peuvent orienter tout un dialogue. La poignée de main doit par exemple être ferme pour induire la confiance en soi et le sourire doit être franc, chaleureux pour indiquer l'honnêteté. Une tête fréquemment baissée, une posture rigide et des mains croisées indiquent que la personne est sur la défensive. Alors qu'une posture droite et une tête haute avec les mains croisées dans le dos montrent que la personne à une bonne confiance en elle. L'agressif, quant à lui, aura le sourcil plissé, les mains sur les hanches, voire l'index accusateur.

En communication non verbale, le regard permet de transmettre de nombreuses informations. Il peut être fixe, fuyant, distrait, tourné vers le haut ou le bas, rieur, sombre. Selon l'état émotionnel, les yeux contribuent à appuyer les messages oraux. C'est pourquoi le regard est caractérisé comme étant le miroir de l'âme.

Un simple contact visuel exprime parfois beaucoup plus qu'un échange oral. Il joue un rôle dans les relations : un regard trop appuyé peut mettre l'autre dans une situation de malaise ou à l'inverse, regarder de manière bienveillante participe à introduire une relation de confiance.

Un regard fuyant donne à montrer une attitude sur le mode défensif. Le regard curieux et observateur inspire plutôt la confiance. Les yeux fixes et dans le vague donnent une impression à celui qui mène la conversation de ne pas pouvoir capter l'attention de son interlocuteur qui sera considéré comme indifférent, voire ennuyé. Le séducteur a les yeux souriants et l'agressif soutient le regard de son interlocuteur de façon très appuyée.

Les expressions physiologiques

La communication non verbale s'appuie aussi sur les expressions faciales et les mimiques. Comme faire la moue, un sourire de coin, un sourcil qui se relève, un front plissé.

Elles peuvent être volontaires, mais sont souvent inconscientes. Ces expressions de visage sont des réactions d'émotions face à des situations.

Elles peuvent soit renforcer le message oral ou complètement le modifier.

Les expressions du visage révèlent les émotions ressenties par les interlocuteurs. Elles peuvent exprimer la colère avec une mâchoire et des sourcils resserrés. La tristesse peut se voir à travers l'abaissement de tous les traits et la surprise avec une bouche ouverte et des yeux écarquillés. Le sourire en dit, également, long sur les protagonistes et leur relation. Il est, généralement, l'expression du plaisir, de l'acquiescement ou du divertissement, mais il peut aussi indiquer des émotions négatives lorsqu'il est à l'envers ou pincé. Il peut refléter l'embarras lorsqu'il est lié à un regard bas ou une tête baissée. Il exprime l'intérêt lorsque les lèvres sont fixes et les sourcils relevés. Il peut, également, indiquer la relation orientée vers la séduction quand il est faussement timide, lié à une tête de côté et à un regard en coin.

L'espace et la distance

La manière dont l'espace est occupé détermine l'aisance d'une personne. Par exemple, un individu très à l'aise aura tendance à monopoliser l'espace qui l'entoure, réduire la distance entre ses interlocuteurs. À l'inverse, une personne plutôt réservée restera plus à l'écart et introduira une certaine distance lors de ses échanges sociaux.

Il existe quatre zones de distances, qui peuvent varier d'un individu à l'autre selon la culture ou encore les habitudes.

Il y a la distance intime (de 15 cm à 45 cm) qui est caractérisée par une zone très proche entre deux individus. C'est notamment le cas entre deux membres de famille. Hors de cette zone, il est impossible d'entendre la conversation des deux individus. C'est aussi la distance pour les messages secrets.

La distance personnelle (de 45 cm à 1,20 m), est réservée au cercle amical. C'est la zone de dialogue de confidence, entre deux amis, par exemple.

La distance sociale (entre 1,20 m et 3,60 m) représente la zone d'interaction entre deux individus qui se connaissent, mais ne sont pas proches. C'est le cas par exemple, avec des collègues de travail ou de simples connaissances.

Et enfin, la distance publique où il n'existe aucun contact physique direct. C'est la zone existante entre un orateur et son public.

Ces différentes sphères induisent des modes de relation et de communication différentes. La distance peut être différente selon la situation, même si les interlocuteurs sont identiques. Les interlocuteurs seront plus proches dans les moments conviviaux et plus éloignés au bureau ou lors d'un rendez-vous professionnel. De même, lors d'une conférence, passer de la sphère publique à la sphère personnelle générera une certaine pression qui pourra, par exemple, faire cesser les bavardages. Un dirigeant pourra décider de faire une réunion dans une salle plus petite pour que la proximité soit plus forte entre les collaborateurs, induisant ainsi une plus grande implication de leur part. Un positionnement dans une sphère spécifique communique quelque chose de nos intentions, et le changement de distance traduit un changement dans les intentions de l'interlocuteur. Il aura, par exemple, tendance à s'éloigner s'il est mal à l'aise ou à se rapprocher s'il éprouve de l'intérêt.

Pour aller plus loin, téléchargez le kit pour développer son leadership et découvrez comment améliorer les compétences de vos commerciaux, augmenter votre chiffre d'affaires, agir en tant que leader inspirant et bien plus encore ; ou découvrez le logiciel de vente de HubSpot . 

New call-to-action

Partager cet article sur les réseaux sociaux

Articles recommandés.

Comment annoncer la fermeture définitive de son entreprise à ses clients ?

Comment annoncer la fermeture définitive de son entreprise à ses clients ?

Comment rédiger un mail de départ pour collègues et clients ? (+ exemples)

Comment rédiger un mail de départ pour collègues et clients ? (+ exemples)

Standard téléphonique : qu'est-ce que c'est ?

Standard téléphonique : qu'est-ce que c'est ?

Méthode CERC : explications et différence avec la méthode CROC

Méthode CERC : explications et différence avec la méthode CROC

Préparer son service client pour les fêtes de fin d'année 2023 : 7 conseils

Préparer son service client pour les fêtes de fin d'année 2023 : 7 conseils

Modèle de lettre d'augmentation de tarif

Modèle de lettre d'augmentation de tarif

Scénarios client : intérêt et 9 exemples à adopter

Scénarios client : intérêt et 9 exemples à adopter

Comment rédiger une lettre de changement d'interlocuteur ? (modèle inclus)

Comment rédiger une lettre de changement d'interlocuteur ? (modèle inclus)

Client silencieux : comment le comprendre et l'aborder

Client silencieux : comment le comprendre et l'aborder

Comment faire une relance client suite à un retard de paiement ?

Comment faire une relance client suite à un retard de paiement ?

Guides et modèles pour développer son leadership commercial.

Service Hub provides everything you need to delight and retain customers while supporting the success of your whole front office

Nonverbal Communication Skills: 19 Theories & Findings

Nonverbal communication

In it, he introduces the concept of dramaturgy, which compares everyday social interactions to actors’ portrayals of characters, suggesting that one’s social interactions are analogous to a string of varying performances (Ritzer, 2021).

Goffman’s work also included the concept of impression management. The key to impression management includes appearance; your manner of interacting; and the attitudes conveyed through gestures, facial expressions, and nonverbal skills (Ritzer, 2021).

William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.”

I’m not a trained actor, but teaching public speaking courses has made me aware that audiences seem to prefer speakers who use a variety of hand gestures. These gestures signify the speaker as “warm, agreeable, and energetic” (Goman, 2021).

Just that nugget of information has taught me to incorporate hand gestures to develop my public speaking skills.

What other nonverbal communication skills enhance daily interactions?

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Communication Exercises (PDF) for free . These science-based tools will help you and those you work with build better social skills and better connect with others.

This Article Contains:

What is nonverbal communication, 9 types of nonverbal communication skills, is nonverbal communication important, 2 psychology theories and models, 8 fascinating research findings, importance in counseling and healthcare, resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message.

Nonverbal communication is a way to convey information “achieved through facial expressions, gestures, touching (haptics), physical movements (kinesics), posture, body adornment (clothes, jewelry, hairstyle, tattoos, etc.), and even the tone, timbre, and volume of an individual’s voice (rather than spoken content)” (Navarro & Karlins, 2008, p. 2–4).

In this YouTube video, Joe Navarro explains several nonverbal communication cues, exposes some myths, and discusses his work with nonverbal communication in law enforcement.

Marco Iacoboni (2008, p. 81), author of Mirroring People , takes it a step further, stating that “gestures accompanying speech have a dual role of helping the speakers to express their thoughts and helping the listeners/viewers understand what is being said.”

To competently read body language, Navarro and Karlins (2008) provide suggestions such as rigorous observation and a familiarity with the person’s baseline behaviors. They also recommend watching for changes, or ‘tells.’

Navarro and Karlins (2008) advise becoming familiar with universal behaviors and contextualizing nonverbal cues. However, cultural norms could inhibit rigorous observation.

Characteristics of nonverbal communication

The United States is considered a low-context communication culture (MacLachlan, 2010). This means that much of the information in a message comes directly from words rather than through implication or body language.

This style of communication involves lots of verbal detail so as not to confuse listeners. Low-context cultures rely less on nonverbal communication, which can obscure or censor portions of the message.

Nonverbal communication is culturally determined, and it is largely unconscious. It indicates the speaker’s emotional state. When nonverbal cues conflict with the verbal message, it may convey confusion or deception (Navarro & Karlins, 2008).

Finally, nonverbal communication varies by gender and displays power differentials, information effective leaders can use to influence others (Hybels & Weaver, 2015; Henley, 1977).

Nonverbal communication of successful leaders

It’s essential for leaders to read body language, also known as decoding. Deciphering between engagement (e.g., nodding, tilting the head, open body postures) and disengagement (e.g., body tilting away, crossed arms and legs) can be the difference between success and failure (Goman, 2021).

Successful actors could be considered professional first-impression artists. Like actors, leaders often find themselves center stage; they must learn the art of creating first impressions.

Subjective awareness and the ability to express yourself nonverbally are known as encoding – crucial for positive first impressions. Advice from professional actors includes a maintaining a pleasant facial expression, good posture, pausing, breathing, relaxing, and avoiding hiding your hands (Shellenbarger, 2018).

This video , 8 Things Successful People Do to Look Confident , provides quick tips for confident body language even if you’re not feeling confident.

First impressions are said to be formed in less than seven seconds (Goman, 2021). In this short time, others formulate labels such as “powerful,” “submissive,” or “trustworthy.” Evolved leaders incorporate mindfulness to help.

Naz Beheshti (2018) states, “Evolved leaders… use nonverbal tools mindfully and deliberately to reinforce their message.” She goes on to say, “this lifts the value of your communication and your value as a leader” (Beheshti, 2018).

Awareness of self, others, and the situation (mindfulness) allows us to ensure that our gestures and body language align with our spoken words. This creates congruence and generates trustworthiness (Beheshti, 2018; Newberg & Waldman, 2013).

Types of nonverbal communication

This means we are analyzing several, simultaneous nonverbal cues. A frustrated person may tap their foot, cross their arms, and tightly squeeze their biceps (Jones, 2013). These clusters may cross over and include a variety of nonverbal categories, summarized below.

1. Kinesics

Kinesics is the study of how we move our body, specifically the head, hands, body, and arms (Jones, 2013). This includes sending messages through facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and posture.

Haptics is the study of touch or coming into physical contact with another person (Hybels & Weaver, 2015). Throughout history, touch has been surrounded by mystery and taboo. We are perplexed by healing touch and riveted by stories of infants who perished due to lack of touch. Touch can denote relationship, status, power, and personality (Henley, 1977).

Cultural norms dictate guidelines regarding touch. Mindfulness regarding social and environmental settings is prudent. We greet a friend at an informal party differently than we would greet a boss or coworker in a professional setting.

3. Proxemics

The study of space and distance is called proxemics, and it analyzes how people use the space around them (Hybels & Weaver, 2015).

This YouTube video is a fun demonstration of students completing a school project on personal space and the discomfort felt by both humans and animals when social norms are violated.

4. Territory

Territory is often used to display power or reveal a lack thereof.

“'[P]osture expansiveness,’ positioning oneself in a way that opens up the body and takes up space, activated a sense of power that produced behavioral changes in a subject independent of their actual rank or role in an organization” (Goman, 2021).

Expansiveness conveys power.

5. Environment

Environment includes objects we use to adorn ourselves and the artifacts we surround ourselves with in order to create an impression. These objects provide nonverbal cues that help others form impressions (Jones, 2013).

6. Paralinguistics

Paralinguistics, also known as vocalics, is the study of how we speak and involves pitch, volume, rate of speech, tone, quality, tempo, resonance, rhythm, and articulation to help determine the context of the message (Jones, 2013).

7. Chronemics

Chronemics is the study of time, including how it is used. Nancy Henley (1977, p. 43), author of Body Politics: Power, Sex & Nonverbal Communication , asserts “Time is far from a neutral philosophical/physical concept in our society: it is a political weapon.”

