Superb communication skills are vital to both your professional and personal life—a large percentage of what we say every day is determined by how we express it. In a face-to-face conversation, a lot can be said without words. Our eye contact, body posture, and facial expressions are the loudest during a conversation. 

These nonverbal cues are critical because they determine how conversations are interpreted. They also determine how we feel about the topic of discussion. Poor nonverbal cues could lead to negative communication and make the other person uncomfortable in an interpersonal conversation.

There are ways to improve your nonverbal communication skills; read below to gain a better understanding of how to do so.

Details

Paying attention to detail is an excellent way of working on nonverbal communication skills. It’s critical to pay attention to what the other person says and, in replying, repeat some of the things they said. This shows that you are listening and you care.

 Next, don’t forget to maintain and use good eye contact. It’s rude to stare but critical to maintain eye contact. Meeting a persons’ gaze shows that you are listening and interested in what they are saying.

On a related note, try to avoid fidgeting. Fidgeting during an interpersonal conversation shows that you are uncomfortable, bored, or nervous; even during an awkward conversation, avoid fidgeting.

Body Language

Believe it or not, a lot can be said about where we choose to sit about others. For example, don’t sit directly opposite a person; instead, sit angled towards them or alongside them. When you sit across a person, the conversation feels more of an interview or an interrogation but sitting alongside then makes the conversation non-confrontational and quite friendly.

Always sit even when the other person stands: sitting during a personal conversation will make the other party feel like you have come down to their level. The position also feels less threatening and relieves tension and nervousness during a conversation.

Maintain a body position that’s open: crossing your arms across the body in a conversation appears defensive; it’s, therefore, essential to maintain an open body position because it shows that a person is ready and available to listen.

Nonverbal communications make it easier to convey your point and read what the other person is telling you without words. Listening to what is being said and reading the tone and the expressions can tell you more than what the other person is saying.

Using all the nonverbal cues stated above can significantly improve your communication skills because sometimes it’s not about what you say in a conversation but how you say it.