How Can Nonverbal Communications Spur Change?

Posted on July 25, 2012 by


The jury is still out on just how much of communication is actually nonverbal. Some maintain the 93% stat that’s been around for decades, while others feel it creeps closer to 70%. Reality is, the exact number is irrelevant. The critical thing to know is that most communication is nonverbal. And while folks may not agree on the number, there is little room for arguing that nonverbal messages are the most crucial aspect of communication.

I’m guessing everyone among us has been in a situation where someone or some entity’s words and actions simply didn’t measure up. Whether it was a personal relationship, a professional one, or a consumer one doesn’t matter – chances are high we all know what it feels like. We might call it contradictory, brand slipping, or a flat out lie (depending on the situation).

Which brings us to today’s discussion: if most of communication is in fact nonverbal, what impact does that have on how we most effectively use social channels to spur social change? And how, most importantly, do we ensure our verbal and nonverbal messages marry up?

As always, I highly encourage an organic discussion, but here are some questions we might consider:

  1. Do you agree nonverbal outweighs verbal communications?
  2. What impact does that “fact” have on how we can most effectively use social channels for social change?
  3. Are we in fact destined to build campaigns around infographics and data visualization?
  4. Does this imply we need more offline interaction?