The One Liner

What Is More Important: Body Language, Tone or Words?

Whether you are making a sales or a business presentation, what do you think matters the most in a conversation? Is it our body language, is it words, or is it a tone that plays a crucial role in every aspect of conversation? 

We never realize this, but remember everythings has its own impact in conveying messages effectively. But, there is always a hotspot for confusion about what is more important while having a conversation. Is it body language, Tone or Words?

Psychologist Albert Mehrabian, known for his research on nonverbal communication. proposed a formula known as 55/38/7. The formula reflects the effects on our conversation in the form of percentage that are attributed to our body language, words, and tone respectively; remember body language is 55%, words are 38% and tone is 7%. 

Now why is body language 55%? It is because body language conveys a deeper message which is more than just the words. Our body language includes our posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures which help in building connection with other people. 

Then comes words which hold 38% effectiveness in the conversation which includes vocabulary, clarity of words, and structure of the sentence that is often use to convey our emotions. The interpretation depends on how we frame the words, and the words that we chose in our conversation. 

And the rest 7% contributed to the tone of our conversation. The tone of our speech describes its meaning and emotional aspect. It signals our desire of having a deeper connection in the conversation. Talking to someone with a warm and gentle tone supports a friendly environment. Whereas, a conversation has a harsh and cold tone, can trigger conflict and struggle in the conversation.

Communication is not just about the words said, but also the body language we use.

Our body language reflects enthusiasm and understanding of conversation. Body language includes hand gestures, expressions, posture, and sometimes touch can help create a rapport, and helps in establishing bonds with other people. 

For example, you are assigned to give a presentation tomorrow. What would be your body language here? You may use your hand gestures, smile, and maybe a short walk to amplify your influence and confidence. Right!? 

Overall, body language is a set of non-verbal activities that influence and improve your conversation.

Words have their own impactful place in the conversation.

The right words in your conversation can add humor, depth, and clarity. It impacts the conversation in such a way that even the most boring subject can become interesting. Using words that show empathy, compassion, precision, and interest while talking feels like a perfect blend in the conversation. 

Remember, the fusion of verbal harmony with body language is a thing of practice.

There is a very precise example here! You may have heard about Dr. S. Jaishankar’s diplomacy. Have you ever wondered about the choice of his words and subtle body language? That’s the perfect blend of utilizing words and body language. 

The conversation we have with other people must have an understanding and clarity of our thoughts and ideas. That clarity comes with good usage of words and better body language. 

But, remember one thing here! Too many better words and body language will indicate to the other person that you are being artificial or you are just trying to be interested!

To improve the quality of your thoughts and words, It is suggested that you can write them on paper (not in the NotePad). This will help you to understand your take on perceptions and ideas. Also, this will make you use words that look better, connect with your thoughts, and sound conversational; this will also make the use of body language easy for you, and will not look artificial.

But what about the tone while you make a conversation with another person?

Tone is directly connected with expressing emotions.

When you talk about specific emotions or even normal talk, you may have noticed that your tone changes with your topic. When you crack a hilarious joke, talk about something emotional, or even in a normal conversation, you always talk in a specific tone. 

Our question was why is the tone so important? 

Your tone in a conversation is necessary because it influences the flow of our conversation. Will your tone match your laugh, if the other person changes their tone, and vice versa? No, right!? 

That’s the impact of the tone in a conversation!

For instance, you may have noticed that sometimes in a tense conversation with a person, you change your tone with intent, and it helps you understand their point of view and avoids conflict.

And that’s why it is important to make some necessary adjustments to your tone when talking to someone. 

Clearly, it is understood that body language, your words, and tone make your conversation impactful, deep, and effortless.  So, the point is:  have real, and meaningful conversations, and decide for yourself on what you need to work on. 

Hope this will help!

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