Nancy Vera - Nonverbal Communication: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It
Presented by Nancy Vera, MS, on March 13, 2015 at the fifth Center for Health Literacy Conference: Plain Talk in Complex Times.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nancy Vera - Nonverbal Communication: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It
Helping Government Serve the People ®
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Presented by Nancy Vera
Communication is essential to understanding and
connecting to the world around us.
Discussion topics include:
1. Context, body language, and cultural differences
2. Congruent delivery of verbal and nonverbal messages
3. Techniques for addressing body language
Benefits of Good Communication
Good communication can:
• Reduce conflict
• Strengthen relationships
• Help people adopt ideas
• Increase productivity
• Improve quality of work
• Create a positive and trusting work environment
What we say without using words – mostly visual cues
Allows people to:
• Reinforce verbal information
• Convey emotional information
• Define or reinforce a relationship
• Provide feedback
• Regulate the flow of communication
When communication is authentic, communication is
Incongruence occurs when verbal and nonverbal
communication do not match.
• Verbal communication tends to be sent with intent and can
• Some nonverbal behaviors are harder to control.
If nonverbal communication does not match verbal communication,
the “listener” will believe what they see (nonverbal).
Facial Expressions Paralinguistics
Body Language, Postures, and
Types of Nonverbal Communication
“The most important thing in communication is hearing
what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
Nonverbal communication can act as verbal
My name is Nancy.
My name is Nancy?
My name is Nancy!
Posture sets the tone. Are you:
• Shaking your head?
Gestures can reinforce what you say
• Head nod
• High fives
Be Aware: The meaning of gestures varies by culture!
Gestures Are Not Universal
Depends on the individual, the situation and culture
The invasion of space can communicate:
How can invasion of personal space effect communication?
How do you tell a person they are invading your space?
Can be solely used to communicate a nonverbal
Conveys a variety of meanings
• Interest in subject matter
Three C’s of Nonverbal Communication
• History of
• Individual Roles
• Combination of
• How do they fit
• Do the words
match the tone
- Beyond Words, Jeff Thompson
Top 10 Tips for Improving Nonverbal Communication
1. Pay attention to nonverbal signals
2. Look for incongruent behaviors
3. Concentrate on voice tone
4. Use good eye contact; avoid distractions
5. Ask questions about nonverbal signals
6. Use signals to make communication more effective
7. Be aware of how signals are clustered
8. Consider the context of the situation
9. Remember some nonverbal signals are not universal
10.Practice, practice, practice
Thank you for participating!