It is not enough to just talk continuously to your audience or to another person. The use of body language serves to drive your points further. Body language establishes a rapport between you and your listener(s). It shows the depth of what you are talking about and encourages further interaction between you and your audience.
1. Use of hand gestures
According to experts, the first part of the body that people look at before interacting with you is your hands. The positioning of your hands serves to makes others safe. For example if you constantly put your hands behind your back while speaking to another person, they may not feel safe enough to listen to you. It appears as if you have something to hide because of the placement of your hands. This makes your audience very uncomfortable and even anxious. When people cannot see your hands, they cannot tell your intention. The genuine and active movement of your hands through gestures serves to put others at ease and gives off a more welcoming and warm vibe. The audience trusts you more and are likely to be drawn to what you are saying. It gives the message that you are well versed in the message you are relaying to your listener(s).
2. Facial expressions
Your facial expression when talking to another person creates a point of connection between you and that person. Depending on what you are talking about, you should be able to have the appropriate facial expression when explaining or talking about various subjects. Wearing a single expression throughout a whole conversation can send a message that you are not into the conversation or that you are faking. People may perceive you are cold even. There are various universally recognized facial expressions for each emotion and there are those that unique to each individual. They help convey your message for you even before you speak and help drive your points home as you speak. People catch the emotion you are conveying when they look at your facial expressions. People can also tell whether you are being real or fake when they look at your face. For example, a fake smile and a genuine smile have very different outcomes for the people you are talking to. Human being do feel emotions and they can tell when you are being real or fake by looking at the expressions on your face and you communicate.
The tone with which you use to convey a message has an effect on how your listener perceives you and internalizes your message. Happy and more enthusiastic tones have been found to have a positive effect on audience’s moods while dull and low tones have the opposite effect. Therefore you want to be able to use the appropriate tone depending on your message and on the outcome you want to see in your listeners. Using more enthusiastic tones when conveying a message has also been found to increase one’s likability among the audience/listeners. Sad, angry or dull tones make the speaker less likable.
Confidence is highly contagious. It ties everything else. With confidence you are able to use the appropriate tone, facial expressions and gestures when communicating to your listener(s). When you exude confidence, you also become more likable. You become more memorable and your message is well received. People remember you and associate you with positivity.
Nonverbal cues are highly contagious and they add meaning to your messaging. They have the power to add life into your interactions but they can also extinguish your engagement with other people.
By Wanjiru Muhoro | Writer