Do You Know What Language You're Speaking?


Have you ever thought about what you're saying - with your body? Communication is a combination of verbal and non-verbal cues. Whether you're chatting one-on-one or speaking to a crowd of a thousand, people take messages in as the sum of our words, our gestures and the ways we communicate them. It's easy to see why it is super important to be aware of what you convey, and how your body language can influence the outcome of a situation.

Body language is such an innate part of communication; we can't help but act out our natural tendencies. People will typically use gestures to confirm what they're speaking about. Except, for instance, when you're talking about something uncomfortable or you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. Those moments can be confusing for the people with whom we're communicating because what we're saying doesn't always match our nonverbal cues.

Think about the way you "hear" others when they talk to you. Do you take into account tone of voice and body language to read through to the actual meaning behind the words? Most of us look for the way words are expressed to decode a message's true meaning. So, when someone states a "fact" but their demeanor is uncertain, we might interpret that as untrue. Again, body language can be very revealing: for better and for worse!

A few things for a good communicator to be aware of:

Eye contact: eye contact shows you're serious about what you're saying and engages the listener, so they are more invested in hearing what you have to say.

Smile: a genuine smile will make the receiver more at ease and comfortable. It also shows that you're truthful and trustworthy.

Posture: having good posture will convey that you're confident in yourself and what you're talking about.

The most fluid of speakers can benefit from being aware of the energy they give off with their gestures and movements. Next time you're in a one-on-one situation or in front of a crowd, try using your body language to show people you say what you mean and what you say!

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