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Public Speaking and Communications - Great Examples of Non-Verbal Behavior

Updated on October 20, 2012

What you say doesn't really matter - true or fiction? Communication is a skill and over 70% of the skill is non-verbal! 55% of what is remembered during a presentation is visual. 38% is the tone of the voice and only 7% is the actual words.

What you say really doesn't matter - it is what your body language is saying. First impressions are all about body language. Speaking is important but the feeling that someone has about you is about 55% of the visual and only 7% is about what you say.

As a manager, we need to exhibit in a non-verbal manner confidence and also the image of listening. What are the signals that convey this to our staff and peers and the managers who have the power to promote and hand out bonuses.

As a presenter or as a speaker, the audience will copy the leader. If you are engaged, they will be engage. Must give out strong, clear images so the audience can copy you.

Non-Verbal Communications Quote

"Recognize if at least 70% of our communication is not the words that are used- all of a sudden you could be seeing 3 times more information it can be scary- so chill out a little."

Dr. Paul Ekman couresty of

Lie to Me - Mark Bowden Body Language Expert

Body Language Global Emblems

Body Language Expert Mark Bowden from Australia

5 Top CEOs and Body Language: How Good Are You Interpreting It?

First Impressions Are All About the Body Language

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. Our body language and our clothing precede our reputation both in business and in social situations. Learn how to make a great first impression and get that promotion you deserve or the job you are interviewing for or better yet obtain a recommendation for a new job. Every encounter is a sales event - you are selling your professional reputation. Every meeting is a job interview.

Body Language in Different Situations - What Works

Work Place Situations

To appear confident in the workplace it is important to learn the subtle elements of working with your hands. How do you show confidence. Keep hands around the waist level in combination with eye contact and a steady low voice. Watch your proximity especially in interviewing for a job. Appearing overly aggressive in a job interview conveys desperation not confidence.

Social Situations

Always want to look fun and fabulous at a party. When you are warm, you open up your body more. Allow your body to be bigger in front of people in order to be more inviting. Feet are facing towards others. Arms are open.

Physical Space - Proximity

For over 400 million years old we have had a "fight and flight syndrome", it is our natural response to each personal introduction. Learning what is friendly and inviting, can help you achieve success in the workplace and beyond.

Global Emblems

Emblems are different in different cultures. Emblems are the formal non-verbal gestures that often change from one culture to the next. Universal expression are emotion based.

Gestures are a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate familiar messages. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or other parts of the body. Listen to the video to learn the six universal emotions that transcend global emblems.

What You Must Manage as a Great Communicator

  1. Body Orientation - look to turn your shoulders and legs outward or toward the person you are communicating with to show interest and appear warm and inviting.
  2. Open Versus Closed body Positions - this is critical especially during professional situations - note that individuals with open body positions are more persuasive than those with closed body positions.Look for the position of the knees, legs, elbows. Hands not touching is an open position, arms crossed is closed, hands folded is closed, etc...
  1. Trunk Lean - you can gain or give power by the forward lean. Important to note that individuals tend to engage in more sideways-leans when interacting with lower-status than with higher-status individuals.
  2. Postural Matching - · If you wish to showcase your bad attitude, adopt a noncongruent posture. If you wish to appear postiive and outgoing, mimic the other person's posture. Mimicking posture is a great way to connect or increase rapport.
  3. Gestures - both Hand and Arm Movements· Vertical and open hand gesture are positive and send a clear message of self-confidence. Placing your hand on another person is very reassuring. The hand has to be placed lightly and just at the top of the shoulder.
  4. Head Movements - Nodding is universal - listeners who engage in head nodding are sending a clear signal to the speaker to increase the duration of their speech.
  5. Global Emblems - Not all global emblems are universal. When traveling or hosting another country, actively seek out the differences and learn the correct behavior to make the visitor feel comfortable.

