Tips on Body Language
& Language Fluency
ICTACT Youth Talk & ICTACT Youth PRESENT Contests 2014
APPLY BEFORE 25 JUL 2014 – WWW.ICTACTYOUTH.IN
Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through
sending and receiving wordless (mostly visual) messages. Messages can be communicated
through gestures and touch (Haptic communication), by body language or posture, by facial
expression and eye contact. Meaning can also be communicated through object
or artifacts (such as clothing, hairstyles or architecture).Speech contains nonverbal elements
known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well
as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts have
nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical
layout of a page. Dance is also regarded as a form of nonverbal communication.
However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on face-to-
face interaction, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions
where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and
behaviors of communicators during interaction
Non -Verbal Communication is the message or response not expressed or sent in words - hints,
suggestions, and indications. There is a distinction between the meanings we ‘give’ in words
and the meanings we ‘give – off’ in Nonverbal signals. Actions speak louder than words.
A nonverbal cue reflects much more information than verbal communication. It can be negative
or positive information. Most people oblivious to their own body language. Physical gestures
are always subconsciously interpreted by others.
Most of these gestures are reflexive in nature. So controlling these gestures are quite
challenging or difficult. They automatically match our mind set. With right guidance and
practice negative body language habits can be brought under control. When a person speaks,
55% of the information listeners derives comes from his body language, 38% from his voice and
only 7% from his words.
Components of Non verbal Communication
Non Verbal Communication is communication where speaking is not involved, however a
message is conveyed and understood. In the above figure, we have different components of
non verbal communication which can be interpreted in the following ways.
Sound can reflect a person’s inner feelings or emotions. eg., A person laughing would reflect
the fact that he/she is happy.
Way of Talking
The way a person talks would indicate his level of education, confidence, knowledge of the
subject, etc. A good communicator would pause where required, would stress on the relevant
word, use an accepted tone, rate of speech, good modulation, pitch etc.
The posture of a person would convey his/her level of confidence. A person with a slouched or
bent posture would be perceived as one who is not very confident. On the other hand, a person
who walks with his shoulders straight would imply he/she is confident and ready to face the
It would be apt to say that to a large extent today, a man is judged by his appearance He
maintains. A person who looks good or is dressed neatly well, with his hair groomed well, shoes
polished, is hygienic will definitely command more respect than a person who is shabby, wears
dirty or torn clothes, wears shoes that are not polished, hair unkempt etc.
Head shaking or nodding can indicate what a person is trying to convey eg. Yes, no
Generally hand movements are used to convey emphasis, hopelessness, excitement etc.
Eye movements convey appreciation (winking, teasing), anger, resentment, care, surprise,
The facial expression of a person can convey several things, eg. Frowning when the person is
angry or irritated, smiling when the person is relaxed or happy, laughing when a person is
happy, scowling when a person is upset, etc.
Body contact is crucial in communications. A handshake can speak volumes about a person’s
character. A firm handshake can imply confidence and being trustworthy whereas a dead fish
handshake or loose handshake would imply that a person is nervous, restless, and lacks
Going too close to a person may make the person feel uncomfortable. It could be taken as
invading the other’s privacy.
Attributes of good body language
• Perfectly aligned mind, word and body
• Overwhelming confidence and positivity
• Maintaining proper Eye contact
• Gentle smile
• Good and impressive handshake
• Leaning forward
• Open Body
• Open Arms
• Open Hands
• Eager (sprint position)
• Open Legs
• Feet under Chair
• On Toes
• Ready to Agree
• Hands Flat on Table
• Apt posture & Gesture
• Appropriate Social distance
Fluency is the ability to express oneself easily in a language. People who are fluent are able to
convey their ideas in a smooth and connected manner. Fluency brings melody and rhythm to
Some of the most noticeable features of fluency are:
1. Confidence and comfort
2. Appropriate Rate of Speech
4. Minimal Fillers and Foghorns
5. Appropriate Word Usage
6. Sound Assimilation (“Linkage”)
All these factors converge to produce speech that is melodious to the ears.
1. Confidence and Comfort:
The degree of fluency in one’s speech is directly related to the comfort level and confidence in
that particular language. People who have English, as a second language may not be as fluent in
the language as compared to native speakers of English.
2. Rate of speech
Rate of speech refers to the overall speed of speech. It also pertains to the rate at which the
pitch changes within and between words.
The speed of speech refers to the pace at which one speaks. The average rate of speech for an
Indian is 120-130 words a minute. The British usually communicate at a rate of about 80–90
words per minute.
Rhythm in language refers to the patterns of changes in pitch. These changes could be within
words and also between them.
4. Minimal Fillers and Foghorns
Fillers are words or sounds which don’t have any significant role to play in conveying meaning
to the sentence
Eg., I could not uh complete my assignment because uh I reached home really late and uh I was
really you know uh tired you know. So uh I am very sorry.
5. Appropriate Word Usage
In a verbal communication process choosing and using the right word in the right place will give
a clarity and effectiveness to the communication.
Assimilation refers to the phenomenon where two separate words combine in terms of sounds
in fluent speech. The two words are pronounced as one word, while still retaining their original
spelling. They are pronounced as one word or one continuous sound.
Example: “I will”. These are two separate words when they are written down. In fluent speech,
spoken as “I will”. The pronunciation of the individual words remains unchanged.
Contractions involve the merging of two words by deleting a sound. This in turn
results in the formation of a new word. Contraction shortens the speech and makes it
1. I won’t be able to make it for the meeting.
2. Don’t believe everything you hear.