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    Discussion on Nonverbal Communication

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    How can nonverbal communication help you run a meeting? How can it help you call a meeting to order, emphasize important topics, show approval, express reservations, regulate the flow of conversation, and invite a colleague to continue with a comment? Please discuss.

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    Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, tones of voice, gestures, eye contact, spatial arrangements, and patterns of touch, expressive movement, cultural differences, and other "nonverbal" acts. Research suggests that nonverbal communication is more important in understanding human behavior than words alone--the nonverbal "channels" seem to be more powerful than what people say.
    In a meeting you should be able to:
    - Understand how nonverbal communication is sent through a person's eyes, facial expressions, body position, and gestures.
    - Recognize how the qualities of a participant's voice communicate non-verbally.
    - Know how nonverbal communication can alert you to problems.
    - Interpret nonverbal communication correctly.
    Effective Meeting Communication enables participants to build a positive climate during a meeting and follow best practices of verbal and nonverbal communication to conduct a successful meeting.
    There are five key elements that can make or break your attempt at successful nonverbal communication in business:
    - Eye contact
    - Gestures
    - Movement
    - Posture
    - Written communication
    Let's examine each nonverbal element in turn to see how we can maximize your potential to communicate effectively.
    Eye contact:
    Good eye contact helps your audience develop trust in you, thereby helping you and your message appear credible. Poor eye contact does exactly the opposite. So what is 'good' eye contact?
    People rely on visual clues to help them decide on whether to attend to a message or not. If they find that someone isn't 'looking' at them when they are being spoken to, they feel uneasy. So it is a wise business communicator that makes a point of attempting to engage every member of the audience by looking at them.
    Now, this is of course easy if the audience is just a handful of people, but in an auditorium it can be a much harder task. So balance your time between these three areas:
    - Slowly scanning the entire audience
    - Focusing on particular areas of your audience (perhaps looking at the wall between two heads if you are still intimidated by public speaking)
    - Looking at individual members of the audience for about five seconds per person.
    Looking at individual members of a large group can be 'tricky' to get right at first.
    Equally, it can be a fine balancing act if your audience comprises of just one or two members - spend too much ...

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