How can you ensure your nonverbal communication is effective?

Check Out the New Blog group of smiling students and teacher in classroomNonverbal communication is a very powerful means of communication. It is usually subconscious, one may not be aware of what is being portrayed to the outside world through their body. Whether we realize it or not, a significant amount of our conversation on a daily basis is nonverbal. Nonverbal communication is also an excellent way to receive feedback from the people you are communicating with. Their expressions, body language, gestures and posture can give you feedback on how well you are communicating with them and whether they understand and agree with you.

Let us consider the following important nonverbal skills you would need to work on in order to be an effective public speaker:

  1. Body language: Body language conveys to others one’s emotions and attitude. It also portrays one’s confidence or the lack of it. Some people read a lot, from the different signals the body gives while some are quite unaware of it. If one is oblivious of what people may perceive from their body language, it may have unwanted or embarrassing results.
  2. Posture: Posture, or the attitude that your body assumes, can also give people an impression of how you feel or how open you are to their opinions, comments or involvement.When you stand before a crowd to communicate with them, what are you portraying? Standing erect, chin tucked in, head held high (not too high as this indicates pride which may be a barrier in some cases), arms by the side, hands open or simply holding your hands in front, portrays confidence, a positive and open attitude. People are more likely to be interested in and respond to your message when you look positive.
  3. Gestures: Gestures are often used to reinforce what is being said. The right gestures with the right words can help strengthen your message. If you speak while standing perfectly, your presentation, speech or class may end up looking a little too rehearsed and unnatural. People, especially students, may easily lose interest in what you are saying. Children may find a class or presentation more exciting with excessive gesturing.
  4. Eye contact: Eye contact is a very important part of good communication. People often associate direct eye contact with honesty and truthfulness.When you do not look at a person while talking to them, they may get the impression that you are not interested in the conversation or have more important things to attend to. A person who has no confidence also finds it hard to maintain eye contact. This may be a sign that they are feeling intimidated. Make sure that you maintain good eye contact when on a public speaking platform. Some of the types of eye contact given below may help you read your audience and give you hints on how you need to proceed with your presentation, speech or class.
  5. Smile: Another important part of nonverbal communication is your smile. People across all ages respond well to smiles as this expression is associated with joy, happiness and positivity. A smile is the easiest way to make someone welcome or comfortable. It also helps in lowering defenses. When speaking in all kinds of platforms, use the smile as deemed appropriate in that setting. For example, you can smile as much as you want in a classroom setting. This is also true when your speaking assignments are leading to relationship building such as in cases with the parents of your students. However, while presenting in a more serious context, it might be best to maintain a more neutral expression.

How can you ensure your body language is positive and effective?

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