BlogCommunication SkillsWhat Percent of Communication Is Body Language?

What Percent of Communication Is Body Language?

Body language is a mighty tool that can be used to express oneself without using words. It’s no wonder, then, that body language has been studied for decades by psychologists. One of the most prominent studies was conducted in the 1960s by Albert Mehrabian and his team. They discovered that body language makes up around 55% of the message communicated during an interaction. This means that body language is more important than the actual words being used!

A body language researcher named Dr. Gavin Ivey has gone on to test this theory with his experiment, which he calls the “Silent Messages Test.” What came out of it was that tone-deaf people can still communicate effectively through body language! The study also showed that 93% of all communication is nonverbal, and body language makes up around 55% of this 93%.

You can see body language almost everywhere you look, whether it’s in the workplace or at home. At work, for example, body language is used by bosses to communicate with employees and vice versa. Employees may also use body language like rolling their eyes when they don’t agree with something said during a meeting. Body languages are fundamental because they are used to communicate feelings that body language alone does not have the capacity for, such as sarcasm.

Remember, body language is an essential aspect of communication and can’t be ignored! It’s always best to express yourself both verbally and non-verbally so you’ll never miss a chance at being heard or understood. 

What Is Body Language?

Body language is the silent component of communication that we use to communicate our real feelings and emotions. It’s the genuine smile that breaks out into a relaxed face with an upturned mouth and squinted eyes. It might be a tilt of the head that demonstrates attentiveness, sitting or standing upright to indicate interest, or using hand motions to emphasize a point. We all have body language, but most of us don’t realize that we’re doing it!

Types of Body Language

There are numerous different types of body language and gestures used in our daily lives. Some examples include: smiling, nodding to convey understanding or agreement, crossing your arms on your chest when you feel threatened or defensive, standing with your feet shoulder-width apart to portray self-confidence and authority. Just some of the body language gestures that are used in everyday communication include:

• Eye contact – looking directly into someone’s eyes demonstrates confidence and strength while avoiding eye contact can indicate nervousness or lack of assertiveness.

• Leaning forward – leaning towards the person you’re speaking to suggests that you’re interested in what they have to say while moving away from them might be a sign of boredom and disinterest.

• Touching oneself (e.g., neck) when speaking – touching body parts when you’re speaking or being spoken to can often indicate emotions, such as feeling nervous.

• Fidgeting in a chair – fidgeting while seated is usually done by bored people and has nothing else to do with their hands. It’s also used by those who feel uncomfortable about the situation they’re in.

• Fidgeting in general – nervous or uncomfortable people tend to fidget more than usual, such as playing with their hair when they’re talking to someone they like. This body language is often done without even realizing it!

• Playing with objects on a table – playing with objects on a table is done when you feel uncomfortable and have nothing else to do. It’s usually indicative of body language that indicates insecurity or nervousness, such as playing with your hair, picking at cuticles, or digging into one’s skin.

• Head nodding – body language that involves the head includes nodding, shaking your head from side to side, and tilting it. Bouncing is a body language gesture that usually means ‘yes’ while shaking your head back and forth can mean ‘no.’ Tilting your head to one side or another might indicate confusion about what you’re hearing, but could also mean interest in what the person is saying.

• Steeple gesture – body language gestures that are done with the hands include hand-to-face gestures like covering one’s mouth or scratching an eyebrow. A steeple gesture is a body language pose where the fingertips of both hands touch, creating a peek at their point of intersection; this can be seen as showing confidence and intelligence.

• Chin stroking – body language gestures that involve the face include touching, rubbing, and pulling body hair (e.g., beard or mustache).

• Frowning – body language gestures involving facial expressions also include frowning; this can indicate anger, confusion, or disappointment depending on how deep the frown lines are.

• Touching or covering one’s mouth-body language gestures with the body include covering one’s mouth or touching their face. Feeling your body can indicate nervousness wildly if you’re fidgeting by playing with your hair, picking at cuticles, or digging into one’s skin.

You should also learn about different types of conversations.

See also

If you want to learn more about body language see this video :Former FBI Agent Explains How to Read Body Language | Tradecraft | WIRED

You should also read:

How can you use verbal communication effectively?
Non-verbal Communication: Why It Matters and How to Do it Well
10 Steps to a Successful Communication Plan: Why You Need One


Body language makes up a whopping 55% of communication. That’s quite a lot! But it also means that 45% is left for words, which come in at only 10%. And if you can master the art of reading body language? You will be able to communicate more efficiently and better understand your customers. So how do we read body language? We have compiled this list from experts worldwide on what different gestures mean, but there are plenty of other resources out there too. If you want help with understanding or interpreting these signals, feel free to contact us anytime- our team would love to hear from you! Have any tips on what else people might try when trying to interpret someone’s nonverbal cues? Let us know!

Professional consultant and project manager in software houses. He has over 8 years of experience as a project manager for key clients. Currently mainly works on business consulting and communication with strategic clients. Privately a fan of good food, board games, and cycling. He loves to share his experience with new people!

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