Research shows that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal and only 7% is verbal. That means the way you say something is equally as important as, if not more important than, the words you speak! Even if the commonly cited claim that “only 7% of communication is verbal” is overestimated, it is apparent that nonverbal communication is of paramount importance if you want to be heard.
What is Non-Verbal Communication?
All unwritten and unspoken messages, whether intended or not, are included in nonverbal communication. It refers to the exchange of information without the use of words, such as through facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, posture, and other nonverbal communication methods. These signals have a significant impact on receivers. Understanding them, however, is not so simple. Does a persistent stare radiate coldness? Do crossed arms mean defensiveness or just that the person is nervous?
How to Master Non-Verbal Skills?
1. Establish and Maintain Eye Contact.
When speaking, making eye contact with the audience will help you capture their attention. When listening, making eye contact with the speaker indicates that you are paying attention. Interest, attentiveness, strength, and credibility are all conveyed through eye contact.
2. Use Posture and Gesture.
A person who has a ‘tight’ posture appears less friendly than someone who has an open posture. When someone’s shoulders are up and their spine is straight, it means they’re focused, receptive, and open to the thoughts or information you’re sharing.
3. Probe for More Information.
Be aware of the internal biases, don’t let those drive you to insubstantial assumptions. Look for specifics, and pause in the middle of important concepts, it improves your decoding skills and increases your opportunity to interact effectively. Make nonverbal assessments only after you’ve obtained a thorough understanding of the situation or culture.
4. Appreciate the Power of Appearance.
Humans, whether we like it or not, have a tendency to judge people based on their appearance. Our physical appearance has a significant influence on our self-image and the image we project to others. When compared to a raggedy tracksuit, someone wearing a tidy, well-pressed suit will attract significantly more attention and recognition when speaking.
5. Observe Yourself on Video.
By filming and reviewing yourself by giving a presentation, you can ensure that your vocal and nonverbal messages are in sync. You might ask your friends and family to monitor your conscious and unconscious body movements and gestures to help you be aware of those and adjust accordingly.
Communication skills regularly scored among the top abilities indicated in new job postings by employers in 2021, according to statistics. It’s crucial to have great communication skills when it comes to forming personal and professional relationships. When you master nonverbal communication, you’ll be able to convey a universal message to people from all backgrounds which will help you become an effective communicator.