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 Verbal Communication (Oral):Meaning, Advantages, Disadvantages

 Essentials of Effective oral Communication
 Types
 Non-Verbal Communication
 Meaning
 Types: Body Language, Para Language, Provernicsm Artifacts Sign Language etc.


 Know the meaning and characteristics of verbal & non verbal communication
 Understand the functions of verbal & non verbal communication
 Learn different types of non verbal communication
 Learn positive e gestures ,body movements and facial expressions
 Understand silence as a mode of communication
 Differentiate between verbal & non verbal communication


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We communicate with much more than words: when we interact with someone, our body has a
language of its own. The way we sit, the gestures we make, the way we talk, how much eye
contact we make – all of these are non-verbal ways of communicating that impact the messages
our words are sending.

Managers who are adept at dealing with negative emotions in the workplace are mindful of how
and what they communicate verbally and non-verbally. They are also receptive to the verbal and
non-verbal messages of others. Perceptive managers can go beyond the words to discover the
fuller meaning of a statement by observing non-verbal communication.

Our verbal messaging is communicated via the words that we use. The verbal message is of
course an important part of our communication, but the way we communicate nonverbally is
equally, and sometimes more, important.

Nonverbal communication includes the following:

- Tone of voice

- Rate and volume of speech

- How we articulate our words

- Rhythm, intonation and stress placed on words

- Facial expression

- The amount of eye contact we make

- Gestures/touch

- Body language and posturing

Research shows that when we communicate feelings and attitudes, only a small percentage of
our overall message comes from the words we use.

- 55% of our message comes from body language (especially from movements of the small

muscles around the eye which can convey shock, disbelief, doubt or disgust)

- 38% of our message comes from tone of voice

- Only 7% of our message is conveyed by the words we use (Mehrabian, 2007)

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It’s not what we say, but how we say it that often matters most, especially when we
communicate feelings and attitudes. Tone of voice alone can convey anger, frustration,
disappointment, sarcasm, confidence, affection or indifference.

Often our verbal and non-verbal messages are consistent, but they can sometimes be
inconsistent. If someone’s words conflict with their tone of voice and/or non-verbal behaviours,
we often mistrust the words and tend to believe the non-verbal clues instead. It’s not very
convincing, for example, when someone tells you they’re not angry at you, but they avoid eye
contact, have an angry expression on their face, can barely force out the words, and slam their
fist on the table while saying it.

To communicate means to share information, thoughts, or feelings. It can be said that there are
two main types of communication: verbal, and non-verbal.


The word verbal comes from the Latin word for word – verbum. Meanwhile, the word
communication comes from the Latin word for to share – communicare. So, it follows from this
that verbal communication means sharing things by means of words. What is shared here can
vary: it might be information, feelings, thoughts, support and memories. You name it, you can
share it using your verbal communication skills!

When messages or information is exchanged or communicated through words is called verbal

communication. Verbal communication may be two types: written and oral communication.
Verbal communication takes place through face-to-face conversations, group discussions,
counseling, interview, radio, television, calls, memos, letters, reports, notes, email etc. some
definitions of verbal communications are as follows:

According to Bovee and others: Verbal communication is the expression of information through
language which is composed of words and grammar.”

According to Penrose and others, “Verbal communication consists of sharing thoughts thought
the meaning of words.”

So, verbal communication is the process of exchanged of information or message between two or
more persons through written or oral words.


Verbal communication enables us to interact with people around us. It lets us make our thoughts
and opinions heard and enables us to hear those of others.

Giving comfort. Our tone of voice is integral to verbal communication. This is something that it
is very hard to convey in writing. A gentle, kind tone of voice is great for comforting someone.
So, if you have a friend in need, why not pick up the phone to talk to them?
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Social contexts. There is nothing like a face to face chat for making friends or sharing a joke
with other people.

There are so many ways in which verbal communication is important. For example:

1. Keeping each other informed: we can use verbal communication to disseminate useful and
important information.

2. Asking for help and support: communicating verbally about our problems is the first step to
solving them.

3. Making friends: communicating with others can be the start of a good friendship.

4. Expressing ourselves creatively: verbal communication can be the means for expressing our

5. Sharing emotions: we can share emotions as well as factual information with our verbal
communication skills.

Verbal communication is important because it has a certain intimacy and authenticity to it that
we cannot always convey in writing, or by other means of communication.


