Demonstrative Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, Proxemics Pages: 2 (831 words) Published: May 14, 2014
Demonstrative communication can also be called nonverbal communication or "silent" communication. It is important to recognize that people can communicate on many levels. Facial expressions, posture, eye contact, gestures and body movements are all examples of demonstrative communication. Misunderstandings may occur if you simply listen to the words a person says without listening to the nonverbal clues.

As a leader or speaker, nonverbal clues can help you be more effective. I participated in a Zenger- Miller leadership seminar as part of my supervisory training. I learned a few nonverbal skills to improve my control over a lecture or meeting. For example, if a participant is challenging you with a loud tone or negative remarks, one form of demonstrative communication is to walk toward the individual while maintaining eye contact. This "silently" tells the participant that you are in charge of the meeting and you are willing to address their issue. Typically, if they are "listening" to your nonverbal communication, their tone and word choice will change as they recognize you are the leader of the group. When leading a meeting or speaking to a group, recognize that nonverbal cues can tell you when you’ve talked long enough, when someone else wants to speak, and the mood of the group (engaged or disinterested). (Heathfield, 2014)

Similarly, the distance or space between sender and receiver can be a form of nonverbal communication. Edward T. Hall, an anthropologist, coined the phrase "proxemics" when discussing "space bubble" between senders and receivers. Depending on the situation, various messages can be sent by this type of nonverbal communication. Entering someones personal space (touching to 1 and 1/2 feet away) may be interpreted as aggressive or overbearing. (hall) Leaning in, lowering your voice may exude trustworthiness of the receiver to receive the message. Conversely, if you walk away while someone is speaking, it communicates that...
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