With meetings mainly taking place on-line, nonverbal communications are more important than ever. Voice tone, eye contact and physical gestures increase our ability to connect more effectively with our audience which helps build trust and communicate more effectively.
According to a paper by Edward G. Wertheim, nonverbal intimations play five distinct roles in communication, determined by how they are used:
- Repetition: This can emphasize and provide more impact on what you say. Gestures, such as nodding, help support what is being said.
- Contradiction: This may counteract what you are trying to say. The detection of deception is usually based on nonverbal cues. Some people know how to detect lies because they can spot these discrepancies.
- Substitution: This means replacing a spoken word with a nonverbal cue. Instead of saying something, your body language can say it for you.
- Complementing: This can add a different quality to what you say and, essentially, can assist in conveying a verbal message. For example, a smile can accompany words of enthusiasm or praise.
- Accenting: By accenting nonverbal communications, one can emphasize a verbal message. For example, crossing arms can underline a message.
These nonverbal communication signs, form important pieces of our relationships with others and the more we interact, the better we become at noticing these cues. Of course, some people might not enjoy sharing their video on a call, but it is important to remember that connecting visually is one of the biggest advantages of virtual meetings.