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    Mastering the Art of Non-Verbal Communication

    Do you want to be heard without saying a word?

    Yes, it is possible.

    Stand tall. Make eye contact. Pause for effect.

    These are just some of the body language cues that can deliver loads of meaning. If you want to conquer the stage, you must be able to master the art of nonverbal communication. Using these techniques can help you deliver maximum impact to tease, engage, and hold your viewers interest.

    Let your body speak:

    If you are a host, master of ceremonies, or moderator, you need to capture the attention of your audience.

    According to the research findings of psychologist Albert Mehrabian, there are three elements in face-to-face communication: 

    Tone of voice
    Nonverbal communication

    Of the three, 7% of the communication transmitted is based on the words used, 55% is from studying facial expressions, and 38% accounts for how the words are said. 

    Although these numbers are not meant to be applied freely to all communication, it supports the explanation that expressions form a large part in bringing across the proper and relevant message when communicating. 

    It must be noted, however, that these three Vs – Vocal, Verbal, and Visual – which must be used in congruence with each other. They should work together to create a message that will connect with your audience.

    So let’s say that you have all the right words prepared and ready for presentation. How do you deliver them to achieve the greatest effect on your audience? Read on and discover the tips and techniques that seasoned public speakers use:

    Mastering the Art of Non-Verbal Communication

    1. Face them well:

    A study conducted in 2012 reported that 60% of people notice the facial expression of the speaker first.

    With this in mind, you need to put on a proper “game face” when you are hosting an event or giving a speech. Take note that this doesn’t start the moment you step on the stage. It actually starts the moment you step out of your car, as you wouldn’t know whom you would come across on your way to the auditorium.

    Even if you’re feeling sad or annoyed, once you go on performance mode, you need to shake it off and smile as naturally as possible.

    2. Stand tall:

    Consider your posture when you are delivering your lines onstage. Stand with your spine straight, chest up, and shoulders back to give an impression of confidence. 

    If you go about staring at the floor with hunched shoulders or rocking on your heels while presenting, it will give an impression that you are insecure and do not have a good handle on what you are talking about.

    3. Dress the part:

    You do not have to shell out a million dollars to look like a million dollars. What you can do is to invest in a bespoke suit or a finely made dress in a neutral color and classic design. This way, you do not have to swipe your card every time you have a speaking engagement.

    More importantly, how you carry your clothes is key. Make sure your clothes are neat and clean, free from unsightly tears or creases, and fit you to a tee. Even your choice of fragrance must be carefully selected to ensure that it is not overpowering. Dress well so that you will come across as professional but relatable. 

    4. Maintain eye contact:

    Did you know that 43.4% of attention is focused on the speaker in conversations? When you are talking to a crowd, you can still use this knowledge to your advantage by maintaining eye contact with people around the room. Do not just stare at one person as it may convey a different meaning and can make other members of the audience feel excluded.

    Establishing eye contact will let them see that you are sincere and knowledgeable about your topic.

    5. Gesticulate:

    Use your hands for added emphasis at appropriate times during your time onstage. It will make more impact when, for example, you are driving home a point or referring to something.

    Move around and try to utilize the space given to you. You can even go down to the audience at certain times to establish an inclusive air and sense of rapport.

    Just remember to do this in moderation. Like Goldilocks, you should choose what is “just right” – not too little, not too much.

    6. Pause:

    When you talk too much and ramble on, there is a tendency that some of the audience members will tune out. To avoid this, deliver your sentences with a certain tempo and do not be afraid to pause.

    Pausing will not only create a bit of dramatic flair to your prose but also give you time to breathe and gather your thoughts.

    Speak well, speak good

    There will be times when some of the audience members will be inattentive. There will also be people who might disagree with you during open forums or during the Q&A segment of your program.

    If you know that you have done your part by using all the verbal and non-verbal tricks up your sleeve, accept the fact you cannot please everyone. You just need to have the right attitude to deal with these instances. Keep an open mind and heart, be calm and patient, and try to understand that not everyone is tuned to be a good listener.

    Use your words to speak well, use your body language to speak better, and use your heart to speak good things that will open up worlds for those who are willing to listen.

    Author bio: HishamWyne is a universally perceived MC, presenter, broadcaster and moderator who helps the world's best-known brands make essential events. He routinely hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world's best brands. With 150+ occasions added to his belt, Hisham is the expert speaker that brands and agencies swing to when needing to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.

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