Sometimes communication is seen as just verbal content, however communication has already been analyzed as being divided in three areas.
The words correspond just to 7% of the weight of the success of our presentation, while the tone of voice remains in the 38%. The biggest slice represents 55% of the total weight, and it refers to body language, that is, non verbal communication.
Body language accounts for more than half of the graph, thus standing out relative to words and voice.
Key elements of our communication
We can reach the conclusion that non verbal communication is fundamental when we are self promoting ourselves in public. Being this quite an important area of communication, we will then explore its three fundamental elements:
- • Good Posture;
- • Hand gestures;
- • Facial expressions;
Throughout our presentation, we should be careful to maintain a confident posture: before, during and after. The confidence with which we express ourselves also transmits the idea of conviction, which is absolutely essential during our speech.
Maintaining a correct posture, beyond transmitting a more confident image, will help in the projection of the voice.
We can choose what we prefer, to do our presentation standing or sitting. However, we should consider what being seated represents in terms of non verbal communication.
There are some who choose to do the presentation sitting, but that causes, consequently, that:
- • Our mobility is reduced;
- • We communicate much less with the body;
- • Our speech has much less impact.
If we choose to do a presentation standing, we should guarantee that:
- • We do not move anxiously;
- • We block our eyes.
Both extremes give a negative image. The first transmits nervousness and the second one transmits apathy. We should move confidently, with our body slightly inclined to the front, and head high. We should maintain a visual contact with the camera at all times, but doing it normally, without blocking our eyes.
The way we behave ourselves when communicating non verbally says much more than words by themselves, as it predicts the underlying messages.
During our presentation, we should be careful about the way we are communicating with our gestures.
- • Keep the hands free (of papers, etc…)
- • Loosed hands, never hidden in the pockets;
- • Arms should never be crossed or behind the back;
- • Elbows away from the body;
- • Open posture – we can always practice the power pose by opening our arms and expanding our body;
- • Avoid body language that transmits insecurity (hands or voice shaking, tap your feet on the ground continuously).
Maintaining an open and available posture allows the audience to be more involved with our presentation.
These are the first line of contact with other people and they allow us to know the real attitudes of who is talking, and if these facial expressions relate or not to our words. All of us have already heard that if the person answers to a question looking to the left he/she is lying, or if we drop our head down, he/she is embarrassed. All of these conclusions result from years of behavioral studies.
The explanations that we hear from specialists related to this questions are so many and different, that really the audience ends up noticing some of them, which ca give the sensation of fear, lack of confidence, shame, lack of preparation, shyness, nervousness and surprise.
These expressions can be:
- • Look at many sides rapidly;
- • Blink the eyes very often;
- • Bite the lip;
- • Bite the nails;
- • Move the mouth;
- • Frown;
- • Widen the eyes;
- • And many others.
Our posture, as well as our facial expressions, express sublaminar information’s about our behavior.
Tone of voice: importance
The intonation and the rhythm of our talk are as important as what we have to say, sometimes even more. If we do not do this in the correct way, we have the risk of not passing the message clearly.
How many of us did not understand certain aspects in university classes, theaters, conferences? A consistent text with a strong language is not enough, we need to defend it in our presentation and we can do this with our voice.
There are four aspects that should be considered regarding the voice:
Talking louder increases energy to the speech, while talking more softly guarantees a higher intensity and drama to the speech.
Talk fast to increase the energy or enthusiasm of the speech. On the other hand, turn the tone of voice slower when explaining more sensitive information.
Adjust an appropriate tone. I can say, for example, that I love what I do in a sincere, sarcastic or enthusiastic tone to increase the dramatic intensity of the message and guarantee extra time for the audience to absorbed the message.
Well delimited pauses are key to increase my messages dramatic intensity, and guarantee extra time for my audience to absorve my message.
The tone of voice has a fundamental role in how we transmit our message – adjusting it is a huge point in our favor.
To sum up, being extra careful to all these referred topics allows us to do an oral presentation with a proper body language that truly represents the message we want to transmit with our verbal communication. Thus, both need to be connected. Our body actions should be a complement to our text and vice versa.