Henley (1977, p. 47) describes the concept of “ritual waiting,” stating, “The more important the person, the longer we will ungrudgingly wait for the service or honor of attention.”

8. Attractiveness

The power of drawing attention to oneself doesn’t rely on physical appeal alone. Although facial symmetry and fashion of adornment are important (Jones, 2013), people who master good eye contact, have a lively face, offer encouragement, and use open gestures are also considered attractive (Kuhnke, 2012).

9. Olfactics

presentation communication non verbale

Download 3 Communication Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients with tools to improve communication skills and enjoy more positive social interactions with others.

Download 3 Free Communication Tools Pack (PDF)

By filling out your name and email address below.

  • Email Address *
  • Your Expertise * Your expertise Therapy Coaching Education Counseling Business Healthcare Other
  • Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Nonverbal communication is very important, as you could reveal unintentional information, as well as cause your communication to be misinterpreted.

Leakage: Unintentional messages

Teaching social–emotional skills to incarcerated people provided me with a powerful lesson about the nuances of nonverbal communication. On a particularly challenging day, I thought it wise to meditate and center myself prior to entering the jail. However, upon seeing me, the people inside began inquiring what was going on with me. What did they detect?

Nonverbal leakage can be shown through micro-expressions, which are “very fast facial movements lasting 1/25 to 1/5 of a second” and indicate a person’s real feelings (Ekman, 2003, p. 214).

This YouTube video is the opening scene of the series Lie to Me , based on the work of Paul Ekman regarding micro-expressions.

Varying statistics on the value of nonverbal communication may cause concern for those less practiced, but which statistics are accurate?

Crossed messages

The original research from Mehrabian and Ferris (1967) regarding nonverbal communication is widely interpreted. Elizabeth Kuhnke (2012, p. 10), author of Body Language for Dummies , interprets the study, saying, “55% of the emotional message in face-to-face communication results from body language.”

A nonverbal communication formula often cited is 7–38–55, which indicates 7% of the message comes from words, 38% vocal, and 55% facial. However, Lapakko (2007) believes this formula is reckless, faulty, and misleading. Sometimes the nonverbal elements of a message, such as gestures with directions, are incredibly important, and at other times incidental.

In addition, what something “means” in communication is connected to such variables as culture, history of the relationship, people’s intentions, personal experiences, time of day and specific words used. It would be naive to suggest all these nuances could be neatly quantified, and therefore attributing a precise formula to nonverbal communication is flawed in many ways.

So regardless of statistics and formulas, we know that nonverbal communication is essential and that people skilled at both reading and interpreting body language tend to enjoy greater success in life than those not skilled (Goleman, 1997).

Basic emotions

Basic emotion theory

Basic emotion theory (BET) posits that emotions are a “grammar of social living” that situate us in the social and moral order of society (Keltner, Sauter, Tracy, & Cowen, 2019, p. 133). In addition, emotions structure interactions, particularly in relationships that matter. BET is integral to emotional expression.

Foundational to BET is the assumption that emotional expressions coordinate social interactions in three ways:

  • Through rapid conveyance of important information to aid in decision making
  • To evoke specific responses
  • To serve as incentives for others’ actions

This is accomplished through reward systems such as parents smiling and caressing a child who exhibits specific behaviors (Keltner et al., 2019).

BET initially focused on six basic emotions. Literature reveals there are over 20 emotions with distinct, multimodal expressions, providing a deeper structure and highlighting the advancing nature of emotional expression (Keltner et al., 2019).

Neural resonance

Two people who like each other will mirror each other’s facial expressions, gestures, postures, vocalics, and movements. This is known as neural resonance, and it aids the accurate transfer of information from one person to another (Newberg & Waldman, 2013).

To fully understand what another is saying, “you have to listen to and observe the other person as deeply and fully as possible” (Newberg & Waldman, 2013, p. 81). Neural resonance uses mirror neurons to create cooperation, empathy, and trust.

Studying nonverbal communication is revealing and intriguing. Most experts will include aspects such as eyes, facial expressions, and hands, but digging deeper reveals less-acknowledged nonverbal nuggets.

1. The benefits of yawning

Yawning is one of the fastest and simplest ways to lower mental stress and anxiety (Waldman & Manning, 2017). Social norms dictate that we refrain from yawning in specific settings, but yawning has many benefits. Did you know that snipers are taught to yawn before pulling the trigger (Waldman & Manning, 2017)?

According to Waldman and Manning (2017), yawning stimulates alertness and concentration; optimizes brain activity and metabolism; improves cognitive functioning; increases recall, consciousness, and introspection; decreases stress and relaxes the upper body; recalibrates a sense of timing; enhances social awareness and empathy; and increases sensuality and pleasure.

2. Feet don’t lie

According to Navarro and Karlins (2008), the most honest part of our body is our feet, as demonstrated by small children who dance with happiness or stomp in frustration. Many people look to the face for truth; Navarro and Karlins take the opposite approach:

“When it comes to honesty, truthfulness decreases as we move from the feet to the head” (Navarro & Karlins, 2008, p. 56), reasoning that emotions are suppressed through fabricated facial expression.

3. Gestures that help

Gestures improve memory and comprehension skills. Gestures may convey information that can influence how listeners respond, depending on the hand being used. “We tend to express positive ideas with our dominant hand and negative ideas with the other hand” (Newberg & Waldman, 2013, p. 44).

4. The eyes have it

“Social network circuits are stimulated through face-to-face eye contact, decreasing cortisol, and increasing oxytocin. The result is increased empathy, social cooperation, and positive communication” (Newberg & Waldman, 2013, p. 135).

Eyes reveal a lot about us. When we are aroused, troubled, concerned, or nervous, our blink rate increases. Once we relax, our blink rate returns to normal (Navarro & Karlins, 2008).

5. Power posing for success

Body language affects how others see us and how we view ourselves. In this YouTube video, Amy Cuddy discusses her research on power posing and how it affects success.

Amy Cuddy’s book is also discussed in our article listing books on imposter syndrome .

6. Fingers crossed

One explanation of the origin of crossing fingers for good luck comes from early beliefs in the power of the cross. The intersection of the digits, epitomizing the cross, was thought to denote a concentration of good spirits and served to anchor a wish until it came true (Keyser, 2014).

7. Fake positivity is harmful

Positivity that doesn’t register in your body or heart can be harmful. According to Barbara Fredrickson (2009, p. 180), “fake smiles, just like sneers of anger, predict heart wall collapse.” To truly benefit from a smile, touch, or embrace, you need to slow down and make it heartfelt.

8. Stand up straight

Poor posture can reduce oxygen intake by 30%, resulting in less energy (Gordon, 2003). Stooping over can make us look and feel old and out of touch. By straightening up, we can make significant differences in how we think and feel. The effect is bi-directional; attitude influences posture, just as posture influences attitude.

NVC in healthcare

Good rapport between clients and practitioners stems from mirroring and synchronicity associated with neural resonance (Finset & Piccolo, 2011; Newberg & Waldman, 2013).

Carl Rogers’s Client-Centered Therapy is based on an empathetic understanding of clients. Nonverbal communication provides valuable information for both the client and the therapist. Showing you like and accept a client may be the most important information a therapist can convey (Finset & Piccolo, 2011).

Nonverbal patterns in therapy evolve over time. Specific behaviors that further the therapeutic process include “a moderate amount of head nodding and smiling; frequent, but not staring, eye contact; active, but not extreme, facial responsiveness; and a warm, relaxed, interested vocal tone” (Finset & Piccolo, 2011, p. 122).

Conscious awareness of nonverbal cues can aid in rapport building. Leaning toward the other signals comfort, whereas leaning away or crossing your arms signals discomfort (Navarro & Karlins, 2008).

Torsos and shoulder blades seem innocuous; however, blading away (turning slightly) from another person shows discomfort, while blading toward or facing another squarely shows a level of comfort (Navarro & Karlins, 2008).

Open palms are an ancient sign of trustworthiness that help establish rapport and are considered nonthreatening (Kuhnke, 2012). Hidden hands (placed in pockets or behind backs) signal disconnection and reluctance to engage. To display respect, keep an open posture with your muscles relaxed and weight evenly distributed.

Mirroring and matching go a long way to show synchronicity. Be careful to avoid mimicry, which signals disrespect (Kuhnke, 2012). Too much of a good thing can jeopardize credibility. An extended, fixed gaze into another’s eyes or effortful smiling can seem awkward, or worse.

This short YouTube video explains the dynamics of fluctuating facial expressions, based on the work of Charles Darwin and Paul Ekman.

This Silent Connections worksheet is an exercise for groups that combines mindfulness and nonverbal communication to build connections.

Someone who lacks the ability to make eye contact during conversation can be easily misinterpreted. To overcome this nonverbal communication issue, our Strategies for Maintaining Eye Contact can be very useful.

Our blog post 49 Communication Activities, Exercises, and Games includes six nonverbal communication activities for adults and three nonverbal exercises that work for families and children.

The blog post What Is Assertive Communication? 10 Real-Life Examples includes nonverbal qualities that complement and enhance assertive statements. Hints for eye contact, facial expressions, and posture can be found throughout.

In the blog post Cultivating Social Intelligence : 3 Ways to Understand Others , we discuss characteristics of social intelligence, including body language.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others communicate better, this collection contains 17 validated positive communication tools for practitioners. Use them to help others improve their communication skills and form deeper and more positive relationships.

presentation communication non verbale

17 Exercises To Develop Positive Communication

17 Positive Communication Exercises [PDFs] to help others develop communication skills for successful social interactions and positive, fulfilling relationships.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

Nonverbal communication is an essential communication skill. Nonverbal expertise aids in delivering clear messages and forming positive impressions. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture to make a difference. Gently stroking the hand of a grieving friend speaks volumes.

Viewing life as a series of dramatic performances, as implied by both Shakespeare and Goffman, can add a sense of intrigue and adventure to enhancing nonverbal communication. These essential skills will help us achieve goals.

Just as the highly motivated thespian will study and polish their craft, anyone wanting to succeed in their career or interpersonal relationships can study and practice the nuances of nonverbal communication.

Actors and public speakers often practice their craft in front of a mirror or videotape themselves to reflect on strengths and weaknesses.

This article includes a myriad of resources to help improve nonverbal communication skills with many additional resources available.

By starting with something as simple as posture, we exit stage right, headed toward the competency of center stage. Break a leg!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Communication Exercises (PDF) for free .

  • Beheshti, N. (2018, September 20). The power of mindful nonverbal communication. Forbes . Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2018/09/20/beyond-language-the-power-of-mindful-nonverbal-communication/?sh=6f40b3d71501
  • Ekman, P. (2003). Emotions revealed: Recognizing faces and feelings to improve communication and emotional life . Holt Paperbacks.
  • Finset, A., & Piccolo, L. D. (2011). Nonverbal communication in clinical contexts. In M. Rimondini (Ed.), Communication in cognitive-behavioral therapy (pp. 107–128).  Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity . Crown Publishing Group.
  • Goffman, E. (1956). The presentation of self in everyday life . University of Edinburgh.
  • Goleman, D. (1997). Emotional intelligence . Bantam Trade Paperback.
  • Goman, C. K. (2018, August 26). 5 Ways body language impacts leadership results. Forbes. Retrieved May 1, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2018/08/26/5-ways-body-language-impacts-leadership-results/?sh=5c1b235c536a
  • Gordon, J. (2003). Energy addict: 101 Physical, mental, & spiritual ways to energize your life . Berkley Publishing Group.
  • Henley, N. M. (1977). Body politics: Power, sex and nonverbal communication . Simon & Schuster.
  • Hybels, S., & Weaver, R. L. (2015). Communicating effectively . McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Iacoboni, M. (2008). Mirroring people: The new science of how we connect with others . Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Jones, R. (2013). Communication in the real world: An introduction to communication studies . University of Minnesota Libraries.
  • Keltner, D., Sauter, D., Tracy, J., & Cowen, A. (2019). Emotional expression: Advances in basic emotion theory. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior , 43 (3), 133–160.
  • Keyser, H. (2014, March 21). Why do we cross our fingers for good luck? Mental Floss . Retrieved May 27, 2021, from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/55702/why-do-we-cross-our-fingers-good-luck
  • Kuhnke, E. (2012). Body language for dummies . John Wiley & Sons.
  • Lapakko, D. (2007). Communication is 93% nonverbal: An urban legend proliferates. Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal , 34 (2), 7–19.
  • MacLachlan, M. (2010, February 12). Cross-cultural communication styles: High and low context. Communicaid. Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/high-and-low-context/
  • Mehrabian, A., & Ferris, S. R. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels.  Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31 (3), 248–252.
  • Navarro, J., & Karlins, M. P. (2008). What every body is saying . Harper-Collins.
  • Newberg, A. M., & Waldman, M. R. (2013). Words can change your brain . Avery.
  • Ritzer, G. (2021). Essentials of sociology (4th ed.). SAGE.
  • Shellenbarger, S. (2018, January 30). The mistakes you make in a meeting’s first milliseconds. Wall Street Journal . Retrieved May 22, 2021, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mistakes-you-make-in-a-meetings-first-milliseconds-1517322312
  • Waldman, M. R., & Manning, C. P. (2017). NeuroWisdom: The new brain science of money, happiness, and success . Diversion Books.

