Those trained in presentation skills have been told time and time again that people pick up more communication cues from our body language than our verbal communication.
At www.typesofcommunication.org they explain that verbal communication has four purposes.
Four Purposes Of Communication
There are four basic purposes for communication. Almost all of these purposes are better served through verbal communication than other options like E-Mail or print.
First, communication can be used to convey information. Of all the purposes of communication, this is the one that can be adequately accomplished through text-based media as well as verbally. Many businesses use E-mail or interoffice memos in this way. It is used simply to pass information such as meeting times or new policies from administration to employees.
Second, communication can be used to ask for help. Asking verbally for help has been shown to trigger natural empathy in the listener more than text-based communication. Often seeing the person asking for help increases the likelihood that a request will be granted. Like other verbal communication, verbal requests also mean that a request can be stated clearly and any miscommunication can be immediately rectified.
The third purposes of communication is to influence a listener or audience. This is the type of communication used by politicians. While this includes non-verbal cues like appearance and dress, the most important aspect is what words and syntax they choose to use. This is the most important component of influencing an audience.
The fourth and final form is entertainment. Once again there is a clear advantage to verbal communication over text-based communications. For example, most of the top comedians in the country make their living in live shows where they can readily interact with an audience rather than in text-based communication like books or websites.
I happen to think that the best demonstration of the importance of verbal communication is shown in this cute video
In my world, verbal communication is HUGE. As a Mediator, what I say, my tone of voice and the speed in which I speak all play an important role in handling conflict.
Your world is no different than mine – what you say and how you say it can help or harm someone.
We can read into body language many different things but folding my arms while talking to someone may just be because I’m cold and not because I’m trying to “protect” myself or I’m “defensive”.
I challenge the chart above, not to negate non-verbal communication but to give verbal communication a higher % in importance. At least for those of us who are able to verbally communication.