Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 3

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, what you are saying when you are not speaking actually says volumes. You set the tone for your workshop or presentation and your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Last time we talked about posture and body movement. This time we will talk about two other important non-verbal techniques, and those are proximity and vocal quality.

Technique #5 – Proximity:

Cultural norms will likely determine a comfortable distance for interaction between people. Look for indications of discomfort when someone feels their personal space has been invaded. Some of these indications include:

· Rocking
· Leg swinging
· Tapping
· Averting gaze.

Typically, in large college classes space invasion is not a problem. In fact, there is usually too much distance. To counteract this, move around the classroom to increase interaction with your students. Increasing proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak.

Technique #6 – Vocal Quality:

This aspect of nonverbal communication includes many elements, including:

· Tone
· Pitch
· Rhythm
· Timbre
· Loudness
· Inflection

For maximum teaching effectiveness, learn to vary these elements of your voice. One of the major turn offs for participants in a learning program is a teacher with very monotonous speech. Those who have to listen to such a person perceive them as incredibly boring and dull. Participants consistently report they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to someone who has not learned to modulate their voice.

Stay tuned for next time when we will talk about the two final techniques, smile and humor.

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