' src=

Share this article:

Article feedback

What our readers think.

Jen Leister

I came upon this site by chance. I like to learn new things and even encourage others with things that I learn. This is very insightful and I am excited to learn more and practice, as well as share with others!

Let us know your thoughts Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Related articles

Conflict Resolution Training

Conflict Resolution Training: 18 Best Courses and Master’s Degrees

All humans have some things in common. We all need air to breathe and water to stay alive. We are all social beings, and if [...]

Positive Communication

How to Foster Positive Communication: 9 Effective Techniques

Can you recall a really good conversation you’ve had? What was memorable about it? Was it the topic, the words, or just a feeling it [...]

Communication in therapy

Communication Skills in Counseling & Therapy: 17 Techniques

Positive outcomes from therapy and counseling rely on the strength of the relationship between the mental health professional and the client. Such connections build on [...]

Read other articles by their category

  • Body & Brain (49)
  • Coaching & Application (58)
  • Compassion (25)
  • Counseling (51)
  • Emotional Intelligence (23)
  • Gratitude (18)
  • Grief & Bereavement (21)
  • Happiness & SWB (40)
  • Meaning & Values (26)
  • Meditation (20)
  • Mindfulness (44)
  • Motivation & Goals (45)
  • Optimism & Mindset (34)
  • Positive CBT (30)
  • Positive Communication (20)
  • Positive Education (47)
  • Positive Emotions (32)
  • Positive Leadership (18)
  • Positive Parenting (15)
  • Positive Psychology (34)
  • Positive Workplace (37)
  • Productivity (17)
  • Relationships (43)
  • Resilience & Coping (37)
  • Self Awareness (21)
  • Self Esteem (38)
  • Strengths & Virtues (32)
  • Stress & Burnout Prevention (34)
  • Theory & Books (46)
  • Therapy Exercises (37)
  • Types of Therapy (64)

presentation communication non verbale

Learn more

How it works

Transform your enterprise with the scalable mindsets, skills, & behavior change that drive performance.

Explore how BetterUp connects to your core business systems.

We pair AI with the latest in human-centered coaching to drive powerful, lasting learning and behavior change.

Build leaders that accelerate team performance and engagement.

Unlock performance potential at scale with AI-powered curated growth journeys.

Build resilience, well-being and agility to drive performance across your entire enterprise.

Transform your business, starting with your sales leaders.

Unlock business impact from the top with executive coaching.

Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.

Accelerate the performance and potential of your agencies and employees.

See how innovative organizations use BetterUp to build a thriving workforce.

Discover how BetterUp measurably impacts key business outcomes for organizations like yours.

A demo is the first step to transforming your business. Meet with us to develop a plan for attaining your goals.

Request a demo

  • What is coaching?

Learn how 1:1 coaching works, who its for, and if it's right for you.

Accelerate your personal and professional growth with the expert guidance of a BetterUp Coach.

Types of Coaching

Navigate career transitions, accelerate your professional growth, and achieve your career goals with expert coaching.

Enhance your communication skills for better personal and professional relationships, with tailored coaching that focuses on your needs.

Find balance, resilience, and well-being in all areas of your life with holistic coaching designed to empower you.

Discover your perfect match : Take our 5-minute assessment and let us pair you with one of our top Coaches tailored just for you.

Find your Coach

Research, expert insights, and resources to develop courageous leaders within your organization.

Best practices, research, and tools to fuel individual and business growth.

View on-demand BetterUp events and learn about upcoming live discussions.

The latest insights and ideas for building a high-performing workplace.

  • BetterUp Briefing

The online magazine that helps you understand tomorrow's workforce trends, today.

Innovative research featured in peer-reviewed journals, press, and more.

Founded in 2022 to deepen the understanding of the intersection of well-being, purpose, and performance

We're on a mission to help everyone live with clarity, purpose, and passion.

Join us and create impactful change.

Read the buzz about BetterUp.

Meet the leadership that's passionate about empowering your workforce.

Find your Coach

For Business

For Individuals

What is nonverbal communication? 10 different types (with examples)

Find my Coach

Jump to section

What is nonverbal communication?

10 types of nonverbal communication, examples of nonverbal communication, why is nonverbal communication so important, 5 tips for understanding nonverbal communication, how to improve nonverbal communication, enjoy better interactions.

We all rely on nonverbal communication. This is true whether playing a game of charades with your family or trying to show confidence during an important interview .

There’s a reason many of us prefer face-to-face communication over phone calls. Without seeing someone’s facial expressions, posture, and body language , it can be hard to read their feelings. 

Nonverbal cues are just as important as verbalization. Nonverbal actions are key for communicating with and understanding everyone in your life. 

Understanding every type of nonverbal communication can also help your career. You can show your confidence, passion, and expertise through small nonverbal communication cues. This is true whether leading a team meeting or delivering a presentation .  

There are two primary forms of communication: verbal and nonverbal.

Verbal communication uses words to convey a message, whether that’s orally or in writing. 

Posture, facial expressions, and eye contact are examples of nonverbal messages . We all use these cues in daily conversation, even involuntarily. Nonverbal communication also involves the way we present ourselves to others. If you walk into a meeting with your back straight and your head held high, you exude power and confidence. You project nervousness and uncertainty if you’re slumped over with your eyes on the floor.

Experts believe that approximately 70% of all human communication is nonverbal , meaning we only deliver about 30% of our messages with words.  

Austrian-American author and educator Peter Drucker had it right when he said, “ The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. ” 

We all perform and respond to nonverbal communication — and what we understand that no one says — daily. 

Here are 10 of the most common forms of nonverbal communication:

1. Facial expressions

The look on an individual’s face is often the first thing we see. A smile, frown, or grimace tells a lot about their mood and how the subsequent conversation will go. Expressions of happiness, sadness, anger and fear are universal emotions and key forms of nonverbal communication.

2. Kinesics

Kinesics, or gestures, are conscious body movements like waving, pointing, and giving a thumbs up or down. One's culture typically determines what gestures are socially acceptable and which are rude. 

For example, in Westernized countries, glancing at your watch suggests, “I need to be somewhere.” In contrast, many Middle Eastern populations consider this rude. They are more likely to believe a conversation should continue until it ends naturally.

3. Paralinguistics

Paralinguistic s (or vocalics)  refers to the aspects of verbal communication that aren’t the words themselves . Your tone of voice, loudness, and pitch are common aspects of paralanguage. 

This type of communication is powerful since altering your voice changes the meaning of a sentence. Think about all the ways you can use the phrase “I’m fine.” If you say it quietly, you might be feeling dejected, but if you say it forcefully, someone might detect your defensiveness.

4. Body language and posture

Crossing your legs or arms, a head nod, slouching, or sitting up straight are all examples of true body language. For example, you may have seen crime films focus on body language to further the narrative. It can also hint at what isn’t included in the dialogue.  

However, this type of nonverbal communication is complex and quite subtle. Just because you observe a movement doesn’t guarantee you understand the meaning.

5. Proxemics

Proximity references how near something is. Human beings take personal space seriously. They also interpret physical distances in interactions differently.

Deaf-Businesswoman-Having-Nonverbal-Conversation-With-Colleague-types-of-nonverbal-communication

Social and cultural expectations, personal preferences, and relationships all determine the suitable proximity. For example, if you’re in a relationship with someone, you’d expect to sit close together on the couch. On the other hand, you likely wouldn’t sit that close to a coworker. 

Proxemics is an important part of interpersonal communication. Noticing when to adjust your closeness for each situation ensures you’re not making people uncomfortable. 

Scientists focused on proximity biases in North America have grouped expected space as follows :

  • Intimate space: Close physical contact up to 18 inches of space, typically shared between people in an intimate relationship. 
  • Personal space: Between 18 inches to 4 feet depending on whether you’re speaking to a stranger, casual acquaintance, or close friend. 
  • Social space: 4 –12 feet of space provided in social settings, like a shared office space or the distance between a presenter and their audience.
  • Public space: 12 feet or more, typically observed in shopping malls and airports.

It may sound cliche, but it’s true that “The eyes are the windows to the soul.”  Our eye contact is a massive factor in nonverbal communication because it can give clues to how we feel. 

When we’re scared, our pupils dilate due to a surge in adrenaline. When something excites us, we blink rapidly. Maintaining eye contact generally means that someone is comfortable and telling the truth. In contrast, avoiding eye contact might suggest that they’re nervous or hiding something.

Communication by touch is called haptics. Touch is powerful because our emotions drive it. Our social class, gender, and, of course, our upbringing all determine how we respond to touch. Women generally use touch to convey care and concern, while men are more likely to convey control. 

Psychologist Harry Harlow made a career in studying the impacts of touch on rhesus monkeys. Monkeys who were raised without physical contact from their mothers struggled with social interactions . We share this affect with our ancestors — physical contact at a young age improves our social skills when we're older.

Mom-Holding-Daughters-Face-In-Her-Hands-types-of-nonverbal-communication

8. Appearance

Your appearance is another thing people notice immediately. Your hairstyle, clothing, tattoos, piercings, and even body shape give off cues. This can encourage snap judgments from other people. There’s a reason your mother always told you to “dress to impress” for a presentation at school or a job interview.

9. Chronemics

Chronemics is the role time plays during communication. How people interpret time can be personal, cultural, or have to do with their power or status. 

Have you ever waited around for a friend to show up for an event? Maybe you felt annoyed or disrespected by their laziness or lack of time management . Now imagine if your boss showed up 15 minutes late to a meeting. You might be more understanding of their busy schedule. 

10. Physiological responses

Your body naturally sends out nonverbal signals that are nearly impossible to control. This includes nervous sweating, blushing, or tearing up.

Here are a few ways to practice your nonverbal communication skills personally and professionally: 

In the workplace

Tone: Use your voice to show excitement, positivity, and contentment with your work. Managers want demonstrably engaged workers. Plus, your positivity will likely rub off on coworkers. 

Distance: Maintain an appropriate distance from coworkers to respect their boundaries . Remember, an office is a professional space. Even if you enjoy comfortable work relationships , you should always respect someone’s physical boundaries . 

Posture: You got the job. You belong here . Your ideas matter. Stand up straight and speak with your head held high. 

In your personal life

Distance: Leaning in when your loved one speaks shows you’re actively listening .

Concentration: Put away distractions like video games or phones when spending time with loved ones. This shows you’re paying attention and offering them quality time. 

Touch: Hugs, hand-holding, and other forms of physical touch foster intimacy between consensual parties.

Here are four reasons why understanding nonverbal messaging matters:

1. Builds trust and clarity

Nonverbal signals are far more subtle than words, but they’re no less important.

Facial expressions, body posture, and eye contact reveal the meaning behind what someone is saying, their true feelings, and if they’re listening to your half of the conversation. Someone may be able to feign interest with their words, but their body language will often reveal if they’re paying attention. 

2. Bridges language gaps

Ever tried to interact with someone that didn’t speak your language? There was probably a lot of gesturing, facial expressions, and posturing — your nonverbal communication skills at work.

Outside of conversational cues, nonverbal behaviors are crucial to bridge language gaps. When two people don’t speak the same language, body language can help foster knowledge and understanding. 

3. Encourages inclusivity

Everybody has different communication abilities. Learning nonverbal communication skills can help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. 

For example, people with hearing impairments might struggle to pick up on voice tone or speed. Understanding how to interpret and express nonverbal messages makes these individuals feel included and understood. 

4. Leads to success

Non-verbal communication skills can help your career. For example, teachers with these skills see more success with their students. When talking with your boss, coworkers, and clients, you can use non-verbal communication to gain a competitive edge.

Effective communication requires nonverbal messaging. Understanding the types of nonverbal communication will help you connect with people in every area of your life.

The more you practice reading cues, the better you’ll become. Some things you can do include:

1. Pay attention to inconsistencies

Nonverbal communication can either reinforce or discourage what someone is saying. Do a person’s facial expressions match their words? Their tone of voice? If they do, then great.

They’re most likely being honest about whatever they’re saying. If it’s the opposite, they may be trying to hide how they truly feel. 