1. Speaking face to face: here, our words are combined with our gestures, facial expressions and
tone of voice to give a full communication package.

2. Speaking on the phone: communicating verbally on the phone is an excellent way to reach
people far away.

3. Video-chat services: the wonders of the internet have enabled us to communicate verbally
with people everywhere and to stay in touch with our loved ones across the globe.

4. Writing a letter: old fashioned letter writing is an art that will never die.

5. Giving a lecture: this is a key example of the utility of verbal communication in an academic

6. Making announcements: those handy announcements over the tannoy at supermarkets or

train stations are key examples of verbal communication.

7. Leaving a voice mail: sometimes, we can record our verbal communications for our friends,
family and colleagues to pick up later.

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To make things clearer, here are some examples of situations in which people communicate

1. Two people smile at each other at a party. They want to get to know each other so they start
chatting. This is an example of informal verbal communication, though no doubt both people
will try to be polite to each other.

2. Someone is going to be late for work, so they phone their boss to let them know. Here, verbal
communication is likely to be relatively formal and polite – and it may well be apologetic as

3. Someone is having a hard time in their life, so they call round to a friend’s house to talk it
through face to face. Here, emotions are being shared by means of verbal communication. People
often prefer to talk face to face with this kind of verbal communication rather than over the
phone because there is something warm and comforting about being in the caring presence of
another human being.

4. A lecturer in a lecture hall explains a topic to their students using just the power of their voice.
Here, verbal communication is being used in order to share information.

5. An opera singer sings a classic aria, giving feeling to the words with the beauty of their voice
and vocal range. In this example, we see how it is the quality of the voice that can often give
additional depth and meaning to the words when verbal communication is taking place.

6. A teacher interacts with children in their class, explaining topics in various different ways
until everyone understands. This is another example in which verbal communication has a key
goal – educating people.

7. Someone purchases a new product and does not know how to use it, so they call the customer
support line for some verbal advice. Information is being asked for and given in this scenario –
hopefully at least.

8. A group of colleagues meet in a board room to share information about their company’s
finances. This is another example of formal verbal communication, where information is shared
in a formalized context.

9. Someone spots a thief breaking in to a nearby shops and calls the police with the time and
location of the crime. Here, verbal communication needs to be concise, accurate and informative.

10. Two people getting married recite their vows to each other as part of the ceremony. This is a
very interesting example of verbal communication as it demonstrates the power of verbal
communication to make things happen. Here, the couple’s words play a powerful part in actually
making them into a married couple in the eyes of the law.
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Verbal communication is, in many ways, very much part of the fabric of any society. Do you like
to communicate verbally? If so, are there any ways in which you might improve your verbal
communication skills to make them even better than they are now? One thing that it is important
to remember, for example, is that verbal communication is just as much about listening to the
words that are used by the people we are speaking to as it is about speaking, writing, or generally
using words ourselves.


Non-verbal communication is a wordless form of communication. It is mainly a silent form of

communication that does not involve speech or words.
Non-verbal communication is done through eye contact, hand movement, touch, facial
expressions, bodily postures and non-lexical components, etc. At times, silence is said to the best
form of non-verbal communication.

When messages or information is exchanged or communicated without using any spoken or

written word is known as nonverbal communication. Non-verbal communication is usually
understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages.

Non-verbal communication is a powerful arsenal in the face-to-face communication encounters,

expressed consciously in the presence of others and perceived either consciously or
unconsciously. Much of non-verbal communication is unintentional people are not even aware
that they are sending messages. Non-verbal communication takes place though gestures, facial
expressions, eye contact, physical proximity, touching etc. some important definitions of non-
verbal communication are as follows:

According to L. C. Bove and others, “Non-verbal communication is communication that takes

place through non-verbal cues: through such form of non-verbal communication as gesture, eye
contact, facial expression, clothing and space; and through the non-verbal vocal communication
known as Para-language.”

According to Lesikar and Pettit, “Nonverbal communication means all communication that
occurs without words (body movements, space, time, touch, voice patterns, color, layout, design
of surroundings.)”

According to Himstreet and Baty, “Non-verbal communication includes any communication

occurring without the use of words.”

So, non-verbal communication is the exchanged of information or message between two or more
persons through gestures, facial expressions eye contact, proximity, touching etc. and without
using any spoken or written word.



