We bring you series on ‘Communication Skills and Body Language’ for Jan 2012. Here I present the first article on this topic. I am continued to ask, ‘How do I improve Spoken Communication Skills?’ I have taught many people, if you feel your strength cannot be spoken, then work on your body language skills. I say this, because everyone cannot learn languages at the same pace, doesn’t rule out the option of know the minimum required spoken communication skills. I feel the perception carried by people ‘Communication means English’ is perhaps not the right way. To validate some of the points as said above, ’Speech was probably first developed between 2 million and 500, 000 years ago, before then the body language and sounds made in the throat were the main forms of conveying emotions and feelings and perhaps its true to date. The people before the spoken language was developed, had high ability to read person’s attitude and their thoughts was perhaps the original communication system used.
Early 1890 till 1930 film industry had silent films, one of the most well-known and pioneer was Sir Charles Spencer (popularly known as Charlie Chaplin) was a great English comic actor, film director and composer. He was one of the best pioneer in using body language skills during silent film era. Each character (actor’s) skill was classed as good and bad by the extent use of body gestures and signals to communicate the audience. Charles Darwin in 1872 wrote most influential work ‘The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal’, on body language. Similarly Albert M 1950′s findings are worth to mention, his findings were – only 7 percent of verbal communication was used against the 55 percent through body language. Another pioneer, Anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell estimated that an average a person actually speaks for ten to eleven minutes a day and the average sentence takes only about 2.5 seconds. He estimated that a person can make and recognize 2, 500 facial expressions. Many researchers are of an opinion that, body language is used as a substitute for verbal messages and negotiating interpersonal attitudes. This all means, words are used for conveying information. The most fascinating thing about us (human beings) is that our posture, movements and gestures tells one thing and our voice tells another thing.
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