2. Look at nonverbal signals as a whole

If you’re only paying attention to someone’s posture, you might miss a whole bunch of other clues. Nonverbal signals work in tandem to generate a complete picture of another human being.

3. Trust your instincts

Go with your gut . Your instincts are there to help guide and protect you about what someone is saying and what they truly mean.

4. Practice emotional awareness

Emotional intelligence is a significant part of navigating relationships. Being emotionally aware h elps you interpret people more accurately.

When you can read other people’s emotions and unspoken messages, you can reciprocate communication by responding in a way that shows you understand and care.

5. Don’t make assumptions

Nonverbal communication is nuanced and involves personal and cultural meaning. Don’t assume a person’s tone or body language is definitively what you think it is.

Someone might avoid eye contact because they’re shy, not deceptive. They may slouch because they’re stressed out , not doubtful of their work. If you can’t read the person’s body language, ask them how they feel.

Young-Girls-Interacting-And-Making-Laugh-At-Outdoors-types-of-nonverbal-communication

Nonverbal communication is a necessary factor at home, work, and beyond. Often, these signals occur rapidly. Interpreting or noticing all of them can be challenging during a single conversation.

Fortunately, there's always room to improve upon these skills. To do so, try focusing on the below.

Manage stress

When we’re stressed , we can’t communicate as effectively. How you’re feeling rubs off on others, too. Take some deep breaths to relax and refocus. You’ll feel better, and you’ll be able to read people more accurately.  

Pay attention to your behaviors

To learn to communicate more effectively and develop stronger emotional awareness , you must understand your nonverbal communication habits. Learning your cues will also increase self-awareness . You’ll be more in tune with your feelings and be better able to express yourself.

Think before you act

Do you raise your voice when stressed or avoid eye contact when nervous? A great way to adjust nonverbal behaviors you don’t want is to think before you act. Notice situations that cause problematic behaviors and practice taking a deep breath before reacting. 

Nonverbal communication plays a prominent role in our personal and professional lives. Person-to-person contact will almost always involve some type of nonverbal communication.

Now, you know how to interpret nonverbal cues and express yourself more authentically through them. Congratulations on beginning the journey toward healthier, happier interactions.

Enhance your communication skills

Discover how personal coaching can elevate your nonverbal communication and boost interaction effectiveness.

Allaya Cooks-Campbell

With over 15 years of content experience, Allaya Cooks Campbell has written for outlets such as ScaryMommy, HRzone, and HuffPost. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and is a certified yoga instructor as well as a certified Integrative Wellness & Life Coach. Allaya is passionate about whole-person wellness, yoga, and mental health.

Nonverbal communication in the workplace: The secret to team trust

7-38-55 rule of communication: how to use for negotiation, learn types of gestures and their meanings to improve your communication, how to read body language and gain deeper emotional awareness, communication is key in the workplace. here's how to improve, why face-to-face communication matters (even with remote work), foster strong communication skills to enjoy professional success, 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, what is asynchronous communication, similar articles, eye contact is important (crucial really) in communication, what’s personal space learn what it means, active listening: what is it & techniques to become an active listener, effective communication in relationships: 10 tips to improve it, how to overcome phone anxiety, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

3100 E 5th Street, Suite 350 Austin, TX 78702

  • Platform Overview
  • Integrations
  • Powered by AI
  • BetterUp Lead
  • BetterUp Manage™
  • BetterUp Care™
  • Sales Performance
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Case Studies
  • Why BetterUp?
  • About Coaching
  • Find your Coach
  • Career Coaching
  • Communication Coaching
  • Life Coaching
  • News and Press
  • Leadership Team
  • Become a BetterUp Coach
  • BetterUp Labs
  • Center for Purpose & Performance
  • Leadership Training
  • Business Coaching
  • Contact Support
  • Contact Sales
  • Privacy Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Trust & Security
  • Cookie Preferences

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons

Margin Size

  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Social Sci LibreTexts

6.1: Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 90697

  • Daniel Usera & contributing authors
  • Austin Community College

\( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

\( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

\( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

\( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Define nonverbal communication and explain its metacommunicative nature.
  • Describe the process of nonverbal communication.
  • Assess the impact of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relationships.

INTRO TO NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

Defining nonverbal communication

Your partner flashes a big smile when you surprise them for their birthday even though they secretly are embarrassed. You send an emoji “face with tears of joy” (��) to your BFF after getting a perfect score on a rhetorical criticism paper. You kiss someone on a first date. What do these scenarios have in common? Nonverbal communication of course -- an essential but frequently misunderstood dimension of interpersonal relations (Gifford, 2011). Nonverbal communication is often simply defined as communication without words. Others have noted that nonverbal communication includes “all behaviors that are not words” (Guerrero & Floyd, 2006, p. 4). Regardless of the deceiving simplicity of its definition, know that nonverbal communication is very complex.

In everyday life, nonverbal communication is multimodal and multifunctional in nature serving many functions. It is closely linked to how we feel about our relationships with others and how we manage those relationships. In interpersonal interaction, nonverbal messages can be found in facial expressions, eyes, body language, touching as well as clothing, tone of voice, posture and even spatial distance. Indeed, you can say a lot without saying anything, or as psychologist and philosopher Paul Watzlawick (1978) observed in the first axiom of his interpersonal communication theory that you cannot not communicate. The inevitability of sending and receiving messages is extremely important to understand because it means that each of us is a type of “transmitter” that cannot be shut off. Nonverbal behaviors are implicated in messages of intimacy, arousal and composure, dominance, formal, and task or social orientation. Whether intentional or unintentional, deceitful or sincere, no matter what we do, we give off information about ourselves. In short, nonverbal communication is an important part of human interaction and always present in face-to-face interactions.

A related concept is what social scientists call metacommunication -- communicating about communication. In interpersonal relationships, it involves how people perceive you, not just your words. For example, if I say, “Nice to see you!” to someone and roll my eyes at the same time, they will likely doubt my sincerity.

This example illustrates one of the more interesting effects of nonverbal messages: most people tend to believe the nonverbal message over the verbal message if the two appear to be in disagreement (Knapp, 1972; Knapp, Earnest, Griffin, & McGlone, 2020; Malandro & Barker, 1983; Mehrabian, 1981). People seem to believe that actions really do speak louder than words. As a result, they place a disproportionate emphasis on the nonverbal response -- therefore it’s always a good idea to make nonverbal behavior consistent with our verbal messages (Hackman & Johnson, 2000).

So, welcome to the world of nonverbal communication. Its types, its contexts, and its impacts -- all of these will be explored in the pages that follow.

The process of nonverbal communication

Is nonverbal communication its own type of language? Yes and no. Like language, the fundamental process of nonverbal communication consists of a message encoded in a selected medium (body language, for example) that is then decoded. When you form language and speak it, your brain encodes a thought into words and intelligible sounds. For example, if you want to tell someone to leave the room, you can simply speak the words, “Please leave the room.” Nonverbally, you can also encode an extra layer of “illustration” -- for example, first pointing at the person and then at the door.

Some forms of nonverbal communication are emblematic in nature, where the performance stands for a concrete idea. Emblems are gestures like pointing, giving a thumbs up, or signing “OK” in specific contexts where those gestures are intelligible. Other nonverbal emblems include wearing a uniform to indicate team membership or sporting a tattoo that has a literal, unambiguous meaning. The most famous emblem of all, of course, may be the infamous “middle finger.”

However, not all nonverbal communication is emblematic. If you sway in your chair during a lecture, the meaning of that behavior may not be immediately obvious. Perhaps you need to go to the bathroom. Maybe you’re just restless. You could even be doing light exercises to help stay awake. Without asking you, any interpretation would be tentative -- a guess. In fact, you might not even know the answer to what your behavior means. It turns out that some people perform nonverbal gestures without realizing them. When some people speak before an audience, for example, they might look down a lot, move their legs a lot, or put their hands behind their backs -- all without realizing it. These are “adaptive” behaviors designed to subconsciously help the speaker feel better (more comfortable) about the situation they’re in.

How aware (or not) someone is of their nonverbal behavior raises the important question of intention . Certainly, some aspects of nonverbal are intentionally performed. Chances are, your clothing and hairstyle at the moment you’re reading this were intentional choices, but what about your posture and the position of your hands and arms? There are aspects of nonverbal communication that we may convey without meaning to. Goffman (1952) called the intentional aspects of nonverbal performance as “cues given” and the unintentional aspects as “cues given off.” Whether intentional or not, these cues can be communicated via a variety of “media” (all of them associated with you) -- your eyes, smell, tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures to name a few. Increasing your competence in nonverbal communication means learning to pay more attention to these unintentional aspects.

Later in this chapter, you will learn different channels of nonverbal communication. These channels are grouped into four categories: personal characteristics (aspects relating to a person’s physical features), environment (artifacts in a given location), motion (movement-oriented gestures), and vocal cues (relating to the non-linguistic aspects of talking).

The impact of nonverbal communication

You might have heard that 93% of communication is nonverbal. That figure comes from a famous study by Merhabian and Ferris (1967). Participants in their study were read aloud single words that they previously rated as either positive, neutral, or negative on-paper. When they were read aloud, they were read vocal tones that were previously rated as either neutral or positive. Then the experiment was repeated using facial cues, where the experimenter read the words while displaying certain facial cues (Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967). Mehrabian utilized the results to calculate the listener’s perceived attitudes, which were a combination of three cues in the following proportion: 7% verbal, 38% vocal (tone), and 55% facial expression.

Notice that these studies were focused on the utterance of single words, not complete sentences within a context. We know that our typical social interactions occur in contexts of complete thoughts and actions, not just single words. These studies, therefore, face issues with external validity (the ability to apply to actual social situations). This criticism (among others concerning sample size and possible participant biases) was expressed by Burgoon, Woodall, and Ferris (1989). Though you may hear the 93% number frequently expressed in popular culture, you now know that this is based on a very limited study.

So if it isn’t 93%, how much of communication is nonverbal? The only thing that scholars agree on is that it matters , and that it matters in many contexts. In the next section, we will explore 14 channels (yes, 14!) and the many ways they allow us to communicate ideas beyond the power of words. In the end, our competence in nonverbal communication can help determine how an interaction will proceed and, perhaps, whether it will take place at all.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Gestures List

Ask students: How do we communicate without words? What are some common gestures? Divide students into groups and give each group just two minutes to come up with as many ways of communicating without using words as they can.

Activity 2: Silent Scene

Divide students into pairs. Have each pair create a one-minute scene featuring a problem that needs to be solved. When performing the scene, neither member of the pair can talk (all communication has to be expressed nonverbally). Can the audience guess the content of the scene without any dialogue to help?

Ambady, N., & Weisbuch, M. (2010). Nonverbal behavior. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, ( pp. 464-497). Wiley.

Burgoon, J. Buller, D, & Woodall, W. (1989) Nonverbal communication: The unspoken dialogue . Harper and Row.

Gifford, R. (2011). The role of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relations. In L. Horowitz, & S. Strack (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal psychology Theory, research, assessment, and therapeutic interventions (pp. 171-190). Wiley.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life . Anchor Books.

Hackman, M.Z., & Johnson, C.E. (2000). Leadership: A communication perspective . Waveland.

Knapp, M. L. (1972). Nonverbal communication in human interaction . Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Knapp, M., Earnest, W., Griffin, D., & McGlone, M. (2020). Lying and deception in human interaction (3rd ed.). Kendall Hunt.

Knapp, M., Hall, J., & Horgan, T. (2014). Nonverbal communication in human interaction (8th ed.). Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Malandro, L. A., & Barker, L. (1983). Nonverbal Communication . Addison-Wesley.

Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes (2nd ed.). Wadsworth.

Mehrabian, A. & Ferris, S. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of Consulting Psychology , 13 , 248-252.

Mehrabian A., & Wiener, M. (1967). Decoding of inconsistent communications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 6 , 109-114.

Watzlawick, P. (1978). The language of change: Elements of therapeutic communication . Norton W.W., & Company, Inc.

Competence: One’s ability to encode and decode nonverbal communication.

Decoding: The process of interpreting and assigning meaning to a message.

Encoding: The process of organizing a message, choosing words and sentence structure, and verbalizing the message.

Medium: The channel or system by which information is transmitted.

Metacommunication: Messages that refer to other messages, usually in the context of a relationship.

Nonverbal Communication: Communication enacted by means other than words.

Emblem: A nonverbal signal that stands for an established semantic meaning.

1. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

At the TEDGlobal 2012 conference, social psychologist Amy Cuddy gave the talk “Your body language shapes who you are,” based on research in which she detailed the effects of “power posing.” Do you agree or disagree with her that our body language can change other people’s perceptions—and perhaps even our own body chemistry—simply by changing body positions? Are her findings consistent with definitions of nonverbal communication? https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are?language=en

2. The Secrets of Body Language

Full documentary ; This 90-minute documenary shows us several examples of this, including the summit meetings between U.S. president Bill Clinton, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak which took place at the dawning of the new millennium, and President Richard Nixon's offerings of transparency while in the throes of the Watergate scandal more than two decades earlier. In each instance, the simplest pat on the back, crossing of arms across the chest, quiver in the voice, speed of a footstep or stance during a handshake illustrates underlying tensions and doubt. Can you identify or describe the process of creating and interpreting nonverbal cues in this documentary?

Logo for NSCC Libraries Pressbooks

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

1.4 Non-verbal Communication

Learning objectives.

Target icon

  • understand and explain the principles of nonverbal communication
  • understand general types of nonverbal communication
  • understand the principles of active listening

Introduction

presentation communication non verbale

It’s not always what you say, but how you say it that makes a difference. We sometimes call this “body language,” or “nonverbal communication,” and it is a key aspect of effective business communication. Nonverbal communication is the process of conveying a message without the use of words. It can include gestures and facial expressions, tone of voice, timing, posture and where you stand as you communicate. It can help or hinder the clear understanding of your message, but it doesn’t reveal (and can even mask) what you are really thinking. Nonverbal communication is far from simple, and learning how to understand non-verbal skills will increase your effectiveness as a business communicator.

Types of Non-verbal Communication

How do you know when your boss or instructors are pleased with your progress (or not)? You might know from the smiles on their faces, from the time and attention they give you, or perhaps in other nonverbal ways, like a raise, a bonus, or a good grade. Whether the interaction takes place face-to-face, or at a distance, you can still experience and interpret nonverbal responses.  Eight types of non-verbal communication are discussed below.

1. Body language

Body language is the way people situate their body naturally depending on the situation, the environment and how they are feeling.  Different forms of body language include gest ures, eye contact, posture and facial expressions. For example, think of all the times your parents have told you to stand up straight.  The way you sit or stand communicates your comfort level, professionalism and general disposition towards a person or conversation.  The image below explains the nonverbal cues communicated by each posture displayed.

presentation communication non verbale

Numerous gestures are possible, and each gesture conveys something different.  The range of possibilities is one of the reasons non-verbal communication is so complex. Review Figure 1.4.3 for a number of common gestures and their meaning. 

presentation communication non verbale

2. Space or Proxemics

The amount of space that exists between yourself and others communicates your comfort level, the importance of the conversation, your desire to support or connect with others, and the relative degree of power you hold. Space can be categorized into intimate, personal, social, and public.

3. Paralanguage:

Paralanguage includes the non-language elements of speech, such as your talking speed, pitch, intonation, volume and more. The saying “the meaning is in the person not in the words” applies here.  Becoming an effective speaker involves understanding how to maximize and manage the specific qualities of your voice to clearly articulate your words and ideas.

4. Time or Chronemics

5. physical characteristics.

You didn’t choose your genes, your eye color, the natural color of your hair, or your height, but people spend millions every year trying to change their physical characteristics. You can get colored contacts; dye your hair; and if you are shorter than you’d like to be, buy shoes to raise your stature a couple of inches. Although some may find it superficial, the way we look affects the way we feel and how others perceive us.  Research shows that we tend to think more positively of people deemed attractive.  The work environment is no different.  Take care that you are communicating the message you desire by cultivating your professional attire and look.

Touch is the most powerful form of nonverbal communication.  Research shows that intimate contact is critical to the understanding of our own humanity. Over the last few years, the understanding of what is considered appropriate touching in the work environment is changing.  Thus, although touch is of paramount importance, if inappropriate, it also carries the potential for the most problems.

7. Artifacts

Do you cover your tattoos when you are at work? Do you know someone who does?  Expectations vary a great deal, and body art or tattoos may still be controversial in the workplace.  Artifacts are forms of decorative ornamentation that are chosen to represent self-concept. They can include rings and tattoos, but may also include clothes, cars, watches, briefcases, purses, and even eyeglasses. Artifacts may project gender, role or position, class or status, personality, and group membership or affiliation. Paying attention to a customer’s artifacts may allow you to more accurately adapt your message to meet their needs.

8. Environment

Environment involves the physical and psychological aspects of the communication context. More than the tables and chairs in an office, the environment is an important part of the dynamic communication process. The perception of one’s environment influences one’s reaction to it. For example, Google is famous for its work environment, with spaces created for physical activity and even in-house food service around the clock. The expense is no doubt considerable, but Google’s actions speak volumes. In Google’s view, the results produced in the environment, designed to facilitate creativity, interaction, and collaboration, are worth the effort.

Developing Your Non-verbal Communication Skills

Nonverbal communication is an important aspect of business communication, from the context of interpersonal interaction to a public presentation. It is a dynamic, complex, and challenging aspect of communication. You are never done learning and adapting to your environment and context, and improving your understanding of nonverbal communication comes with the territory.

In order to be a successful business communicator, you will need to continually learn about nonverbal communication and its impact on your interactions. Below are three ways to develop your nonverbal communication skills.

Watch Reactions

Market research is fundamental to success in business and industry. So, too, you will need to do a bit of field research to observe how, when, and why people communicate the way they do. If you want to be able to communicate effectively with customers, you will need to anticipate not only their needs, but also how they communicate. They are far more likely to communicate with someone whom they perceive as being like them, than with a perceived stranger. From dress to mannerisms and speech patterns, you can learn from your audience how to be a more effective business communicator.

Enroll an Observer

Most communication in business and industry involves groups and teams, even if the interpersonal context is a common element. Enroll a coworker or colleague in your effort to learn more about your audience, or even yourself. They can observe you and note areas you may not have noticed that could benefit from revision. Perhaps the gestures you make while speaking tend to distract rather than enhance your communication. You can also record a video of yourself speaking with someone and play it to get a sense of how your nonverbal communication complements or detracts from the message.

Focus on a Specific Type of Nonverbal Communication

What is the norm for eye contact where you work? Does this change or differ based on gender, age, ethnicity, cultural background, context, environment? Observation will help you learn more about how people communicate; looking for trends across a specific type of nonverbal communication can be an effective strategy. Focus on one behaviour you exhibit, like pacing, hand gestures, or eye contact.  Use nonverbal communication to enhance your message, watch reactions and consider enrolling an observer to help you become aware of your nonverbal habits and how your others receive nonverbal messages.

Active Listening

presentation communication non verbale

You may have experienced the odd sensation of driving somewhere and, having arrived, have realized you don’t remember driving. Your mind may have been filled with other issues, and you drove on autopilot. It’s dangerous when you drive on auto-pilot; similarly communicating on auto-pilot is also dangerous. Choosing to listen attentively takes effort. People communicate with words, expressions, and even in silence, and your attention to them will make you a better communicator. From discussions on improving customer service to retaining customers in challenging economic times, the importance of active listening comes up frequently as a success strategy.

There are five steps in the listening process: selecting, attending, understanding, remembering, and responding.

presentation communication non verbale

Here are some tips to facilitate active listening:

  • Maintain eye contact with the speaker
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Focus your attention on the message, not your internal monologue.
  • Restate the message in your own words and ask if you understood correctly.
  • Ask clarifying questions to communicate interest and gain insight.

Our previous tips will serve you well in daily interactions, but suppose you have an especially difficult subject to discuss. In difficult situations, make an extra effort to create an environment that will facilitate positive communication.

Here are some tips that may be helpful:

  • Set aside a special time . To have a difficult conversation, set aside time when you will not be disturbed.
  • Don’t interrupt . Keep silent while you let the other person speak.
  • Be nonjudgmental . Receive the message without judgment or criticism. Set aside your opinions, attitudes, and beliefs.
  • Be accepting . Be open to the message being communicated, realizing that acceptance does not necessarily mean you agree with what is being said.
  • Take turns . Wait until it is your turn to respond, and then measure your response in proportion to the message that was delivered to you. Reciprocal turn-taking allows each person have his say.
  • Acknowledge . Let the other person know that you have listened to the message attentively.
  • Understand . Be certain that you understand what the other person is saying. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification. Restate the message in your own words.
  • Keep your cool . Speak your truth without blame. A calm tone will help prevent the conflict from escalating. Use “I” statements (e.g., “I felt concerned when I learned that my department is going to have a layoff”) rather than “you” statements (e.g., “you want to get rid of some of our best people”).

Recognize that mutual respect and understanding are built one conversation at a time. Trust is difficult to gain and easy to lose. Be patient and keep the channels of communication open, as a solution may develop slowly over the course of many small interactions. Recognize that it is more valuable to maintain the relationship over the long term than to “win” in an individual transaction.

pen and paper icon

  • Choose a television personality you admire. What do you like about this person? Watch several minutes of this person with the sound turned off, and make notes of the nonverbal expressions you observe. Turn the sound back on and make notes of their tone of voice, timing, and other audible expressions.
  • Create a survey that addresses the issue of which people trust more, nonverbal or verbal messages. Ask an equal number of men and women and compare your results with those of your classmates.

Communication: Fundamentals for the Workplace Copyright © 2021 by Jordan Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

  • Non Verbal Communication and Presentation Skills
  • Presentation Courses

Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication. In this post, I'd like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills.

Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience. It increases your credibility. When you make eye contact with people in the audience, you increase your chances of getting your message across. Eye contact helps you establish a connection with the audience. When you make eye contact with people as you are speaking, you build one to one bonds with them.

Smiles are powerful - I always try to keep a smile on my face when I am speaking. Smiling makes a speaker more warm, likable and friendly. When you smile, people see you as happy -- and this makes them more receptive to you. People react positively to smiles. When you smile, the audience smiles. And a smiling audience is a receptive audience. Smiling will help you get your points across and accepted.

Gestures are another important form of non verbal communication. But you have to be careful with gestures. I practice my talks in front of a mirror. As I'm speaking, I watch my natural gestures. Then I enhance them. Usually, I amplify my gestures, because big rooms demand big gestures. However, sometimes, I tone them down -- depending on the audience. Regardless, I focus on making my gestures natural and reflective of what I'm saying. I try to avoid choppy, sudden gestures when I'm speaking. Instead, I focus on making my gestures fluid.

Posture and body orientation - I always stand up straight and look directly at the audience. Standing straight and looking directly at the audience indicates confidence. I use posture to make points though. If I am speaking about confidence and want to give an example of an unconfident person, I slump my shoulders and look at the floor. Spend most of your time oriented toward the audience. If you're using slides, speak to the audience, not the slide. It's OK to look at a slide -- especially if you want to draw the audience's attention to it, but always turn back to the audience after a few seconds.

Proximity - Unlike many speakers, I like to get away from the platform and walk the room. This means that I get up close and personal with people in the audience. I have a wireless device to advance slides, so I am not tied to my computer. I find that audiences like it. As I walk the room, people feel that I'm more a part of them, having a conversation with them, rather than talking at them. This doesn't work with very large audiences -- which I define as over 100 people. However, even if you are speaking to a large audience and need to remain on the platform, I suggest using a wireless device to advance your slides. You won't be tied to your computer, and you'll appear more natural.

Your voice - Be animated -- avoid speaking in a monotone. Show excitement for your material with your voice. I always practice my talks out loud -- that way I hear my voice and the words I am using. This helps me modify my delivery in ways that will improve my impact with my audience.

If you use these non verbal communication ideas you'll become someone whose presentations carry an impact -- and you'll be on your way to career and life success.

Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy, can help you create the successful life and career you want and deserve.

Go to [http://www.CareerSuccessDVD.com] to get a free copy of his 90 minute Career Success 90 DVD.

Go to http://BudBilanich.com/success.html to get 25 free audio success tips and to subscribe to his free weekly ezine, "Common Sense."

Please note our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and to track site usage. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Guided Meditations
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2024 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

Types of Nonverbal Communication

Often you don't need words at all

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

presentation communication non verbale

 Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Why Nonverbal Communication Is Important

  • How to Improve

Nonverbal communication means conveying information without using words. This might involve using certain facial expressions or hand gestures to make a specific point, or it could involve the use (or non-use) of eye contact, physical proximity, and other nonverbal cues to get a message across.

A substantial portion of our communication is nonverbal. In fact, some researchers suggest that the percentage of nonverbal communication is four times that of verbal communication, with 80% of what we communicate involving our actions and gestures versus only 20% being conveyed with the use of words.

Every day, we respond to thousands of nonverbal cues and behaviors, including postures, facial expressions, eye gaze, gestures, and tone of voice. From our handshakes to our hairstyles, our nonverbal communication reveals who we are and impacts how we relate to other people.

9 Types of Nonverbal Communication

Scientific research on nonverbal communication and behavior began with the 1872 publication of Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals . Since that time, a wealth of research has been devoted to the types, effects, and expressions of unspoken communication and behavior .

