Body Language and non-verbal communication

January 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Body Language can portray up to half of what you are communicating. This is high amount, so it is important to make sure you use your body to show what you are trying to get across. Your body can be used as a tool. It can either be helpful or harmful. I found some basic translations of everyday body positions at this website

Some of the examples of body language and what it portrayed included:

  • When you stand tall and erected, you portray confidence.
  • If you stand with your hands on your hips, it comes across as being aggressive.
  • Sitting with your legs crossed while tapping your foot is a sign of boredom.
  • If you sit with your legs open you come across as being relaxed.
  • If you have your arms crossed in front of your chest you look defensive.
  • If you have your shoulders hunched with your hands in your pockets while you walk you look rejected.
  • When you have your head resting on your hand it is a sign of boredom.
  • If your hands are behind your head when you are sitting, it comes across as a sign of superiority.
  • Rubbing your hands shows anticipation.
  • An open palm portrays openness and sincerity.
  • If you wrinkle your nose and have your eyes closed, you come across as thinking negatively about something.
  • Tapping or drumming your fingers is a sign of impatience.
  • Constantly touching or playing with your hair shows a lack of self-confidence or insecurity.
  • You show signs of interest when you tilt your head to the side.
  • It looks like you are trying to make a decision when you stroke the bottom of your chin.
  • Biting your nails shows a sign of  nervousness and insecurity.
  • You come across as indecisive when you pull or tug at your ear.

These examples provided helpful insight. If you are speaking with someone such as an employer, a boss, or an elder you want to make sure you act respectful towards them. Although you might be speaking to them with respect if you are doing something as simple as tapping your foot you are portraying boredom. Your body language can completely off set the attitude you are trying to convey. This is an example of why it is important to be conscious not only how you are talking, but also what the rest of your body is doing.

Body Language is a form of non-verbal communication. Help Guide helps show the importance of non-verbal communication. I thought the authors described it well when they said “The way you listen, look, move, and react tell the other person whether or not you care and how well you’re listening. The nonverbal signals you send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.” This shows how much of an effect non-verbal communication can have on a relationship or situation. Some of the main ways you show non verbals are by:

  • facial expressions
  • body movements and postures
  • gestures
  • eye contact
  • touch
  • space
  • and voice

I hope that this provided you with some tips about both body language and non-verbal communication and how to use it for your benefit in the future.


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Cover Letter Tips

January 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

     This week’s blog topic for my PR Practicum class is cover letter tips. I have looked at different websites for advice on how to properly write a good cover letter. The first place I looked at was Professor Nixon’s blog post on her website, This post emphasized how important it is to avoid  overuse of words like “I” and “my”. Instead the post recommended staying ‘company focused’ in your cover letter. The blog also provided advice on how to correctly address your cover letter. It stated that you should not begin with the phrase “To whom it may concern…”. You should address the cover letter to either the name or title of the hiring manager.

    The second place I looked for tips was  This article mentions that your resume’s cover letter can serve as a marketing tool. The article then goes on to say that your cover letter should consist of three main parts. The first part is where you state the position you are applying for, also mention how you heard about it and why you are interested in applying for it.  The second part of your cover letter is where you should mention why you are the best person for the job. You should mention your personal skills that will give to the job and the company. The article says that in this part of your cover letter, you should also mention your characteristics and part experiences that will show your qualifications. The third part of your letter is your closing paragraph.  This is where you thank your potential employer for overlooking your resume and considering you for the job. You should also provide a phone number where you can be reached.

    Some additional tips the above article mentioned is to make sure you remember to sign your name at the bottom. You should use a standard business letter format that coördinates with your resumé. Your font size is anywhere from 10pt. to 14pt. Your cover letter should only have print on one side of the paper. The color of your cover letter should be white or off-white. You should avoid jargon and grammatical errors. Finally, the article advises that you use terms that apply to the employer.

     After reading about cover letters I have a better understanding of how important they are. They can really enhance a resume. The cover letter is the frist part of your resumé that a potential employer will see. It is the first impression of you that they will see. This is why it is vital to make sure that you have a good, strong cover letter. If your cover letter is sloppy, or poorly constructed your employer might toss your name out as a potential employee without even glancing at your resumé. If you can’t take the time to build a good cover letter then why would they take you seriously as a dedicated and hard worker? I have learned a lot more about how to properly build a cover letter, and I will keep these tips in mind when it is time for me to write my cover letter.

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