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Non-verbal communication is the expression or exchange of information or messages through
without using any spoken or written word. Several symbols can be used in non-verbal
communication. We will discuss here only the following types of communication that occur
without words.

Some parts of our body can express many indications without any sound. Message can be
transmitted with the help of our body movements which is called body language. Body language
is a form of non-verbal communication, which consists of posture, gestures, facial expressions,
eye movements etc.

Bodily movement and postures: body language is a language all of its own. Our posture, and
the way that we lean forward or back or cross or uncross our legs can speak volumes about us.
Very often, we are not even aware that we are communication our thoughts via our body
language. That is the reason why, in job interviews and other situations in which we are under
scrutiny, it is a good idea to pay attention to our body language. For example, leaning forward
can be a sign of positivity, whilst sitting with our arms folded can make us look closed off – as if
we have something to hide.
Facial expression: A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscles in the
skin of face. These movements convey the emotional state of the individual to observers. Facial
expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and fear are similar throughout the world.A proverb
says, “Face is the index of mind.”Example: By waving our hands we express ‘good-bye’; by
shaking our head from side to side we express “we do not know”.

The face and its expressions: smiling, nodding, raising eyebrows and so on have long been very
important ways of communicating. Without saying a word, we can speak volumes with a glance
at our interlocutor.

Gestures: Gestures refers to visible bodily actions communicate particular messages which
include movement of the hands, face, eyes, head or other parts of the body. Common gestures
include waving, pointing, and using fingers to indicate numeric amounts. Culture-specific
gestures that can be used as replacement for words, such as the hand wave used in western
cultures for “hello” and “goodbye”.

Movement of Hands: the first treatise on hand gestures was probably that written by the
physician John Bulwer in the mid seventeenth century. Bulwer demonstrated that the hands can
express so many different things, from prayers to commands – all without the need for words.

Posture: Posture indicates the position in which we hold the body when standing or sitting. It
can help to communicate non-verbally. Consider the following actions and note cultural
• Bowing not done criticized or affected in US; shows rank in Japan.
• Slouching rude in most Northern European areas.
• Hands in pocket-disrespectful in Turkey.
• Sitting with legs crossed-offensive in Ghana, Turkey.
• Showing soles of feet-offensive in Thailand, Saudi Arabia.

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Eye Gaze or Eye contact (Oculesics) Eye contact indicates looking, staring and blinking etc.
which is important in nonverbal behaviors. Looking at another person can indicate a range of
emotions, including hostility, attention, interest, and attraction, defines power and status and has
a central role in managing impressions of others.

Dancing: when we dance, we can express so many different emotions. From passion to religious
devotion, dancing either alone, with another person as part of a couple or in a synchronized
group, can communicate so much. Dancing is something that many of us engage in from
childhood and it becomes an important way of socializing and expressing ourselves at the same

APPEARANCE AND DRESS: External appearances also play a vital role to communicate
others. Our clothes dress provides a good visual signal to our interest, age, personality, taste, and
sex. Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles and other factors affecting appearance are also
considered a means of nonverbal can evoke different moods. Consider differing cultural
standards on what is attractive in dress and on what constitutes modesty. For example, seeing the
dress of army officers, we can easily determine the job status.

Clothing: what we wear can often communicate things. For example, if we dress up in academic
robes, it is clear that we want to communicate to everyone who sees us that we have attained a
certain level of academic achievement. We should never judge people by what they wear –
however, some types of official garments (such as a judge’s wig, a scholar’s gown or a soldier’s
medal) are designed to communicate something about the wearer.

TOUCH (HAPTICS): Touch is culturally determined. But each culture has a clear concept of
what parts of the body one may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control-protect,
support and disapprove (i.e. hug, kiss, hit, kick)
• USA-Handshake is common (even for strangers), hugs and kisses for those of opposite
gender or of family (usually) on an increasingly more intimate basis.
• Islamic and Hindu- Typically don’t touch with the left hand. Left hand is for toilet
• Islamic cultures generally don’t approve of any touching to opposite genders (even
handshakes). But consider such touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same sexes to
be appropriate.

SILENCE: Silence is another form of non-verbal communication which expresses the positive
or negative meanings of particular messages. In a classroom, silence indicates that students are
listening carefully and attentively.
Silence: you may have heard of the phrase, ‘the sound of silence’. Sometimes, staying silent can
communicate much more than words can. Silence can be powerful, sad, happy or it can simply
communicate to others that we do not want to engage with them. Good communicators are able
to listen, and to use comfortable silences, to connect with other people. There is no need to think
that communication is all about words!