Nonverbal Communication Types

While these signals can be so subtle that we are not consciously aware of them, research has identified nine types of nonverbal communication. These nonverbal communication types are:

  • Facial expressions
  • Paralinguistics (such as loudness or tone of voice)
  • Body language
  • Proxemics or personal space
  • Eye gaze, haptics (touch)
  • Artifacts (objects and images)

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. The look on a person's face is often the first thing we see, even before we hear what they have to say.

While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are similar throughout the world.

Deliberate movements and signals are an important way to communicate meaning without words. Common gestures include waving, pointing, and giving a "thumbs up" sign. Other gestures are arbitrary and related to culture.

For example, in the U.S., putting the index and middle finger in the shape of a "V" with your palm facing out is often considered to be a sign of peace or victory. Yet, in Britain, Australia, and other parts of the world, this gesture can be considered an insult.

Nonverbal communication via gestures is so powerful and influential that some judges place limits on which ones are allowed in the courtroom, where they can sway juror opinions. An attorney might glance at their watch to suggest that the opposing lawyer's argument is tedious, for instance. Or they may roll their eyes during a witness's testimony in an attempt to undermine that person's credibility.

Paralinguistics

Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. This form of nonverbal communication includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness, inflection, and pitch.

For example, consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret a statement as approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone can convey disapproval and a lack of interest.

Body Language and Posture

Posture and movement can also provide a great deal of information. Research on body language has grown significantly since the 1970s, with popular media focusing on the over-interpretation of defensive postures such as arm-crossing and leg-crossing, especially after the publication of Julius Fast's book Body Language .

While these nonverbal communications can indicate feelings and attitudes , body language is often subtle and less definitive than previously believed.

People often refer to their need for "personal space." This is known as proxemics and is another important type of nonverbal communication.

The amount of distance we need and the amount of space we perceive as belonging to us are influenced by several factors. Among them are social norms , cultural expectations, situational factors, personality characteristics, and level of familiarity.

The amount of personal space needed when having a casual conversation with another person can vary between 18 inches and four feet. The personal distance needed when speaking to a crowd of people is usually around 10 to 12 feet.

The eyes play a role in nonverbal communication, with such things as looking, staring, and blinking being important cues. For example, when you encounter people or things that you like, your rate of blinking increases and your pupils dilate.

People's eyes can indicate a range of emotions , including hostility, interest, and attraction. People also often utilize eye gaze cues to gauge a person's honesty. Normal, steady eye contact is often taken as a sign that a person is telling the truth and is trustworthy. Shifty eyes and an inability to maintain eye contact, on the other hand, is frequently seen as an indicator that someone is lying or being deceptive.

However, some research suggests that eye gaze does not accurately predict lying behavior.

Communicating through touch is another important nonverbal communication behavior. Touch can be used to communicate affection, familiarity, sympathy, and other emotions .

In her book Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters , author Julia Wood writes that touch is also often used to communicate both status and power. High-status individuals tend to invade other people's personal space with greater frequency and intensity than lower-status individuals.

Sex differences also play a role in how people utilize touch to communicate meaning. Women tend to use touch to convey care, concern, and nurturance. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to use touch to assert power or control over others.

There has been a substantial amount of research on the importance of touch in infancy and early childhood. Harry Harlow's classic monkey study , for example, demonstrated how being deprived of touch impedes development. In the experiments, baby monkeys raised by wire mothers experienced permanent deficits in behavior and social interaction.

Our choice of clothing, hairstyle, and other appearance factors are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. Research on color psychology has demonstrated that different colors can evoke different moods. Appearance can also alter physiological reactions, judgments, and interpretations.

Just think of all the subtle judgments you quickly make about someone based on their appearance. These first impressions are important, which is why experts suggest that job seekers dress appropriately for interviews with potential employers.

Researchers have found that appearance can even play a role in how much people earn. Attractive people tend to earn more and receive other fringe benefits, including higher-quality jobs.

Culture is an important influence on how appearances are judged. While thinness tends to be valued in Western cultures, some African cultures relate full-figured bodies to better health, wealth, and social status.

Objects and images are also tools that can be used to communicate nonverbally. On an online forum, for example, you might select an avatar to represent your identity and to communicate information about who you are and the things you like.

People often spend a great deal of time developing a particular image and surrounding themselves with objects designed to convey information about the things that are important to them. Uniforms, for example, can be used to transmit a tremendous amount of information about a person.

A soldier will don fatigues, a police officer will wear a specific uniform, and a doctor will wear a white lab coat. At a mere glance, these outfits tell others what that person does for a living. That makes them a powerful form of nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal Communication Examples

Think of all the ways you communicate nonverbally in your own life. You can find examples of nonverbal communication at home, at work, and in other situations.

Nonverbal Communication at Home

Consider all the ways that tone of voice might change the meaning of a sentence when talking with a family member. One example is when you ask your partner how they are doing and they respond with, "I'm fine." How they say these words reveals a tremendous amount about how they are truly feeling.

A bright, happy tone of voice would suggest that they are doing quite well. A cold tone of voice might suggest that they are not fine but don't wish to discuss it. A somber, downcast tone might indicate that they are the opposite of fine but may want to talk about why.

Other examples of nonverbal communication at home include:

  • Going to your partner swiftly when they call for you (as opposed to taking your time or not responding at all)
  • Greeting your child with a smile when they walk into the room to show that you're happy to see them
  • Leaning in when your loved one speaks to show that you are listening and that you are interested in what they're saying
  • Shoving your fist into the air when you're upset that something isn't working

Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace

You can also find nonverbal communication in the workplace. Examples of this include:

  • Looking co-workers in the eye when speaking with them to be fully engaged in the interaction
  • Throwing your hands in the air when you are frustrated with a project
  • Using excitement in your voice when leading work meetings to project your passion for a specific topic
  • Walking down the hall with your head held high to convey confidence in your abilities

Nonverbal Communication in Other Situations

Here are a few additional examples of nonverbal communication that say a lot without you having to say anything at all:

  • Greeting an old friend at a restaurant with a hug, handshake, or fist bump
  • Placing your hand on someone's arm when they are talking to you at a party to convey friendliness or concern
  • Rolling your eyes at someone who is chatting excessively with a store clerk as a line begins to form
  • Scowling at someone who has cut you off in traffic, or "flipping them the bird"

Nonverbal communication serves an important role in conveying meaning. Some benefits it provides include:

  • Strengthening relationships : Nonverbal communication fosters closeness and intimacy in interpersonal relationships.
  • Substituting for spoken words : Signaling information that a person might not be able to say aloud. This can be helpful in situations where a person might not be heard (such as a noisy workplace) or in therapy situations where a mental health professional can look at nonverbal behaviors to learn more about how a client might be feeling.
  • Reinforcing meaning : Matching nonverbal communication to spoken words can help add clarity and reinforce important points.
  • Regulating conversation : Nonverbal signals can also help regulate the flow of conversation and indicate both the start and end of a message or topic.

Nonverbal communication is important because it can provide valuable information, reinforce the meaning of spoken words, help convey trust, and add clarity to your message.

How to Improve Your Nonverbal Communication Skills

If you want to develop more confident body language or improve your ability to read other people's nonverbal communication behaviors, these tips can help:

  • Pay attention to your own behaviors : Notice the gestures you use when you're happy versus when you're upset. Think about how you change the tone of your voice depending on the emotions you are feeling. Being aware of your own nonverbal communication tendencies is the first step to changing the ones you want to change. It can also give you insight into how you're feeling if you're having trouble putting it into words.
  • Become a student of others : It can also be helpful to consider how others around you communicate nonverbally. What do their facial expressions say? What type of gestures do they use? Becoming familiar with their nonverbal communication patterns helps you recognize when they might be feeling a certain way quicker because you're actively watching for these cues. It can also help you recognize nonverbal behaviors you may want to adopt yourself (such as standing tall when talking to others to display self-confidence ).
  • Look for incongruent nonverbal cues : Do you say that you're fine, then slam cupboard doors to show that you're upset? This can give those around you mixed messages. Or maybe when someone is speaking with you, they are saying yes while shaking their head no. This is another example of incongruent behavior. Both can be signs of feeling a certain way but not yet being ready to admit or discuss it.
  • Think before you act : If your middle finger seems to automatically fly up when a car cuts you off—even if your young child is in the back seat, causing you to regret it as soon as it happens—you can work to stop this reaction. Train yourself to stop and think before you act. This can help you eliminate or replace nonverbal behaviors that you've been wanting to change.
  • Ask before you assume : Certain types of nonverbal communication can mean different things in different cultures. They can also vary based on someone's personality . Before assuming that a person's body language or tone means something definitively, ask. "I notice that you won't look me in the eye when we speak. Are you upset with me?" Give them the opportunity to explain how they are feeling so you know for sure.

A Word From Verywell

Nonverbal communication plays an important role in how we convey meaning and information to others, as well as how we interpret the actions of those around us.

The important thing to remember when looking at nonverbal behaviors is to consider the actions in groups. Consider what a person says verbally, combined with their expressions, appearance, and tone of voice and it can tell you a great deal about what that person is really trying to say.

American Psychological Association. Nonverbal communication (NVC) .

Hull R. The art of nonverbal communication in practice . Hear J . 2016;69(5);22-24. doi:10.1097/01.HJ.0000483270.59643.cc

Frith C. Role of facial expressions in social interactions . Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci . 2009;364(1535):3453-8. doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0142

Goldin-Meadow S. How gesture works to change our minds . Trends Neurosci Educ . 2014;3(1):4-6. doi:10.1016/j.tine.2014.01.002

Guyer JJ, Briñol P, Vaughan-Johnston TI, Fabrigar LR, Moreno L, Petty RE. Paralinguistic features communicated through voice can affect appraisals of confidence and evaluative judgments .  J Nonverbal Behav . 2021;45(4):479-504. doi:10.1007/s10919-021-00374-2

Abdulghafor R, Turaev S, Ali MAH. Body language analysis in healthcare: An overview .  Healthcare (Basel) . 2022;10(7):1251. doi:10.3390/healthcare10071251

Mccall C, Singer T. Facing off with unfair others: introducing proxemic imaging as an implicit measure of approach and avoidance during social interaction . PLoS One . 2015;10(2):e0117532. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117532

Wiseman R, Watt C, ten Brinke L, Porter S, Couper SL, Rankin C. The eyes don't have it: lie detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming .  PLoS One . 2012;7(7):e40259. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040259

Sekerdej M, Simão C, Waldzus S, Brito R. Keeping in touch with context: Non-verbal behavior as a manifestation of communality and dominance . J Nonverbal Behav . 2018;42(3):311-326. doi:10.1007/s10919-018-0279-2

Bambaeeroo F, Shokrpour N. The impact of the teachers' non-verbal communication on success in teaching .  J Adv Med Educ Prof . 2017;5(2):51-59.

Dilmaghani M. Beauty perks: Physical appearance, earnings, and fringe benefits . Economics & Human Biology . 2020;38:100889. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100889

Darwin C. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals .

Wood J.  Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters .

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

On Non-Verbal Communication

Students discuss how people employ different types of non-verbal communication to express themselves and interact with others—and how these types of non-verbal communication may differ from one culture to another.

Experiential Learning, Social Studies

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Last Updated

October 19, 2023

User Permissions

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. They will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to them, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service .

Interactives

Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources

nonverbal communication

Nonverbal Communication

Oct 10, 2014

4.03k likes | 12.15k Views

Nonverbal Communication. We speak only with our mouths, but we communicate with our whole bodies. 80% of Communication is Nonverbal. Gestures Body Position Facial Expressions Tone of Voice. Nonverbal Communication

Share Presentation

  • body language
  • eye contact
  • verbal message
  • nonverbal supports verbal
  • affect displays nonverbal behaviors

mattox

Presentation Transcript

Nonverbal Communication We speak only with our mouths, but we communicate with our whole bodies.

80% of Communication is Nonverbal • Gestures • Body Position • Facial Expressions • Tone of Voice

Nonverbal Communication Communication without words; a process by which an individual stimulates meaning in the mind of another person through intentional and unintentional messages through use of the body and voice

Functions of Nonverbal Behavior

Repeat Nonverbal message conveys the same idea as the verbal; can take either verbal or nonverbal message away and it still gives the same message Examples: saying “Hello” while waving or saying “Be quiet” while holding indexfinger up to your mouth

Substitute nonverbal message replaces verbal message; (also called emblems) Examples: waving to say hello, thumbs up for “good job,” clapping at a concert, hitchhiker thumb

"I'm fine." Contradict Nonverbal goes against verbal; they do not match up; ALSO called a mixed message Examples: saying “I’m fine” when your head is hanging down with slumped shoulders, etc. Note: Which is more believable when verbal and nonverbal behaviors are contradictory? Why?

