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Being a good communicator requires more than just verbal skills and the ability to manage stress. Often, what you say is less important than how you say it, or the other nonverbal signals you send out—the gestures you make, the way you sit, how fast or how loud you talk, how close you stand, or how much eye contact you make. In order to hold the attention of others and build connection and trust, you need to be aware of, and in control of, this body language. You also need to be able to accurately read and respond to the nonverbal cues that other people send you.
These messages don’t stop when someone stops speaking. Even when you’re silent, you’re still communicating nonverbally. Think about what you are transmitting as well, and if what you say matches what you feel. If you insist, “I’m fine," while clenching your teeth and looking away, your body is clearly signaling the opposite. Your nonverbal messages can produce a sense of interest, trust, excitement, and desire for connection—or they can generate fear, confusion, distrust, and disinterest.
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