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Nonverbal Communication

 90% of the message we communicate is nonverbal.

 Through this method, the listener or the receiver of the message is able to know what the speaker really
means in his message.
 The use of gestures in nonverbal communication is a system used to aid the listener in his interpretation
of the sender’s message.
 It is the unspoken communication that goes on in every face-to-face encounter with another person.

Nonverbal Methods


Comes from the root word kinesis, which means “movement”

Refers to the study of hand, arm, body, and face movements.
It will outline the use of gestures, head movements and posture, eye contact, and facial expressions.
They are movements with some parts of the body such as the head, shoulders, and arms to convey
meaning and emphasis.

Three types:

 Touching movements and behaviors that indicate internal states typically related to
 These adaptors result from situations where the speaker feels uneasiness or anxiety
and cannot control his surroundings.
The students clicking of the pen while listening to his
teacher’s discussion.

 Gestures that are conventional and have meaning on their own.
 Movements of the hands and arms so extensively that the listeners easily recognize
the gesture once they see it.
 Due to extensive use, this type of gesture has already acquired universal acceptance
but may also differ depending on the country or culture
A thumbs-up sign will generally mean “okay” for most people but for
Americans, a thumbs-up finger may mean that the person wants to hitchhike.

 Less conventional and are more individualized gestures that are employed when a
speaker is describing something like the size, shape, height, curves, or etc.
A speaker talks about seeing a watermelon on his way to work. The speaker
can make use of his hands to make his audience imagine the size of the watermelon
he saw.
It is a speaker’s way of attracting his audience.
The speaker must be aware that the audience is observing his ways

By means of this, conclusions about other people are reached even before we have really talked
to the person.
A person who crosses his arms when conversing with another person is likely to be
considered as closed minded or defiant, because arms that are crossed are interpreted as a sign
of defensiveness.

It is the way one holds up himself when standing or sitting.
A speaker’s way of conducting himself on a platform.
Below are examples of different postures and their corresponding meaning:
 Crossed feet – Precarious (in a hurry to go to a bathroom. It is unstable. Women do this
a lot. Feet hip-width apart is stable and looks good. If you want to come across as more
dominant, go for shoulder width.
 Cuffs and collars – Playing with your cuffs and collars and tie for men, or your bracelet
or necklace for women, will make you look nervous
 Fig leaf - standing with your hands together in front of your genital area
 Hand-cuffs - Holding your hands rigidly together to still a fidget is just as distracting
as fidgeting.
 Pockets - hands in pockets work for some speakers, but not all. If you must do it, empty
your pockets first and keep your hands still inside them.
Facial Expression
Results when we should express specific emotional states such as happiness, sadness,
contempt, anger, fear, surprise and disgust.
It helps the emotional tone of the speech.
It can also show the speaker’s real feelings.

The tone of the voice, the intonation, the pitch, the loudness, and softness of the voice, and even the
inflection used are the factors that are to be considered in this nonverbal signal and that give dimensions and
meaning to the words uttered.
 This can also be called as “eye contact”
 Derived from the Latin word “oculus” meaning “eye”.
 In this method, the sincerity of the speaker will be determined.

 The space used when communicating
 It can be defined as “the interrelated theories and observations, and theories of man’s use of space as
specialized elaboration of culture.
 The amount of distance between two or among people talking or communicating is influenced by social
norms, cultural expectations, level of familiarity, situational factors, and personality characteristics.
 The term “proxemics” was coined by Edward Hall, an anthropologist who stressed that space plays a big
factor on a person’s social or interpersonal relationship.
o Intimate Distance for embracing, touching or whispering
 Close Phase – less than 6 inches (15 cm)
 Far Phase – 6-18 inches (15 to 46 cm )
o Personal Distance for interactions among good friends or family
 Close Phase – 1.5 to 2.5 feet (46 to 76 cm)
 Far Phase – 2.5 to 4 feet (76 to 122 cm)
o Social Distance for interactions among acquaintances
 Close phase – 4 to 7 feet (1.2 to 2.1 m)
 Far phase – 7 to 12 feet (2.1 to 3.7 m)
o Public distance used for public speaking
 Close phase – 12 to 25 feet (3.7 to 7.6 m)
 Far phase – 25 feet (7.6 m) or more
 A nonverbal signal transmitted through touch.
 At times, a touch is all it takes to send a person’s message across
 A simple touch may mean a hundred messages and messages whose interpretation will be dependent on a
person’s social norm and cultural background.

 Refers to time
 It is a nonverbal signal which is not directly stated but communicates a characteristic of a person

 Transmission of message through smell even without being verbally told
 A smell can make you remember memories you had when you were a child or with somebody special
 It refers to the communication of messages through colors.
 In interpreting messages using this method, culture is an important thing to consider
 It refers to taste
 It can communicate displeasure or warning.
Brisk, erect walk Confidence
Standing with hands on hips Readiness, aggression
Sitting with legs crossed, foot kicking slightly Boredom
Sitting, legs apart Open, relaxed
Arms crossed on chest Defensiveness
Walk with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched Dejection
Hand to the cheek Evaluation, Thinking
Touching, slightly rubbing nose Rejection, doubt, lying
Rubbing the eye Doubt, disbelief
Hands clasped behind the back Anger, frustration, apprehension
Locked ankles Apprehension
Head resting in hand, eyes downcast Boredom
Rubbing hands Anticipation
Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed Confidence, Superiority
Open palm Sincerity, openness, innocence
Pinching bridge of nose, eye closed Negative evaluation
Tapping or drumming fingers Impatience
Steeping fingers Authoritative
Patting/fondling hair Lack of self-confidence; insecurity
Tilted head Interest
Stroking chin Trying to make a decision
Looking down, face turned away Disbelief
Biting nails Insecurity, Nervousness
Pulling or tugging at ear Indecision