Complement Nonverbal supports verbal; used to show how to do something, show sizes, or emphasize emotional feelings; we complement the verbal message with the nonverbal message when demonstrating something or giving directions & pointing (also called illustrators) Examples: “The fish was this big” while holding hands out to indicate size or “I’m so frustrated!” while shaking fists

AccentUse of gestures & facial expressions to emphasize or punctuate spoken words (also called illustrators)Examples: yelling “That’s it!” while pounding fist, emphasizing words through tone of voice, saying “My first point…” while holding up one finger

Regulate Nonverbal cues that control or regulate the interaction of flow of communication between ourselves and another person (Called regulators) Examples: nodding head and saying “uh huh,” giving eye contact, opening mouth to speak, leaning forward, raising eyebrows, or raising index finger

Vocalics Communication through voice (vocal cues other than words = paralanguage) such as… • Tone of voice-vocal quality, raspy or nasally creates interference with message • Pitch-highness or lowness of voice • Volume-loudness or softness of voice • Rate-how rapidly or slowly one talks • Accent/ dialect-pronunciation

Kinesics: The study of human movement and gesture, including facial expression & eye contact

Affect displaysNonverbal behaviors used to communicate emotions Examples: hugging someone to express love or shaking fist at someone to show anger

Adaptors Nonverbal behaviors that help us to satisfy a personal need and adapt to the immediate situation; not really intending to communicate meaning Examples: scratching mosquito bite, adjusting glasses, combing hair, pulling hanging thread of clothing, etc.

Proxemics: Communication through the use of space Territoriality- fixed area that is occupied, controlled and defended by a person or group as their exclusive domain; regulates social interaction; can be source of conflict; indicates ownership (permanent or temporary)

Why is it important to understand body language? • See how people react to us and our ideas • You can control nervous habits and negative signals. • People respond and remember more of what they see than hear.

Facial Expressions • Six emotions are the foundation • Surprise • Fear • Anger • Disgust • Happiness • Sadness

Facial Expressions • Different Facial Areas for different emotions • Disgust - nose, cheek, mouth • Sadness - brows and forehead • Happiness - cheeks and mouth • Fear - eyes and eyelids

Tone of Voice • The pitch and timbre (distinctive tone) show the true feelings • “Oh” can mean… • "You surprised me." • "I made a mistake." • "You're a pain in the neck!" • "You made me so happy!" • "I'm bored." • "I'm fascinated." • "I don't understand."

How to Tell Lying • Decreased hand activity • Concerned subconsciously, hands will give you away • Hide them, sit on them, clasp them together • Increased Facial touching • Earlobe pull • Hand on brow • Mouth cover • Lip Press • Hair Groom • Stiff and rigid posture • Increased body shifting

Multicultural Messages Frame of reference is important in understanding symbols. • What means “Hook ‘em Horns” in Texas, means… • Italy - insult • Brazil - good luck • Hindus - cow • In business, body language wins out over verbal communication.

Greetings are different around the world • Latinos hug • Japanese bow • The French kiss both cheeks • English & Americans shake hands • Romans clasped forearms • Arab citizens say “Salaam” • Eskimos slap hands on heads or shoulders • Maoris rub noses • Polynesians embrace each other and rub backs

How Countries Feel About Distance • Don't Like Touching • Japan • U.S. and Canada • England • Australia • Enjoy Touching • Middle East • Latin America • Italy • Greece • Russia • Middle Ground • France • China • Ireland • India

Women vs. Men • Women respond to touch differently than men

Types of Space • Personal • 1-1/2 to 4 feet • Intimate • Under 18 inches Confidential Exchanges Conversations withfriends & colleagues • Public • Over 12 feet • Social • 4 to 12 feet Social & BusinessExchanges Public Spaces likeShopping Malls

"We talk with our vocal chords, but we communicate with our facial expressions, our tone of voice, our whole body,” Psychologist Paul Ekman Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace

Steps to a Professional Personality • To be successful, you have to look successful. • Have confident posture- shoulders erect (it shows interest) • Don't smile constantly • Cocking your head suggests hesitation • Touching your face makes you look nervous • Be the first to interact • Keep body position open • Be in command when seated • Forearms on the table • Don't slouch or jiggle your foot • Work on your handshake • Maintain good eye contact

What is Positive Body Language? • Relaxed posture • Relaxed arms • Good eye contact • Nodding agreement • Smiling at humor • Leaning closer • Using gestures

What is Negative Body Language? • Body tension • Arms folded • Speaking hand to mouth • Fidgeting • Yawning

Interpreting Nonverbal Messages • Don't just look - see • Consider person's normal physical behavior • Look for clusters of signals, not just one

Nonverbal message Body language Tone of voice Gesture Personal space Intimate distance Personal distance Social distance Eye contact Vocabulary

  • More by User

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. “The World Beyond Words”. What is Nonverbal Communication?. “Messages expressed by nonlinguistic means.” Includes silent behaviors, environment, artifacts, and vocal intonation Is a powerful mode of communication.

1.53k views • 27 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Objectives. Understand the definition of nonverbal communication Understand different types of nonverbal communication Understand the functions of nonverbal behavior Understand differences in nonverbal behavior between Chinese culture and American culture.

636 views • 29 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Tamara S. Arrington University of Kentucky COM 252. Nonverbal Communication. A system of symbolic behaviors that includes all forms of communication except words. -- Waving can mean, “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Go ahead,” “I’m over here,” etc.

1.37k views • 33 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. COM 372 Theory and Research in Intercultural Communication. Defining Nonverbal Communication.

682 views • 20 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. “ The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” Confucius. Research. Albert Mehrabian 7% words 38% tone and inflection 55% facial expression, body position and gestures. Nonverbal Communication. Unwritten and unspoken messages

709 views • 18 slides

Nonverbal Communication

What is nonverbal communication?. ?Oral and nonoral messages expressed by other than linguistic means."Messages transmitted by vocal means that do not involve languageSign language and written words are not considered nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is powerful. 60% of all communi

768 views • 29 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Communication without words; communication by means of space, gestures, facial expressions, touching, vocal variation, and silence for example (DeVito). Importance of Nonverbal Communication.

886 views • 49 slides

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. OBJECTIVES. Define the term non-verbal communication and its concepts Explain the nature of non-verbal behaviors Illustrate non-verbal behaviors Differentiate the three primary elements of non-verbal communication

1.28k views • 12 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Nonverbal communication: A message expressed by nonlinguistic means. How does nonverbal communication work for us? Against us? Does all nonverbal behavior have communicative value? Can we control our nonverbals? Research:

414 views • 7 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Definition Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication Functions of Nonverbal Communication Types of Nonverbal Communication. Nonverbal Communication Defined. Def- Messages expressed by nonlinguistic means.

1.36k views • 24 slides

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. Def: Is the sending and receiving of messages without the use of words. Between 65-90% of messages are nonverbal. Non-verbal Communication. Are the messages that are sent through body language and facial expressions

585 views • 24 slides

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. What is Nonverbal Communication and What I s I ts S ignificance ?. It is a form of communication which is symbolic, meaningful and governed by societal or cultural rules Our facial expressions, eye gaze, posture and tone of voice.

932 views • 10 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. SWBAT. Recognize nonverbal communication cues Identify the positive and negative effects of nonverbal communication Identify cultural differences in nonverbal communication. Nonverbal Communication. Expressing yourself without the use of words

1.01k views • 9 slides

Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication. Communication without words. Nonverbal communication. All forms of communication except words . It includes sounds , body language , and environmental factors . Types of NV Comm. Kinesics Vocalics Haptics Proxemics Chronemics Environmental Factors.

780 views • 18 slides

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. Accounts for 80% of all Communication Nonverbal is body language Nonverbal messages often overpower verbal messages Body language is not a universal language. NONVERBAL BEHAVIORS. Posture and body orientation Eye contact Facial expressions Gestures Touch

1.27k views • 11 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Messages Beyond Words Chapter 5. Quiz. 1. Gesturing has little bearing on persuasiveness False 2. Cognitively complex people are better at decoding nonverbal behavior than are those who are less cognitively complex. True

1.68k views • 30 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. GAO Yongchen Suzhou University. Warm-up Questions. Why may you be communicating even if you don’t speak? How many modes of communication do you know? What is verbal communication and what is nonverbal communication? Amd how much do you know about them?.

932 views • 32 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Mrs. Curry Lecture Notes Ch. 5. Understanding NV comm. Nonverbal Communication : a system of symbolic behaviors that includes all form of communication except words. Wave= goodbye, hello, go ahead, I’m over here

382 views • 8 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Muhammad Ayub Attari Course Coordinator. What Does It Mean?. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have potential to turn a life around.

1.22k views • 56 slides

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. THE IMPORTANCE OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. As much as 93 % of communication is nonverbal, with 55% sent through facial expression, posture, and gestures and 38% through tone of voice. Nonverbal Communication as a Transaction.

600 views • 9 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Nonverbal Communication. Is it possible to communicate without words? Studies show that over half of your message is carried through nonverbal elements: Your appearance Your body language The tone and the pace of your voice. Forms of Nonverbal Communication.

690 views • 41 slides

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication. Definition Components Power and functions of nonverbal Types of nonverbal comm. Definition. “Oral or nonoral messages expressed by other than linguistic means” (Adler & Rodman, 2003, p. 150). Nonverbal can be…. Perceived by sender or receiver, or

851 views • 23 slides

Bud Bilanich

Your Career Mentor

  • Career News Daily
  • Testimonials

Non Verbal Communication in Presentations

Today is Thursday, so this post is on communication skills.

Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication.  In this post, I’d like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills.

Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience.  It increases your credibility.  When you make eye contact with people in the audience, you increase your chances of getting your message across.  Eye contact helps you establish a connection with the audience.  When you make eye contact with people as you are speaking, you build one to one bonds with them.

Smiles are powerful .  I always try to keep a smile on my face when I am speaking.  Smiling makes a speaker more warm, likable and friendly.  When you smile, people see you as happy – and this makes them more receptive to you.  People react positively to smiles.  When you smile, the audience smiles.  And a smiling audience is a receptive audience.  Smiling will help you get your points across and accepted.

Gestures are another important form of non verbal communication.  But you have to be careful with gestures.  I practice my talks in front of a mirror.  As I’m speaking, I watch my natural gestures.  Then I enhance them.  Usually, I amplify my gestures, because big rooms demand big gestures.  However, sometimes, I tone them down – depending on the audience.  Regardless, I focus on making my gestures natural and reflective of what I’m saying.  I try to avoid choppy, sudden gestures when I’m speaking.  Instead, I focus on making my gestures fluid.

Posture and body orientation : I always stand up straight and look directly at the audience.  Standing straight and looking directly at the audience indicates confidence.  I use posture to make points though.  If I am speaking about confidence, and want to give an example of an unconfident person, I slump my shoulders and look at the floor.   Spend most of your time oriented toward the audience.  If you’re using slides, speak to the audience, not the slide.  It’s OK to look at a slide – especially if you want to draw the audience’s attention to it, but always turn back to the audience after a few seconds.

Proximity : Unlike many speakers, I like to get away from the platform and walk the room.  This means that I get up close and personal with people in the audience.  I have a wireless device to advance slides, so I am not tied to my computer.  I find that audiences like it.  As I walk the room, people feel that I’m more a part of them, having a conversation with them, rather than talking at them.  This doesn’t work with very large audiences – which I define as over 100 people.  However, even if you are speaking to a large audience and need to remain on the platform, I suggest using a wireless device to advance your slides.  You won’t be tied to your computer, and you’ll appear more natural.

Your voice : Be animated – avoid speaking in a monotone.  Show excitement for your material with your voice.   I always practice my talks out loud – that way I hear my voice and the words I am using.  This helps me modify my delivery in ways that will improve my impact with my audience.

If you use these non verbal communication ideas you’ll become someone whose presentations carry an impact – and you’ll be on your way to career and life success.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: www.CommonSenseGuy.com for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Thank you for posting

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Recent Articles

  • Farewell My Friends
  • Success Quote December 25, 2022
  • Success Quote December 24, 2022
  • Success Quote December 23, 2022
  • Success Quote December 22, 2022

Find it Here

Connect with me, my tumblr page, my pinterest page, career success advice.

  • 8 Traits a Mentor Should Have
  • Secret to Success is Confidence
  • Success Requires Goal Setting
  • Personal Responsibility and Success
  • Defining Career Success

Search This Site

Follow me on twitter.

Return to top of page

Copyright © 2024 · BudBilanich.com · All Rights Reserved

presentation communication non verbale

TED is supported by ads and partners 00:00

"Eye" understand: The power of non-verbal communication

Got any suggestions?