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SPACE OR PROXIMITY :People often refer to their need for “personal space”, which are also
important types of non-verbal communication. The physical distance between you and others
signals your level of intimacy and comfort. If someone you don’t know stand too close or
touches too often, you will probably begin to feel uncomfortable.

Another type of non-verbal communication involves time. Thant is how we give meaning to time
communicates to other. For example, begin late in work everybody a worker can be considered
as a man of carelessness but if a manager does it; we say it is a symbol of power. We know, time
can play a vital role to reduce tension, conflict among groups. It is said that- “Kill the time to
delay the justice”.


Paralinguistic refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. Paralanguage
also includes such vocal characteristics as rate (speed of speaking), pitch (highness or lowness of
tone), inflection, volume (loudness) and quality (pleasing or unpleasant sound).
• Vocal characterizers (laugh, cry, yell, moan, whine, belch and yawn). These send
different message in different cultures (Japan- giggling indicates embarrassment; India- belch
indicates satisfaction)
• Vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tempo, and tone). Loudness indicates strength
in Arabic cultures and softness indicates weakness; indicates confidence and authority to the
Germans; indicates impoliteness to the Thai; indicates loss of control to the Japanese. (Generally,
one learns not to “shout” in Asia for nearly any reason). Gender-based as well women tend to
speak higher and more softly than men.
• Vocal segregates (UN-huh, shh, uh, ooh, mmmh, hummm, eh mah, lah). Segretates
indicate formality, acceptance, assent, uncertainty.

Paralinguistic and non-lexical noises: para means beside and linguistic means language. So,
paralinguistic noises are noises that occur alongside language, such as laughter, sighs and
groans. These are very important ways of communicating and very often they can be viewed as
more authentic than words. For example, laughing at a joke is generally seen to be a more
authentic way of appreciating that joke than simply stating to the person who has told the joke
that we think that their joke is funny.

vocal features that accompany speech and contribute tocommunication but are not generally
considered to be part of thelanguage system, as vocal quality, loudness, and tempo:
sometimesalso including facial expressions and gestures.
he ways in which people show what they mean other than by the words they use, for example by
their tone of voice, or by makingsounds with the breath:
The study of paralanguage deals with the non-verbal qualities of speech, which include pitch,
amplitude, rate, and voice quality.
Defining Paralanguage

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We are often advised that when it comes to getting our messages across to others, it is not so
much “what” we say, as “how” we say it. Paralanguage is the study of the “how,” to put it
It is a kind of meta-communication, a code that translates the words we are saying into what we
really mean.
We speak paralanguage when we gasp, sigh, clear our throats, change our tone, whisper or
shout, emphasize certain words, wave our hands, frown or smile, laugh or cry, string vocal
identifiers like un-huh and ah-hah between our words, or speak faster or slower.
Each of these actions tells our listeners something. They impact others emotionally.
Consider being at a funeral where someone is delivering the eulogy, for example. If their tone is
even and their words calmly delivered, we listen at one level. But if they say the same words, but
their voice breaks with emotion, our empathy rises.
f someone apologizes, but they spit out the words in a defiant tone, we do not believe they are
sincerely sorry. If they speak lower and slower, and there is a hint of tearfulness in their words,
we believe that they are indeed sorry.
To witness a good example of how the meaning of words change with paralanguage, take a look
at this scene from the movie “Bridesmaids” when the actress is told she must vacate the first
class quarters of an airplane:
Go over key sentences and see if your delivery is stronger if you emphasize certain words.
Watch great actors and see how effectively they use paralanguage to draw you into their
situation and make you care about what is happening to them.

When communication takes place by means of any visual aid, it is known as visual
communication. Such as facial expression, gesture, eye contact, signals, map, chart, poster, slide,
sign etc. for example, to indicate ‘danger’, we use red sign, to indicate ‘no smoking’, we use an
image showing a lighted cigarette with across mark on it etc

Signs , signals and symbols have come to acquire considerable significance in the world of
communication.Well before language evolved , prehistoric man had learnt to communicate with
the help of signs and signals.

Sign language apart from the set of signs is a system of communicating with people who are
hearing impaired, by using hand movements rather than spoken words.

