When we consider communication, we typically think of the written or spoken word. But it’s essential to understand that nonverbal communication can have a big impact on how we express ourselves and how we are perceived. Nonverbal communication can truly speak louder than words, and mastering it is an important component of business communication.
There are three main elements of nonverbal communication:
Body language is the most obvious form of nonverbal communication, and it can convey much about ourselves and our level of interest. Folded arms indicate that you may not be open to what’s being said. Someone who is receptive to a message may sit or stand directly facing the speaker, with hands open (on the arms of the chair or at their sides). The listener might even lean forward to show interest.
Making eye contact lets the speaker know that you think what he or she has to say is important. Conversely, lack of eye contact is a clear indicator of disinterest. Maintaining eye contact helps promote conversations, keep them flowing and develop rapport. If you are engaged, you are less likely to interrupt—and will be able to detect when the speaker is finished with his or her point.
Pay attention to volume, pitch and pace: These cues provide powerful insights into a speaker’s true feelings. Understanding how someone says something can help you discern frustration, sarcasm, agreement or confidence.
Nonverbal communication matters: Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Learn to polish your nonverbal communication skills through a Dardis Professional Presence, Image & Etiquette seminar.