Non-verbal Communication: Definition, and how to Improve


When it comes to communication skills, there is a lot that can be said, mainly its application in companies, organizations, lectures, and conferences. The most used means are written communication, verbal communication, and, last but not least, non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication is so powerful that it can keep people focused on a speech from start to finish. If you are a leader or manager of a company or someone who holds a position that requires you to speak to people with a certain frequency, then this article is for you.

What is Non-verbal communication?

Non-verbal communication is the collection of gestures, mannerisms, or signs that a person can give through moving parts of the body, like hands or face to transmit a message or reinforce what is being said. It is quite important to make sure we are sending the right message with our body, in order to not confuse our audience.

The following tips are exactly to help you improve your communication skills as a leader and reach more people in your speeches or to gain more attention from your employees in those lengthy meetings that they usually have.

We have selected 5 relevant tips to help you improve your skills in non-verbal communication. They can be applied by everyone but especially those who have the responsibility to speak in front of other people.

  • Making Eye Contact
  • Having the Right Facial Expressions
  • Keeping Good Posture
  • Control Your Voice Tone
  • Match Mannerisms and Gestures with the Message

Now that we are all clear about the definition of non-verbal communication let’s dive into the details of what brings you here. Note that some of these tips can be understood as types of non-verbal communication.

This post is the part 2 of a series of posts on how we can have better corporate communication and what skills are paramount to ensure that we are effective in delivering the right message to the right person with the right channel. You can Check the full list of 7 key skills for effective corporate comms HERE.

How to Improve Non-verbal Communication

Non Verbal Communication

Making Eye Contact

Eye contact is when you look at someone face-to-face, one of the first (if not the first) things that a leader or the person who will give a presentation should know how to do. Eye contact will let you know if people are really paying attention to what you are saying.

From the moment you face a person, you will be sure if they are in the same spirit or not. And more than that, when launching a question to the public or the employees present at a meeting, the way you will face the person who will respond is that it will dictate whether or not you will have a good answer.

Eye contact is also a good tip to get the attention of a distracted person for some reason. In the middle of a speech, one person loses interest in what is being said in the middle of a speech. This is when you must use eye contact to get the person’s attention back.

Having the Right Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are grimaces people do in order to make the person who is looking at you understand what you are trying to say. when used well, can guarantee the success of your presentation and make people gain more admiration for you. It is a technique that needs to be very well trained because mood swings can ruin a presentation.

Before starting a presentation or speech, be emotionally prepared. That is, forget for a moment everything that can make you moody. And be prepared for questions that can make you uncomfortable. It is essential to remain firm so that you can make facial expressions that can captivate your audience.

It is also important to know when to express what will get the audience excited and show a serious facial expression when the speech reaches a stage that requires seriousness or serenity.

Keep a Good Posture

Posture also counts a lot in non-verbal communication so that if you don’t keep it, you can ruin everything. From what you’re going to wear to the way you’re going to move around on stage, everything must be just right.

Avoid wearing clothes that will distract your audience from the purpose for which they are in your presentation. Avoid clothes with warm colors or very heavy. Always try to wear clothes with neutral colors, and that is harmonious in the sense that there is no color disparity between pants, shirts, and shoes.

Wear formal or casual clothes, depending on the environment where you are going to perform, and always try to control your movements on stage. The softer they are, the better the tone of voice, among other things that may arise at the moment.

Control your Voice Tone

The voice is the main and best tool that a leader has. Practically without it, little can be done. That is why it is essential to know how to use it to your advantage. All you need to ensure a good presentation is to have a balanced tone of voice.

A balanced tone of voice, combined with good expression techniques in the language that you will use for the presentation, will make your audience feel firm in your words.

It is true that depending on the situation. You will need to raise your voice. It depends a lot on the context and the situation. for example, you intend to tell the audience how brave and strong you must be in certain situations. You raise your voice to generate more impact.

Match Mannerisms and Gestures with Your Message

And last but not least, the gestures, they are the movements we do with our body and our hands. In a nutshell, gestures are involuntary or voluntary acts that people do while talking. It is almost impossible to speak without gesturing. What you need to do is to control it so that it is not exaggerated.

During a presentation, the gestures must be smooth to meet the facial expression, tone of voice, and eye contact. The way you are going to gesture also influences your body movements and can affect your posture during a presentation. Always try to do it gently.

It is also important to mention that some gestures you are going to make, the public may not understand. So always try to combine the gestures with what you are going to say, and avoid sudden movements in your hands because they can be misinterpreted.

Conclusion

it is indisputable that non-verbal communication is necessary when talking to people. This article became clear through these 5 tips on how we can use it to our advantage. As a company leader, it is important to know and apply these types of communication.

Most people fail in their presentations because they fail to use these types of non-verbal communication. if you want to see the success of your presentations or hear good feedback from your employees, then it’s time to implement these tips

References

10 Tips to Improve Your Nonverbal Communication (verywellmind.com)

Techniques for Improving Your Nonverbal Communication Skills in the Workplace (chron.com)

6 Ways to Improve Your Non-verbal Communication Skills – Mental Health First Aid

Nonverbal Communication and Body Language – HelpGuide.org

16 Best Ways To Improve Non-Verbal Communication At Work (educba.com)

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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