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Nonverbal Dictionary.

Com defines nonverbal communication as communication behavior that is

expressed in any other means besides words.
Research suggests that nonverbal communication is more important in understanding human
behavior than words alone--the nonverbal "channels" seem to be more powerful than what people
say. Zig Ziglar is uoted in saying nonverbal communication can also be described as dynamic
process that engages body! mind and society .
"ou need to be aware of your nonverbal communication from the moment you stand up until your
presentation is completed. #he importance of positive eye contact and the correct use of posture
and hand movement or any nonverbal cue to accompany your presentation cannot be overstated.
$onverbal cues are symbols with meaning interpretations. %n general! nonverbal symbols perform
five functions in communication.
&. 'ccenting-calling attention to the message source using some device (hitting the table for
*. Complimenting-using nonverbal cues to enhance the meaning of verbal symbols!
+. ,ubstituting-a nonverbal symbol replaces a verbal symbol (holding up hand to indicate stop)
-. Contradicting-the nonverbal symbol sends a message different from the verbal symbols.
(agreeing to a sub.ect with your arms folded)
/. Regulating-0hile engaged in a conversation! you would most li1ely use nonverbal
communication as an indicator of the flow of conversation. (when spea1ing you may wait a
moment for a pause to inter.ect an opinion.
$onverbal symbols can be arranged among three general categories2
&. 3aralanguage--nonverbal enhancements to language symbols
*. 4inesics--nonverbal symbols of body movement (gestures! eye contact! facial expressions!
+. 3roxemics--nonverbal symbols of distance! space! and time
#he inflection! tempo! emphasis! or tone adds meaning to oral presentations. 3aralanguage
includes any device that can be used to modify the meaning interpretation of a verbal symbol.
#hese devices include inflection or emphasis added to spo1en symbols or highlighting! bolding! or
all capital letters added to written symbols. 5or example! loo1 at the following sentence and read
it while emphasi6ing each word in seuence.
% didn7t say she stole the money.
0hen emphasi6ing the word "%!" the sentence ta1es on a shaded meaning from its non-emphasi6ed
state. 8mphasi6ing the word "didn7t" changes the meaning of the sentence! as does emphasi6ing
the word "say." 9epending on which word is emphasi6ed (paralanguage)! the sentence carries a
different meaning interpretation.
5or maximum spea1ing effectiveness! learn to vary these six elements of your voice.
: #one
: 3itch
: Rhythm
: 3auses and response time
: ;oudness
' ma.or criticism of presenters is when they spea1 in a monotone. ;isteners perceive these
persons as boring and dull.
<estures are among the most culture-related communication symbols. 0hile verbal languages are
specific to cultures! the word symbols typically are different between languages. %n the case of
gestures! similar hand gestures are found in many different cultures! but the meaning associated
differs by culture. <iving the thumbs-up in the =.,.'. is a positive symbol! but in the >iddle
8ast it means screw-you. ?e familiar with your audience and use tact with your gestures.
%f you fail to gesture while spea1ing! you may be perceived as boring! stiff and unanimated. '
lively and animated spea1ing style captures the audience attention! ma1es the material more
interesting! facilitates learning and provides a bit of entertainment. @ead nods! a form of
gestures! communicate positive reinforcement from the audience indicates that you are listening.
8ye contact! an important channel of interpersonal communication! helps regulate the flow of
communication. 'nd it signals interest in others. 8ye contact with audiences increases the
spea1er7s credibility.
@ow you dress! the color and style of clothes! how you fix your hair! your body type! and your
posture are among the elements of appearance that send messages. Ane needs to dress
appropriately for a situation.
,miling is a powerful cue that transmits2
: @appiness
: 5riendliness
: 0armth
: ;i1ing
: 'ffiliation
%f you smile freuently you will be perceived as more li1able! friendly! warm and approachable.
,miling is often contagious and your audience will react favorably and learn more.
#he proxemics is how one feels about the space around them and the distance between people
that they are tal1ing. 3roxemics is culture sensitive. #he distances between people reserved for
categories of acuaintance will vary depending on the cultural interpretation of the distance.
,tudies in the =nited ,tates suggest that the distance as classified as the following2
&. intimate distance (contact to &B in.)
*. personal distance (&B" to - ft.)
+. social distance (-7 to &* ft.)
-. public distance (&*7 to infinity)
%n the case of space proxemics! the following are examples of things that can be interpreted as
having symbolic meaning2
&. Room si6e
*. Ador
+. Color
-. ;ighting
/. Room 'rrangement
&. #he shape and layout of the room provides nonverbal symbolic clues to people using the room
of the expectations of roles to be filled.
*. 3hysical positions in an office layout establish power or status for the employees in the physical
+. Chairs in a circle usually mean an intimate meeting.
-. #he dinner table at homeC everyone has his or her chairs.
%n summary! it is important to recogni6e to ad.ust your nonverbal communication based on your
audience response. ;oo1 for their nonverbal communication. 're they bored or de.ecting. %t is not
only what you say but also how you say it that can ma1e a difference to your listeners. ?ecome
aware of your nonverbal actions and surveillance others! youDll be ama6ed at what they are telling
?ris1! erect wal1 Confidence
,tanding with hands on hips Readiness! aggression
,itting with legs crossed! foot 1ic1ing slightly ?oredom
,itting! legs apart Apen! relaxed
'rms crossed on chest 9efensiveness
0al1ing with hands in poc1ets! shoulders hunched 9e.ection
@and to chee1 8valuation! thin1ing
#ouching! slightly rubbing nose Re.ection! doubt! lying
Rubbing the eye 9oubt! disbelief
@ands clasped behind bac1 'nger! frustration! apprehension
;oc1ed an1les 'pprehension
@ead resting in hand! eyes downcast ?oredom
Rubbing hands 'nticipation
,itting with hands clasped behind head! legs crossed Confidence! superiority
Apen palm ,incerity! openness! innocence
3inching bridge of nose! eyes closed $egative evaluation
#apping or drumming fingers %mpatience
,teepling fingers 'uthoritative
3attingEfondling hair ;ac1 of self-confidenceC insecurity
#ilted head %nterest
,tro1ing chin #rying to ma1e a decision
;oo1ing down! face turned away 9isbelief
?iting nails %nsecurity! nervousness
3ulling or tugging at ear %ndecision