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Chapter 4. Nonverbal communication. objectives. Distinguish between verbal and nonverbal communication Use body language to reinforce your verbal message Recognize when someone is not telling the truth Explain how the same gesture can have different meanings in different cultures.

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Nonverbal communication


  • Distinguish between verbal and nonverbal communication

  • Use body language to reinforce your verbal message

  • Recognize when someone is not telling the truth

  • Explain how the same gesture can have different meanings in different cultures


  • What is a nonverbal message?

  • How much of our communication is nonverbal?

Body basics
Body basics

  • Different cultures have different understandings

  • Can be helpful when sending messages

Body language
Body Language

  • Also called the silent language

  • DEF: way we use our bodies to send messages

  • Body language always wins over verbal communication

Body language1
Body language

  • Why so important?

    • People remember what they see

    • Helps us recognize the truth

Body language2
Body language

  • Often, complicated feelings spill out in the form of body language

  • “No mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips”- Sigmund Freud

  • Facial expressions a leakage of feelings

  • Body language is also diverse

Reading body language
Reading body language

  • Must be careful on how you interpret body language

  • Positive Body Language:

    • Relaxed posture

    • Good eye contact

    • Nodding agreement

    • Smiling at humor

    • Leaning closer

Reading body language1
Reading body language

  • Negative Body Language:

    • Body tension

    • Arms folded

    • Speaking hand to mouth

    • Fidgeting

    • Yawning

Using body language effectively
Using body language effectively

  • Change your body language, feelings will change as well

  • Can look at feel better by using more positive body language

  • Body language is contagious

Interpreting nonverbal messages
Interpreting nonverbal messages

  • People express and interpret nonverbal messages differently

  • May sometimes put on a false front

  • We have learned to behave and hide our true feelings

  • Reading the true meaning of nonverbal messages

    • Don’t just look- observe

    • Be alert for variations of the norm

    • Remember that one signal alone may mean nothing, what you are looking for are clusters of signals

Facial expressions
Facial expressions

  • Pay a great deal of attention to other people’s faces

  • Example: babies

  • Six emotions are the most popular

    • Surprise

    • Fear

    • Anger

    • Disgust

    • Happiness

    • Sadness

Facial expressions1
Facial expressions

  • No single area of the face best reveals emotions

  • Certain features are important to certain emotions

    • Disgust: nose cheek mouth

    • Fear: eyes and eyelids

    • Sadness: brows and forehead

    • Happiness: cheeks and mouth

Tone of voice
Tone of voice

  • Tone can offer a valuable clue into a speaker’s feelings

  • Pitch, pauses, and rhythm important

  • What meanings can the word “oh” have?

  • Rate of speech can tell us about the speaker’s feelings

How to tell when someone is lying
How to tell when someone is lying

  • Control some parts of our bodies better than others

  • Easiest parts to control are the ones we are most aware of

    • Like smiles and frowns

  • General body postures can be revealing

  • Desmond Morris Study

    • Decreased hand activity

    • Increased face touching

    • Stiff and rigid posture

    • Increased body shifting

Multicultural messages
Multicultural messages

  • Body language is not universal

  • Examples:

    • Thumbs up

    • Hug

Cultural differences
Cultural differences

  • We expect to communicate face to face better

  • But with cultural differences, nonverbal is not always better

Gestures around the world
Gestures around the world

  • Why do humans use the same gestures?

  • Examples:

    • Nodding

    • Tapping your head with forefinger

    • Scratching your head

Gestures around the world1
Gestures around the world

  • Signs of greeting

  • Handshakes

    • Gentle, firm, Texan

  • Kisses

    • Close friendships

  • Bows

    • Many Asian countries

Touching customs
Touching customs

  • Touching is a language of physical intimacy

  • Can be the most powerful of communication channels

  • Affects sexes differently

  • Women respond more positively

  • Men respond negatively

Watching my space
Watching my space

  • All like a bubble of personal space

  • Represents our personal territory

  • Americans- about 2 feet

  • Latin Americans and Middle Easterners- much closer

  • Types of space:

    • Intimate

    • Personal

    • Social

    • Public