Non Verbal Communication - Essay Example

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When people use spoken languages to communicate, they do not just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body is doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words to understand their full message…
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Non Verbal Communication
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Download file to see previous pages Non-verbal communication refers to the messages given and received through body language and facial expressions. Non-verbal messages often convey more meaning than the spoken words. Non-verbal communication consists of all the messages other than words that are used in communication. In oral communication, these symbolic messages are transferred by means of intonation, tone of voice, vocally produced noises, body posture, body gestures, facial expressions or pauses (Besson).
The voice is the most important communication tool of all. Compared to other non-verbal means, the voice delivers the message directly to the listener. This is where the listener will focus his attention first. Posture, gesture, and personal space are monitored more lately but all are equally important. The Tone of voice used can tell us a lot about another person. Words can mean many different things, depending on the way they are said. Listeners will be able to tell if a person is angry, happy or nervous by the tone of their voice (Communication in the Workplace). People with high-pitched voices give the impression they're nervous, immature, lacking in confidence or even slightly emotional. On the other hand, people with low pitches sound confident, calm and competent. When the speaker spoke slowly, listeners assume he is choosing words carefully. Speaking fast also creates interest and demands attention (Booher).
A body gesture is a movement made with a limb, especially the hands, to express, confirm, emphasize or back up the speaker's attitude or intention. This non-verbal activity is regularly used in oral discourse. If a body act requires no verbal accompaniment, it is called an "emblem". Examples are: hand signals such as waving good-bye, the "V" for victory sign or the "high five" signaling victory. While some emblems, for example a clenched fist, have universal meaning, there are others that are idiosyncratic or culturally conditioned. The use of the zero shape made by the fingers, for instance, does not mean the same thing in different cultures. Standing for "OK" in the UK, it may be a vulgar expression in South American cultures, sometimes embarrassingly so Body gestures are always perceived and interpreted together with facial expressions (Besson).
The way a person stand or sit gives information about how he is feeling. A person sitting slumped in a chair with arms firmly crossed and head turned away can give a negative message (Communication in the Workplace). Body posture is the bearing or the position of the speaker's body. It is a more or less stable state and thus not to be confused with body gestures which are movements. Body posture can be characteristic and assumed for a special purpose or it can correspond to the normal expectations in the context of a particular situation. Obviously a person can be lying down, seating, or standing. Normally, these are not the elements of posture that convey messages. However, when the speaker is slouched or erect, his or her legs crossed or arms folded, such postures convey a degree of formality or relaxation. Once more, they can also transfer symbolic messages on the orator's attitude or intention with regard to the message (Besson).
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