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Feb 19, 201911:04 AMOpen Mic

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The nonverbal conundrum

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Connection with your audience is another key component of authenticity and persuasiveness. Better nonverbal communication can follow from improving it, too. A noted social psychologist who studies speakers says the best lead with warmth, and that warmth starts with likeability.  We can improve warmth and likeability, and their associated nonverbal functions, by stressing what we have in common with our audience — shared philosophies, interests, and views.

These commonalities typically can be researched in advance, written into the speech, and practiced with a focus on being more connected to and empathetic with the audience.  Just as with passion, improved nonverbal cues should follow naturally.

There is another variable that is important to mention. Your familiarity with your speech or presentation itself will grow with rehearsal, of course. This familiarity is important, too, and helps to drive improvements in nonverbal communication that should have a meaningful effect on your authenticity and persuasiveness.

At the heart of this approach is strengthening your nonverbal communication by letting it grow from improvements to your verbal delivery. If you can focus on the qualities of your delivery, rather than directly on your nonverbal cues, you can increase your authenticity and persuasiveness. Otherwise, you may keep driving past the grocery store.

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