The phrase should be changed to, “The three certainties of life: death, taxes and nonstop nonverbal communication.” Nonverbal communication is at play all the time. Even when we attempt to communicate nothing, our nonverbals are doing all the talking for us. Have you ever heard the phrase “Ninety percent of what you say doesn’t come out of your mouth”? Well it couldn’t be truer. With this in mind, remember to keep those ‘silent messages’ in check, and use them to your advantage. Even during difficult times or conversations, well-executed nonverbal communication can turn things right around. Let’s start here.

Proper word choice

You might think word choice falls under verbal communication, but taking a more rhetorical approach to the idea puts it in the nonverbal category. Framing what we say to fit the context of each situation allows for clearer, more understandable communication. Selecting the right words for the right time allows you to control the kind of attitude and feeling surrounding the conversation.

Body Language

Body language radiates a message much louder than any words coming out of your mouth. Adjust your body language to each situation. Try aligning it with that of the other person you’re talking to so to get on their level and create a more comfortable feel for them. Maintain a posture or stance that lets people see your confidence. (Tip: Even if you’re not feeling so confident, your posture can say otherwise.) When we appear tense, others see tension. When we appear cool as a cucumber, others see conviction, regardless of how we actually feel. mime, nonverbal, nonverbal communication, body language

Tone

Along with body language, tone is one of the most important aspects of nonverbal communication that affects what we say more than we ever realize. Think about it. Whenever you meet someone with a monotonous tone of voice, you’re more than likely to quickly think less of their personality. But if you meet someone who has an upbeat or adjusted tone, you’ll be more drawn to them. It’s just human nature. So be cognoscente of your tone, and keep it at a level appropriate for each situation.

Eye Contact

This is a big one, folks. Keeping proper eye contact with whomever you’re addressing is essential, whether it’s one person or a crowd. Look at them in the eyes so they know they have your full attention. Breaking eye contact and looking around the room while speaking says that you probably aren’t so sure of the material you’re presenting. And on the flip side, if you’re looking away and around the room while someone else is talking to you, then you’re showing disinterest in what they have to say. Show focus and engagement through simple eye contact.

The most important thing about nonverbal communication is that it not only talks to others, but it talks to us, too. When we take on that confident tone and posture, we in turn feel that self-assurance. Presenting our words and ourselves in a way that exudes tenacity ensures clearer, more easily understood communication.

Use these points to help get your messages across more clearly. What others would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments section below!

Read more: