Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal Communication

Definition of Verbal Communication-communicate thoughts or feelings through the use of words.
Examples: spoken, written, and sign language

Definition of Non-Verbal Communication-process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless messages
Examples: vocal sounds or grunts, hand gestures, bodily action, eye contact, facial expression, posture

Physical Appearance

  • has a great effect on the opinion of the listener
  • always seen by the listener before they hear what you have to say

Hand Gestures

  • can add a subtle touch to your delivery or can be distracting
  • make every gesture natural, appropriate, and consistent both with the ideas in the message and with your own personality
  • stand straight with your arms bent at the waist and your hands relaxed, at the "ready" position
  • use open gestures versus closed gestures
  • you can tell if your gestures are effective by checking where your listeners are looking

Bodily action

  • be natural, relaxed, and reasonable. Don't pace back and forth, sway, or lean over the podium
  • try to appear calm even before and after your speech when approaching the podium and your seat

Eye contact

  • allows you to connect with your audience
  • don't look just above the heads of your listeners. Although this advice is often given to speakers, it will be obvious to everyone that you are gazing into the air.
  • you will feel more comfortable during your presentation if you choose to look at people who are giving you positive feedback
  • distribute your gaze evenly around the room
  • avoid the tendency to dart your eyes around the room or to sweep the room with your eyes

Facial expressions

  • especially important in communicating emotions
  • avoid using too many or too little
  • keep your facial expression consistent with the ideas
  • eliminate distracting facial expressions


  • greatly effect voice projection and credibility
  • stand straight but not stiff
  • try to avoid the common mistakes of posture such as putting your hands in your pockets or leaning on the desk

Practicing makes perfect—practicing your speech will allow the speaker to use non-verbal communication more effectively.

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