Even without words, we communicate with our body language

Photo by  @alex_kaishauri via Twenty20

Photo by @alex_kaishauri via Twenty20

How do you primarily communicate with those around you?

If you said with your body language, you are correct.

I've started reading the Dictionary of Body Language by a former FBI body language expert.

The author, Joe Navarro, "got into the field" at an early age and long before becoming an FBI agent. He was literally recording body movements people were making over and over again into note cards and then noting what the ultimate intention may have meant.

He literally wrote the book on body language.

If you have a significant other, have you learned to "read them" and know when they're upset? What are the signs?

But the thing is, most of these cues are so subtle that we subconsciously read and even respond to them.

It's a language perhaps we learned to speak before language! Indeed, non-verbal communication keeps us safe, comforts us when we’re stressed or worried, amplifies our voice, and so much more.

From my perspective as a speechwriter and public speaking coach, it is so important to help my client understand that their body is a communication vessel. Every part of their body! And it’s not just eye contact with an audience but how they use their hands, how they stand, and more.

We’ll continue to dive into best practices at Keep it 💯 - stay tuned.

But get this, it’s not just about understanding how your own body is being interpreted as a speaker. The audience is visually giving you clues as to whether or not they’re tuned in all over the place. Let’s take a look at the photo from above and see what we can learn from both the body language of the speaker and the audience.

Body language references taken from "Dictionary of Body Language: Field Guide to Human Behavior” by Joe Navarro.

Body language references taken from "Dictionary of Body Language: Field Guide to Human Behavior” by Joe Navarro.

How did you do?

I’m willing to bet you pretty much nailed it — without even knowing the scientific diagnosis behind what you were seeing. The truth is, we are wired and connected to one another even without understanding how it all works.

But imagine next time you give a speech or a presentation being fully aware of what your audience was communicating to you through their language. Perhaps you’d shift, or better explain a difficult point like the one we’re seeing explained in the photo above.