This paper will serve as a look into how I am an effective and ineffective listener and speaker by discussing my nonverbal communication cues. I will talk about having a good tone to your voice and good posture and the ways it makes me a better public speaker. I will discuss some of the cues that I do good and bad while have a personal conversation.
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There are a many different ways that we communicate every day. Most times we communicate by proxy via social media, texting, or another type of streaming media device but sometimes still have to communicate in-person. Non-verbal communications have a much big impact on having conversations because of because of how your message or information could be received or how you receive information from someone. In this paper I am going to talk about some of my important non-verbal communication traits and I will give you a few of the bad cues that I do that could give the impression that I am not listening or not caring.
One of my best non-verbal communication traits would be the tone of my voice or the para-verbal dimension of a conversation. Since the start of my military career I have been able to adjust the tone of my voice to the conversation I am having in order to have a better conversation or being able to convey my message to my audience better. I have always been a very confident person when talking and usually take control of a situation. I always have that loudness to my voice that resonates in a room and has commanding feel to it. “To have a more commanding voice — the kind that will project to the back of a room — you can try to speak from your abdomen. “A diaphragm voice is the strongest of all voices,” Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle.” (Steber, 2018) Whenever I am have to speak in public or am talking to someone that I have to get my point across to I add a little more deepness to my voice which will give it a more confident sound. Another great trait I have is that I don’t speak too quickly when I talk. “When a guy speaks quickly it often gives the impression that he’s nervous, insecure, or lacks self-control. It’s crucial then to practice speaking at a slower, more relaxed pace. Speaking in a calm, deliberate manner shows confidence – even dominance – and gives the impression that you’re a man who is in control.” (M., 2009-2018) Something that would go hand in hand with my voice while speaking publically would be the posture that I have while talking.
To go along with the tone of my voice would be my stature and posture. Standing at 6’2” tall, having a big build, and having good posture, I usually have control of a room. When giving public speeches or having to brief my squadron I draw a lot of attention because of it. “Posture is a nonverbal cue that is associated with positioning and that these two are used as sources of information about individual’s characteristics, attitudes, and feelings about themselves and other people.” (Mehrabian, 1972) When I am speaking in public, I make sure that I am not hunched over because that could be indicators to the audience that I am not confident and am possibly that I don’t know the information that I am talking about. Not having good posture and confidence while trying to speak to an audience could cause the audience to shut you off and not taking in what you are saying. Since you now have a good understanding of a few cues to handle yourself I will talk about how I am while having personal or smaller conversations.
When dealing with smaller conversations I would say that I have some good points and some bad points when it comes to nonverbal cues. When the conversations start I make sure that I stand and shake the person’s hand and make good eye contact, I do this to show respect towards the other people I am talking to. After the introductions of each other are made I will always make eye contact prevalent so the person that I am speaking with knows that I am paying attention, you have to make sure that the eye contact isn’t overbearing as it could make them uncomfortable and not want to continue the conversation. Secondly, I like to nod when strong statements or comments are made by other people so that shows them that I am paying attention to them. Lastly, one of the things I really like to do it repeat what they are saying to ensure I understand what their point or what the need from me. Now that you know some of the good nonverbal cues I give during a conversation, I will move on to sharing some of the bad nonverbal cues that I give when having conversations.
Once I get comfortable with a conversation and with the people in the conversation I will start to relax. Sometimes when I get relaxed I like to let myself go during interactions and will start to recline in my chair and even put one leg over the other and make myself extremely relaxed. Doing this could give the impression that I am not paying attention because I am too relaxed during the conversation. Another bad trait that I have is that I like to fidget with things while I am sitting, I will constantly play with the stitching on my uniform and run my fingers over things and it will also give the impression that I am not paying attention even though I usually am
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Nonverbal cues and communication are a huge influence on effective communication. I have discussed some of the strong traits I have like the tone of my voice, my posture, and some of my indicators that I do to show that I am listening like nodding my head and eye contact. I also quickly discussed some of the things that I am bad at when it comes to personal conversations like becoming too relaxed and giving the impression that I am not listening or don’t care. I hope you have a better understanding on my nonverbal communication traits and cues and that they could help you become better at nonverbal communications. You can’t be the perfect listener all the time, I just try to be the best listener or speaker that I possibly can be.
- Steber, C. (2018, June 13). 11 Ways To Inflect Your Voice To Become More Confident. Retrieved from Bustle: https://www.bustle.com/p/11-ways-to-inflect-your-voice-to-become-more-confident-9327199
- M., B. (2009-2018, Unknown Unknown). The Art of Charm. Retrieved from The Art of Charm: https://theartofcharm.com/art-of-dating/speaking-confidence-work-life/
- Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal Communication. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
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