We want to hear from you! Send us a message and help improve Slidesgo

Top searches

Trending searches

presentation communication non verbale

11 templates

presentation communication non verbale

67 templates

presentation communication non verbale

21 templates

presentation communication non verbale

environmental science

36 templates

presentation communication non verbale

9 templates

presentation communication non verbale

holy spirit

Language arts subject for middle school: non verbal language, it seems that you like this template, language arts subject for middle school: non verbal language presentation, free google slides theme, powerpoint template, and canva presentation template.

Did you know that there's a type of language that everyone (and I mean everyone) speaks, regardless of where they come from or what their native tongue may be? Yup, you guessed it - nonverbal language! From the way we gesture with our hands, to the expressions that flit across our faces without us even realizing it, nonverbal language is all around us. This creative template is the perfect solution if you want to prepare a fun presentation for your middle schoolers: it includes editable resources, exercises and lots of illustrations!

Features of this template

  • 100% editable and easy to modify
  • 35 different slides to impress your audience
  • Contains easy-to-edit graphics such as graphs, maps, tables, timelines and mockups
  • Includes 500+ icons and Flaticon’s extension for customizing your slides
  • Designed to be used in Google Slides, Canva, and Microsoft PowerPoint
  • 16:9 widescreen format suitable for all types of screens
  • Includes information about fonts, colors, and credits of the resources used

How can I use the template?

Am I free to use the templates?

How to attribute?

Attribution required If you are a free user, you must attribute Slidesgo by keeping the slide where the credits appear. How to attribute?

Related posts on our blog.

How to Add, Duplicate, Move, Delete or Hide Slides in Google Slides | Quick Tips & Tutorial for your presentations

How to Add, Duplicate, Move, Delete or Hide Slides in Google Slides

How to Change Layouts in PowerPoint | Quick Tips & Tutorial for your presentations

How to Change Layouts in PowerPoint

How to Change the Slide Size in Google Slides | Quick Tips & Tutorial for your presentations

How to Change the Slide Size in Google Slides

Related presentations.

Language Arts Subject for Elementary: Non-verbal Language presentation template

Premium template

Unlock this template and gain unlimited access

Language Arts Subject for Middle School: Brackets presentation template

  • To our customers impacted by the COVID-19 “coronavirus", we're here to help if you need assistance. Learn more >
  • [email protected]
  • 513-795-0724

The Records Company

Presentation is Important: Non-Verbal Communication

presentation communication non verbale

In one of his best-known standup routines, British actor and comedian Eddie Izzard illustrates the importance of non-verbal communication with commentary about John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech in Berlin, in which Kennedy famously declared “ Ich bin ein Berliner .” Izzard’s punchline says Kennedy’s appearance and tone were so charismatic the crowd didn’t care that Kennedy’s words translate to “I am a donut.”

While Izzard’s punchline isn’t strictly accurate , it is accurate to say a high percentage— possibly more than 90% —of human communication lies in body language, tone, and other unspoken cues. As more of our work communications go electronic , it’s helpful to take a moment to consider how we’re coming across in face-to-face moments.

The Balancing Act

The fundamentals of good non-verbal presentation are well-known: make eye contact and smile. Even more essential than these basics is self-awareness. Eye contact establishes trust and interest, but too much  can come across as aggressive. Smiling follows similar rules. A genuine smile conveys positivity and approachability, but too much smiling can appear insincere at best and creepy at worst.

Awareness of your audience or conversational partners and their responses, along with awareness of your own behaviors, will allow you to moderate these and other non-verbal communication cues for maximum effect. While smiling and eye contact are essential to good communication in Western culture, it is worth noting some other cultures regard these gestures as disrespectful, no matter how they’re moderated.

Body Language

Another basic of effective non-verbal communication is good posture. Like much of the common advice about non-verbal communication, posture is subject to self-awareness and moderation. Obviously slouching is out, as it conveys disinterest or insecurity. At the same time, too-rigid posture can seem threatening.

Your whole body should convey interest in the people you’re speaking with. In a one-on-one or small group situation, pay attention to your feet. If your torso is facing your audience but your feet are pointing elsewhere, they will pick up on it. If only subconsciously, they will know you’re not fully attentive to what you’re saying to them or what they’re saying to you, which will make a subtly negative impression.

Personal space norms, like eye contact and expressions, can vary widely based on cultural background as well an individual preference, which makes space a tricky issue. Too much distance between yourself and your audience can indicate disinterest, but too much can create extreme discomfort. A good guideline is to give your audience about four feet of space  and let them take the lead from there—within the bounds of what makes you comfortable as well.

Hand gestures also convey enthusiasm while adding interest to a conversation or presentation. Varied gestures appear more natural (and genuine) than a practiced set of mannerisms, and sufficiently detailed and specific gestures can even underline the meaning of what you’re saying. Subtle mirroring  of your listeners’ gestures may also contribute to a subconscious bond between you. Again, moderation is key. Too many gestures may be off-putting, though, so awareness of the magnitude of your hand movements and your listeners’ responses will optimize the gestures’ effects.

Delivery lies in the gray area between the verbal and the non-verbal parts of communication, because it’s not about the content of what you say but how you say it. Tone is a crucial part of delivery, and you want to be sure your tone matches the content of what you’re saying. If you’re a typically loud speaker, you can soften your voice to emphasize important information, or go louder for emphasis if you’re typically a softer speaker.

Speed of delivery also makes a difference for understanding. Optimal human processing for spoken language is about 170-190 words per minute . Any more than that and the listener is overwhelmed, less and the listener zones out. We tend to speak more rapidly when we’re enthused, so it’s important to slow down. As always, monitor your speech and your listener or listeners to make sure they’re with you.

IMAGES

  1. Les 10 éléments de communication non verbale à travailler pour

    presentation communication non verbale

  2. 15 exemples de communications non verbales à pratiquer

    presentation communication non verbale

  3. La communication non verbale by Charline Nuss on Prezi

    presentation communication non verbale

  4. PPT

    presentation communication non verbale

  5. La communication non verbale

    presentation communication non verbale

  6. VERBAL AND NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

    presentation communication non verbale

VIDEO

  1. Chapter 4: Nonverbal Communication Presentation

  2. Nonverbal communication। presentation।। Prime University

  3. Formation en communication non verbale

  4. Formation de Prise de Parole en Public

  5. Le FACTEUR CRUCIAL : présentation de la playlist (#1FACTOR)

  6. La phrase verbale et non verbale

COMMENTS

  1. Nonverbal Communication Skills That Affect Presentations

    Nonverbal communication is made up primarily of movements and gestures. Identify the right combination of the two to amplify your message: Face your audience whenever possible. Maintain open body language. Move with purpose and for effect, not just for the sake of moving. Move into the group—do not "hug the wall.".

  2. How to Communicate Non-Verbally During Presentations

    Use a variety of facial expressions to convey different emotions. Avoid expressions that display discomfort, nervousness, or other negative emotions. Effective non-verbal communication is an essential aspect of successful presentations. It can help you convey your message more effectively, connect with your audience, and keep them engaged.

  3. Communication non verbale : définition, explications et exemples

    La communication non verbale désigne tout ce que nous pouvons faire volontairement ou involontairement au cours d'un échange sans parler. 10 signes de communication non verbale peuvent être déclinés. 93 % de notre communication est non verbale. Soutien du regard, intonation de la voix, gestes, proximité avec l'interlocuteur, mouvement ...

  4. Communication non verbale : définition, caractéristiques et exemples

    La communication non verbale désigne ainsi l'ensemble du langage corporel. Il peut s'agir de la gestuelle, des expressions du corps ou du visage ou encore des manifestations physiologiques. Elle peut être consciente ou inconsciente en étant le reflet d'une émotion face à une situation précise.

  5. Nonverbal Communication Skills: 19 Theories & Findings

    These clusters may cross over and include a variety of nonverbal categories, summarized below. 1. Kinesics. Kinesics is the study of how we move our body, specifically the head, hands, body, and arms (Jones, 2013). This includes sending messages through facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and posture.

  6. What is Nonverbal Communication? 10 Types & Examples

    Here are 10 of the most common forms of nonverbal communication: 1. Facial expressions. The look on an individual's face is often the first thing we see. A smile, frown, or grimace tells a lot about their mood and how the subsequent conversation will go. Expressions of happiness, sadness, anger and fear are universal emotions and key forms of ...

  7. 6.1: Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

    Nonverbal communication is often simply defined as communication without words. Others have noted that nonverbal communication includes "all behaviors that are not words" (Guerrero & Floyd, 2006, p. 4). Regardless of the deceiving simplicity of its definition, know that nonverbal communication is very complex.

  8. 1.4 Non-verbal Communication

    Introduction. Figure 1.4.1: Nonverbal communication makes up 93% of our communication. ( Steemit, 2017) It's not always what you say, but how you say it that makes a difference. We sometimes call this "body language," or "nonverbal communication," and it is a key aspect of effective business communication. Nonverbal communication is ...

  9. Non Verbal Communication and Presentation Skills

    Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication. In this post, I'd like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills. Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience. It increases your credibility.

  10. Powerful Presentation Skills: Use Non-Verbals Effectively

    Professional speaker and presentation skills coach Gilda Bonanno explains how to master the elements of non-verbal communications (eye contact, voice, facia...

  11. La Communication non-verbale by Numa BERTRAND on Prezi

    définition. La communication non verbale englobe tout ce qui a trait au langage corporel agissant comme vecteur inconscient de nos émotions. 55% de ce que nous disons est non-verbal. La parole est trompeuse : une personne peut dire quelque chose et vouloir dire toute autre chose ou induire en erreur délibérément son interlocuteur en mentant.

  12. 9 Types of Nonverbal Communication

    While these signals can be so subtle that we are not consciously aware of them, research has identified nine types of nonverbal communication. These nonverbal communication types are: Facial expressions. Gestures. Paralinguistics (such as loudness or tone of voice) Body language. Proxemics or personal space.

  13. Importance of Non-Verbal Communication in Conversation and Presentation

    3 min read. ·. Jun 19, 2023. --. Non-Verbal communication plays a crucial role in conversations and presentations as it complements and enhances the verbal message being conveyed. Non-Verbal ...

  14. Présentation Communication non Verbale

    Présentation Communication non Verbale by Claire HOUSSEAU on Prezi. Blog. April 18, 2024. Use Prezi Video for Zoom for more engaging meetings. April 16, 2024. Understanding 30-60-90 sales plans and incorporating them into a presentation. April 13, 2024.

  15. On Non-Verbal Communication

    Students discuss how people employ different types of non-verbal communication to express themselves and interact with others—and how these types of non-verbal communication may differ from one culture to another. ... If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your ...

  16. Qu'est-ce que la communication non verbale?

    Dans cette vidéo, nous passons en revue les trois principaux types de communication non verbale : les expressions faciales, les gestes et le langage corporel...

  17. La communication non verbale

    7. Selon J.Corraze (1980), le terme de communications non verbales « s'applique aux Gestes, à la Posture, l'orientation du corps, la singularité somatique naturelle ou artificielle, voire à des organisations d'objets, des rapports de distance entre les individus, grâce auxquels une information est émise.

  18. PPT

    Presentation Transcript. Nonverbal Communication We speak only with our mouths, but we communicate with our whole bodies. 80% of Communication is Nonverbal • Gestures • Body Position • Facial Expressions • Tone of Voice. Nonverbal Communication Communication without words; a process by which an individual stimulates meaning in the mind ...

  19. Non Verbal Communication in Presentations

    Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication. In this post, I'd like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills. Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience. It increases your credibility.

  20. "Eye" understand: The power of non-verbal communication

    He was born in Argentina and moved to the USA when he was 12 years old. He received a Master's Degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, the only Deaf Liberal Arts University in the USA. He was then employed by a school district where he was a TESOL instructor to Deaf students, and had some of the best educational experiences with his unique group of students. In 2007, he moved to ...

  21. Non-Verbal Language Lesson

    Funny Illustration Education School Cream Teacher Middle School Doodle Language Arts Emotion Communication Editable in Canva. You can speak with your body and your actions too! Learn all about non-verbal language with this creative template for Google Slides & PPT.

  22. Presentation is Important: Non-Verbal Communication

    The fundamentals of good non-verbal presentation are well-known: make eye contact and smile. Even more essential than these basics is self-awareness. Eye contact establishes trust and interest, but too much can come across as aggressive. Smiling follows similar rules. A genuine smile conveys positivity and approachability, but too much smiling ...

  23. Non Verbal Communication PowerPoint Template

    16:9. 4:3. Download the innovatively crafted Non Verbal Communication PPT template and display how to communicate without uttering a single word. Personality trainers and communication tutors can use the pre-designed deck to demonstrate how to effectively communicate using gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, and body language.