Nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication. The process of communication does not complete without its nonverbal components. In order to truly express yourself and convey the message properly to your target audience, the expressions, gestures, tone and pauses in the speech should be properly addressed. You may have been in a boring presentation or conference. It is quite possible that you may have found it boring due to the lack of expressions and sound effects in the voice of the speaker. Following are a few of the components of nonverbal communication that play an important role in the effectiveness of the communication process.

The intonation of your speech plays an important role in non verbal communication. A monotonic speaker has a lower impact on the target audience as compared to the speaker who uses the intonation properly to convey the message. Take the example of a simple word “Yes”. You can express it in many ways exhibiting different expressions like excitement, anger, happiness, sadness, terror, mild doubt and amazement. The real difference between all those expressions would be the intonation of your words. It is also important to note that different cultures have different meanings for same intonations.

Physical appearance, facial expressions, eye movements, posture, body movements and gestures can be considered as effective tools to convey the message properly. We all try to interpret the message through facial expressions and eye movements of a person. Think of a person with coloured glasses. You can easily misinterpret his words during your communication with him because you cannot see his eyes and interpret the real meanings behind his words. Actions speak for themselves during a communication. Raising hands, lifting eye brows, standing straight, direct eye contact and other such factors contribute to the effectiveness of the communication. Same body movements and postures mean differently in different cultures. In one culture, nodding the head means a sign of affirmation while in another culture moving the head right and left can mean the same thing.

Tactile movements involve the feeling of touch and are more important in a one-to-one or closed group communication. Tactile communication makes use of motions like patting the back, kissing, hugging or placing an arm around the shoulder.

The use of timing can be viewed as an exhibit of power and a relational status defined between the speaker and the audience. A good example would be to think of the difference between the presentation, of a company’s CEO and a junior employee, to a group of employees in a company.

Space is used to define our territory. We classify our interaction territories with respect to our relationship with others. We feel uncomfortable if someone comes closer, than our allowed boundary for that particular person. The comfortable interaction distance for family members is usually about 1 – 2 feet. 2 – 4 feet is considered a suitable interaction distance for friends and relatives. All business meetings and professional communications usually occur between 4 – 12 feet distance and public communication distance including lectures and presentations is usually considered above 12 feet.

Author's Bio: 

David O Waters is an experienced IT consultant. He has been working with many organisations in the UK and across Europe providing support and infrastructure consultancy for the development of a highly flexible and error free structure in the organisation. He has also been involved in the development and design of multi-tier based distributed applications.