Put Your New Knowledge in Practice - Review 5 Top CEOs

The last video includes presentations from the world's top CEO's. Can you name all five and their global empires? Can you distinguish the different gestures? What works and what doesn't? Who is the effective communicator and believable? Who needs to work on non-verbal communication skills to match their message?

3 Take A Ways for Body Language

1.) First Impressions are All About Body Language and Clothing

2.) Allow Your Body to Be Bigger to Attract Others

3.) Carefully Manage Your Hand Movements

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Disclaimers Copyrights and Disclosures

Medical Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only. Neither it nor the products sold here are designed to diagnose, treat, or cure any problem. You should contact your physician for further information, diagnosis, testing, or advice on how to use the information/products listed in this site.

Copyright: © 2010 Gma Goldie All Rights Reserved - GmaGoldie loves to share her ideas but greatly appreciates credit for her hard work. Please email the author for permission for use of terms and ideas shared in this or other Gma Goldie articles on health, fitness and exercise.

FTC Disclosure: The author is a certified personal trainer and the inventor of the EZ Swimmer - the ultimate resistance tool for the swimming pool.


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    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Stephanie Henkel,

      Watching people you learn allot. Learning how to be more personable starts with body language. Thank you so much for your words of praise. I actually taught this at the university for my class on Professional Communications. It is a skill that everyone can benefit from. You are right - some people are naturals. I must analyze and position my self. Always seeking something new to learn.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Most people read body language unconsciously, and knowing how you might be perceived when meeting new people is really important. Some people naturally understand how to use body language effectively, others must practice in order to make a good impression. Love your hub and the information you provide!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      @said hajem,

      Very well stated. From the interview right through retirement day - every day we need to be mindful of our presentation. You make an excellent point - to always be truthful. Lincoln stated his memory wasn't good enough to be anything but truthful. Truth is really easier in the long run. And our face wears our real emotions. Speaking well is important, acting well is important, understanding how it all ties together is critical in all facets of our life - work and home included.


      Thank you for your kind words. School teaches us allot of things but there is so much more. Sharing knowledge of communications and improving everyone's skill set is rewarding. And it pays off at work and at home too!

      Parents can share these details and work together as a family unit to create better managers and simpler family dynamics.

    • profile image

      Rach. 6 years ago


      this helped soooooooo much!

      thank you! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • profile image

      said hajem 7 years ago

      Nonverbal behaviors can be used by a job applicant to present themselves to the potential employer. These behaviors like eyes contact, smiling, and head nodding, can affect a person’s perception in the context of a job interview. These simple non-verbal behaviors can be used to provide a positive feeling to interviewers and self promotion. Consequently, these behaviors can positively affect the applicant’s ratings and hiring decision. The interviewers infer the interviewee’s personality from the way he or she acts on the interview. Nonverbal behaviors may also have a negative affect on the job interview if the candidate shows improper reactions like sadness, fear, and anger.

      Impressing the management is another practice job candidates can use to control the impressions other people of them. This is a conscious attempt to influence the perceptions of the interviewer about the interviewee. In some situations, impression management deliberately bends the truth in order to make a favorable impression. For example, exaggeration or complete fabrication of things that make candidates look and sound good.

      At any job interview impression management is expected to happen. Therefore, the interviewer can either mark the candidates down for not using enough impression management, or exaggerating its management. If one candidate is truthful and everyone else exaggerating, then he can lose out.


      Wate, A. Dec 1, 2000. Impression Management. Social Psychology.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Only you could bring humor so eloquently - thank you for stopping by. Presentations remain difficult for me even after all these years - always learning from the pros.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Good advice. despite taking various speaking courses I am still not comfortable inn interactive situations.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Allow your body to be bigger to attract others -- hmmm! I should have it made, then. All joking aside, this is a particularly helpful hub for those who need to give presentations, speak in public or attend power meetings. Well done. You write a lot in this genre -- is this something you do professionally? Lynda

      P.S. Never mind, I read below the comments and saw my answer.