EFFECTIVE BODY LANGUAGE
Communication has been man’s way of expressing his thoughts and passing information since the beginning of time. Communication comprises of verbal and nonverbal communication. Verbal communication uses words to share opinions, thoughts, and information with others. Verbal communication is about the words spoken and the way they are heard and interpreted. Remaining calm and composed, being polite, and following basic etiquette while having a conversation is very important.
When it comes to nonverbal communication, gestures, postures, voice modulation, and facial expressions are very powerful tools. Although spoken words play a vital role in expressing your thoughts effectively, it is body language that speaks volumes. The gestures people use while speaking happens instinctively. The body language we use, tone of voice, and effective eye contact sends strong messages.
Components of nonverbal communication are the following:
Facial Expressions- The expressions on our faces speak for themselves when the words don’t. Expressions for emotions like happiness, anger, sadness, shock, and others remain constant across the 195 countries and the wide range of cultures and languages.
Eye contact- A fleeting eye contact spread across the audience members is necessary in order to maintain the flow of the conversation. Eye contact with members of the audience can help the speaker gauge their reactions.
Voice Modulation- People can read the voice of the speaker, aspects like the gap between two words, how loud one speaks, and the tone is often paid attention to by the listeners. The emotion of the speaker is sent across the room by the way with which he modifies his voice.
Posture- The way the speaker moves carries a huge amount of information. Subtle movements, stance are types of nonverbal communication.
Gestures- Gestures for the same word or phrase can differ from place to place so, it is important to avoid any gesture that can leave room for confusion or misunderstanding.
Since the advent of COVID-19, communication has moved on to a virtual world as well. Factors like facial expressions, eye contact, voice modulation are important components of body language in the online world.
Components like postures and gestures differ when it comes to communication in the online world. Speakers must determine their seating arrangement in a way as to fit perfectly in the video frame. Sitting too close or too far can come off as awkward. The background of the speaker must be tidy and neutral to minimize the audience getting distracted. Gestures must be minimal. While gestures play a huge role in body language, using too many gestures tends to distract the audience. Fidgeting gives listeners a sense of nervousness on the speaker’s side.
Body language can be used in a positive way to add further impact to your messages. The right combination of body language and verbal communication will leave the audience hanging on to every word the speaker says.