Sign :A sign is a mark traced on a surface or an object with a view o indicate a particular

- A sign may give out an information, instruction or warning.

- It may also be a gesture, a movement or sound to convey something specific.

- E.g. Priests and elders convey their blessings by placing their hands on the heads of the
people bowing to them.( Sign of blessings)

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-E.g. Finger on the lips to suggest “ Keep Silent”.

- Such signs are sometimes group specific and are accepted as a matter of convention.

- A sign may also relate to a written mark conventionally used to convey a specific

- Such signs may be general as in case of road and traffic signs or subject specific signs ,
specific to a profession E.g. mathematics , algebra etc.

Signal :

• A signal is a sound or a movement that people make to give others information , instruction
or warning.

• A signal is also understood as an indication that something exists or something is about to


• E.g. signal to the waiter for a bill, signal to turn right.

• Signs and signals are often used with very similar meanings.

• However there is a difference: A sign is something that we find or see , whereas a signal is
generally used for something that is done intentionally and suggests that some action be
taken in response.

• Signs and signals may be explicit or in code language.

• Awareness ad understanding of signs and signals makes communication more meaningful.

Symbol :

• A symbol refers to a manner of representation of ideas.

• Symbols often use the power of association to convey a specific meaning.

• In modern day business , the use of a logo is also very common.

• A logo is a printed design or symbol that a company or organization uses as its specific sign.

• Here are some examples of the use of symbol:

- WHITE : Symbol of purity

- LION : Symbol of strength

- ISI Mark : Symbol of quality

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• Use of symbols at the right places enhances the effectiveness of the communication.

- 40 mph – Speed limit of 40 miles per hour.

- = - Equal to


There is a proverb “Actions speak louder than words.” In essence, this underscores the
importance of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is especially significant in
intercultural situations. Researchers in communication suggest that many more feelings and
intentions are sent and received non-verbally than verbally. Mehrabian and wiener following
suggested that only 7 % of message is sent through words, with remaining 93% sent non-verbal
expressions (depending on the author, verbal part goes up to 35%). It has multiple advantages or


1. Complementary: Non-verbal cues complement a verbal message by adding to its
meaning. You can pat someone you offended at the back as you say sorry to him or her.
2. Easy presentation: Information can be easily presented in non-verbal communication
through using visual, audio-visual and silent means of non-verbal communication.
3. Substituting: Non-verbal message may substitute for the verbal message especially if it
is blocked by noise, interruption, long distance etc. for example; gestures-finger to lips to
indicate need for quite, facial expressions- a nod instead of a yes.
4. Accenting: Often used to accent a verbal message. Verbal tone indicates the actual
meaning of the specific words.
5. Repeat: Used to repeat the verbal message (e.g. point in a direction while stating
6. Help to illiterate people: This type of communication use gestures, facial expressions,
eye contact, proximity, touching etc. and without using any spoken or written word. So, it is very
much helpful for illiterate people.
7. Help to handicapped people: Non-verbal cues of communication greatly help in
handicapped people especially to deaf people. Deaf people exchange message through the
movements of hands, fingers, eyeball etc.
8. Attractive presentation: Non-verbal communication is based on visual, picture, graph,
sign etc. that can be seen very much attractive.
9. Reducing wastage of time: The message of non-verbal communication reached the
receiver very fast. For this reason it reduces the wastage of valuable time of the communicator.
10. Quick expression of message: Non-verbal cues of communication like sign and symbol
can also communicate some messages very quickly than written or oral messages.


Despite of advantages of non-verbal communication, it is not free from its limitations or
disadvantages which are:
1. Vague and imprecise: Non-verbal communication is quite vague and imprecise. Since in
this communication, there is no use of words or language which expresses clear meaning to the

