Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nonverbal communication matters

Entrepreneur magazine ran a piece by Maryville University professor Dustin York who did an experiment with four identical classes.  He brought in a guest speaker for all classes who had the same script and slide deck for each class.  In two classes the speaker followed best practices of nonverbal communication during presentations: eye contact, vocal variety, moving around, hand gestures, and enthusiastic facial expressions.  In the other two classes the speaker made minimal eye contact, spoke in a monotone, clutched the podium and had a flat facial expression.

York then quizzed the students at the end of each talk.  Guess which classes did 30 percent higher?  It is not just what you say; it is how you say it.  Students in NC State's MBA program get lots of practice at presentations; this practice yields a lifetime of high dividends.

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