Non –verbal Communication
Non verbal signals have more impact in conveying
meaning than verbal content. In fact non verbal
behaviour is so important to effective business
communication that many companies are trying to
train their employees to understand it.
Characteristics of Non-verbal Communication
Non-verbal signals can completely alter the message
that you communicate. Following are some of the
characteristics of non-verbal communication.
i) Non verbal messages primarily communicate
emotions, attitudes – It represents anger,
appreciation, dislike, resentment etc to a
particular situation. But messages like “The
sales meeting is going to be held next week.”
However, you can express your attitude to the
sales meeting--- dread, eager anticipation, etc
through non verbal signals.
ii) Non-verabal cues substitute for, contradict,
emphasize or regulate verbal messages.
iii) Non verbal cues are often ambiguous
iv) Nonerbal cues are generally seen as more
v) Non-verbal cues are culture bound
Componenets of nonvergbal communication
There are certain studies in which non-verbal
messages are transmitted.
• Use of Time
• Mode of Dress
The study of paralanguage focuses on how you say
and what you say. Two identical verbal messages
may communicate entirely different meanings when
the tone of the voice is different.
The tone of our voice, the loudness, softness, rate of
speech, and the words we choose to accent,
communicate a great deal. In fact, by changing the
emphasis in a sentence, we can change the total
meaning of the sentence.
Paralanguage has following components :
i) Voice Quality
ii) Rate of Speech
vi) Vocal Segregates --- fillers
Includes such things as volume, rate of speech, pitch,
rhythm, pronunciation etc
A person may sometimes speak louder to attract
others’ attention. But a very loud speech is vey
annoying or disturbing.
On the other hand, though a soft voice conveys a
sense of calm. In a business setting, that may be give
an impression of weakness or indecisiveness.
The volume that may be right in one setting, amy
convey a negative message in a different situation.
Rate of Speech
On an average, people speak at about 150 words a
minute. When a person speaks at much higher or
lower rates, he may have a negative impact.
Fast speech often makes people nervous, while slo2w
speech causes boredom or leads people to believe
that the speaker is not quite sure about what to say
Voice pitch is often equated with emotion. High
pitch generally indicates excitement or nervousness.
A low voice pitch usually commands attention and
respect. It indicates that the speaker is in control of
Rhythm refers to the pattern of the voice; whether it
is regular or irregular; whether it flows smoothly or
moves in fits and starts. A smooth rhythm like a
moderately low pitch, indicates a confident,
authoritative attitude. An unclear rhythm may be
without the lack of prior preparation and lack of
Good pronunciation is the correct oral delivery of a
word. The vowel sounds must be said correctly and
the right syllables must be accented.
People who mispronounce words are thought to be
not well educated.
Thus the way you mispronounce words play an
important role in building your image.
Poor pronouniation indicates carelessness, but only
pronunciation does not indicate anything.
Known as fillers.
Er…. Um…the thing is that, I mean, right, you know
These words do not mean anything. |Such words are
Vocal segregates are usually awkward components
of speech and should be avoided as far as possible.
These sounds indicate a lack of confidence.
Human beings communicate a lot through body
movements and facial expressions.Kinesics is the
study of this kind of communication. Different body
movements and facial expressions communicate
The way people sit or stand can reveal a lot about
their attitudes and emotions.
Posture portrays confidence, anxiety, fear,
aggressiveness, and a host of other emotions.
Gestures are of various types.
Emblems are gestures, understood by people at large.
Most of them are culture specific. Sometimes the
same emblem may have different meanings in
different cultures. Forexample forming an O with
index and thumb means OK etc.
Learned behavior patterns that we usually pick up in
childhood. For example,eating with spoon and fork.
There are gestures that go with what we are saying
verbally and tend to depict what is being said. A good
example is when you tell someone, “Come, have a
seat,” and accompany it by a nod of the head.
The face plays a vital role in communication
exchange. The brow, the eyes, the root of the nose,
the lower face are all capable of conveying attitudes
Proxemis is the study of how people use the physical
space around them and what this use says about
In organizations, the control of space generally
constitutes an extension of oen’s personal power, and
For example, it is all right for a manager to walk into
a subordin ate