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receiver. No dictionary can accurately classify them. Their meaning varies not only by culture
and context but by the degree of intention.
2. Continuous: It is possible to stop talking in verbal communication, but it is generally not
possible to stop nonverbal cues. Also, spoken language has a structure that makes it easier to tell
when a subject has changed, for instance, or to analyze its grammar. Nonverbal does not lend
itself to this kind of analysis.
3. Multi-channel: while watching someone’s eyes, you may miss something significant in a
hand gesture. Everything is happening at once and therefore it may be confusing to try to keep up
with everything. Most of us simply do not do so, at least not consciously.
4. Culture-bound: Non-verbal communication is learnt in childhood, passed on to you by
your parents and others with whom you associate. A few other gestures seem to be universal.
Evidence suggests that humans of all cultures smile when happy and frown when unhappy.
However, most nonverbal symbols seem to be even further disconnected from any “essential
meaning” than verbal symbols. Gestures seen as positive in one culture (Like the thumbs-up
gesture in the USA) may be seen as obscene in another culture.
5. Long conversations are not possible: In non-verbal communication, long conversation
and necessary explanations are not possible. No party can discuss the particular issues of the
6. Difficult to understand: Difficult to understand and requires a lot of repetitions in non-
verbal communication. Since it uses gestures, facial expressions eye contact, touch etc. for
communicating with others which may not be understandable for the simple and foolish people.
7. Not everybody prefers: Everybody does not prefer to communicate through non-verbal
communication with others. Sometimes it cannot create an impression upon people or listeners.
It is less influential and cannot be used everywhere. It is cannot be used as a public tool for
8. Lack of formality: Non-verbal communication does not follow any rules, formality or
structure like other communication. Most of the cases people unconsciously and habitually
engaged in non-verbal communication by moving the various parts of the body.
9. Costly: In some cases non-verbal communication involves huge cost. For example, neon
sign, power point presentation, cinema etc are very much costly compared to others form of
10. Distortion of information: Since it uses gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, touch,
sign, sound, paralanguage etc. for communicating with others, there is a great possibility in
distortion of information in non-verbal communication


Verbal communication is the expression or exchange of information or messages through written

or oral words.

On the other hand, non-verbal communication is the expression or exchange of information or

messages through without using any spoken or written word. The important differences between
verbal and non-verbal communication are as follows:

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What is Non Verbal Communication ?

It is communication of feelings, emotions, attitudes, and thoughts through body movements /

gestures / eye contact, etc.

The components of Non Verbal Communication are:

Kinesics: It is the study of facial expressions, postures & gestures. Did you know that
while in Argentina to raise a fist in the air with knuckles pointing outwards expresses victory, in
Lebanon, raising a closed fist is considered rude?

Oculesics: It is the study of the role of eye contact in non verbal communication. Did you
know that in the first 90 sec - 4 min you decide that you are interested in someone or not. Studies

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reveal that 50% of this first impression comes from non-verbal communication which includes
oculesics. Only 7% of comes from words - that we actually say.

Haptics: It is the study of touching. Did you know that acceptable level of touching vary
from one culture to another? In Thailand, touching someone's head may be considered as rude.

Proxemics: It is the study of measurable distance between people as they interact. Did
you know that the amount of personal space when having an informal conversation should vary
between 18 inches - 4 feet while, the personal distance needed when speaking to a crowd of
people should be around 10-12 feet?

Chronemics: It is the study of use of time in non verbal communication. Have you ever
observed that while AN employee will not worry about running a few minutes late to meet a
colleague, a manager who has a meeting with the CEO, a late arrival will be considered as a
nonverbal cue that he / she does not give adequate respect to his superior?

Paralinguistics: It is the study of variations in pitch, speed, volume, and pauses to convey
meaning. Interestingly, when the speaker is making a presentation and is looking for a response,
he will pause. However, when no response is desired, he will talk faster with minimal pause.

Physical Appearance: Your physical appearance always contributes towards how people
perceive you. Neatly combed hair, ironed clothes and a lively smile will always carry more
weight than words.

Remember, “what we say” is less important than “how we say it” as words are only 7% of our
communication. Understand and enjoy non verbal communication as it helps forming better first
impressions. Good luck!


Learning to communicate well with other people is so important, and it is something that it can
take an entire lifetime to perfect. However, misreading people’s communications can be
disastrous. We all want to be better friends, partners and family members, and better colleagues
and citizens too. If we want to achieve this, then we need to be able to communicate effectively
with other people in all contexts – formal, informal and spontaneous.

Effective communication, as is abundantly clear from the discussion above, involves not just
listening to other people’s words and expressing ourselves in words. It also means picking up on
other people’s non-verbal cues. Why not go through the list above and think about which forms

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of non-verbal communication you are adept at understanding. Are there any ways in which you
might improve your non-verbal communication skills? We could all benefit from a little
improvement in this area, as it enables us to enjoy deeper and more meaningful connections with
other people







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