- Understand and explain six primary types of nonverbal communication.
As we discussed previously when it comes to nonverbal messages, there are often multiple things going on at once. Let's gain a better understanding by looking at the types of nonverbal communication.
This system provides useful insight into the constructive use of space for various interactions. It should be noted, however, that appropriate distance is determined by many variables including the situation, the nature of the relationship, the topic of conversation, and the physical constraints which are present. Dr. Tricia Jones points out that vertical distance is also included in proxemics. Just as the horizontal distance between people communicates something, so does the vertical distance. In this case, however, vertical distance is often understood to convey the degree of dominance or sub-ordinance in a relationship. Looking up at or down on another person can be taken literally in many cases, with the higher person asserting greater status. People who work with small children should realize that children will interact more comfortably with a communicator when they are in the same vertical plane. On the other hand, in a situation of conflict, a person might stand to use vertical distance to their advantage. (Creducation.com)
- Volume: how soft or loud voice is
- Pace or rate: how quickly or slowly we speak
- Intonation: inflection, accent
- Pitch and infections: high to low
- Vocalizations: “uh-huh”, “shhh”, “mmm”
- Silence (pauses)
- Filled pauses (nonfluencies) - uh, uhm, you know, like
Our paralanguage adds important information to our verbal message. It can show our excitement and enthusiasm toward our message or our unease about the words we are saying. The best paralanguage for the most part complements our verbal message and makes our voice pleasing and interesting to our listener. Through paralanguage, we can emphasize important words in our sentences and can clue our listeners into whether we are asking a question or making a statement.
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that "power posing" -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success. Cuddy's talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by TED editors on the home page.
What is your opinion of Cuddy's views? Try "power posing" a few times and see what you think.
- personal appearance
- intimate distance
- personal distance
- social distance
- public distance
- filled pauses or nonfluencies