The Importance of Nonverbal Communication

by Joey Papa; Updated September 26, 2017

What you do, says more than the words you use. Nonverbal communication accounts for the majority of what is heard and understood by a listener. Nonverbal communication has the ability to persuade, confuse and empower the people directly around you. When your verbal communication and nonverbal communication agree, the message you are communicating will be better understood and digested.

Strengthens or Weakens Verbal Communication

One of the most crucial aspects of nonverbal communication is its ability to strengthen verbal communication. For example, if you tell your spouse you love him and then you follow up your oral communication with loving and endearing actions, the message of love is strengthened. On the contrary, if you tell your teenager not to smoke, yet you smoke in front of them daily, the verbal message and nonverbal message will contradict one another causing confusion and disbelief.

Provides Cues

Nonverbal communication provides cues to other people to help guide or instruct him. For example, if a police officer is in the middle of an intersection and he faces his hand at your car, you know this means to stop. The nonverbal cue to stop could save your life and the lives of the other passengers on the road. Other cues in American society could be clapping hands, winking with the eye or a shrug of the shoulders.

Clarifies

Nonverbal communication clarifies the verbal message. This can be seen in a presentation. The speaker is verbally communicating and uses nonverbal visual aids to help the listeners understand more effectively. A nonverbal aid in this situation can be a graph, chart or slide show. Incorporating nonverbal communication in an interpersonal or group conversation will provide greater clarity and comprehension.

Creates Culture

Whether a culture is created in a family or a corporation, it is the nonverbal communication that is responsible for it. In every relationship and group there are certain norms and expectations that are not verbally communicated. Most of the time these rules of engagement are created through nonverbal expressions whether it is touch, time or gestures. Nonverbal communication can make a culture hostile, comforting or awkward.

Adds Depth

Nonverbal communication adds depth to verbal communication. This is seen in the expression of emotions. Emotions are a form of nonverbal communication that provides depth and greater meaning for an individual’s soul. For example, a person can give a speech with no emotion and lose the crowd or they can say the same speech with emotion behind it and captivate the audience.

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About the Author

Joey Papa lives in the Tampa Bay area, and has four years of experience as a professional copywriter. His years of experience and a bachelor's degree in communications from Oral Roberts University, provide him with creativity, technique and a comprehensive viewpoint to complete a wide array of writing styles.