Sample Communication Critical Thinking Essay on Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

In the modern world, many people unknowingly and unconsciously use many non-verbal cues in their everyday’s interactions and communications. Many people communicate frequently using their body language in different circumstances to pass different coded information. Even professionals such as police and detectives sometimes use it to detect if a suspect is lying or not. Non-verbal cues are used for communication in different settings including streets, churches, schools and homes. They are primarily used in the art of persuasion, which involves convincing or influencing another person to engage in a particular or accept an ideology that initially they were opposed to, unaware of or would normally reject. This study will focus on significance of non-verbal communication in persuasion.

People persuade one another for different reasons. Persuasions is an activity that is used by many people in the business environment, churches, school, at home or even while walking along the streets (Knapp & Hall, 2002). Success of processes of persuasion is dependent on persuader. People try to persuade other people using different non-verbal cues with different coded messages. For example, coded messages can imply attraction, similarity or trust. Different factors, for example, being attractive, religion, gender and the social status are very significant in determining the success of non-verbal communication (Manusov & Jaworski, 2006).

To become more persuasive, many people to a certain degree, control their non-verbal cues. For example, they may exhibit positive facial expressions, the number of their eye contacts and the cues of connection so that people may perceive them as being credible and professional. Many teachers in the classroom try to use concepts of credibility and immediacy in non-verbal communication to help the students to understand the learning outcomes and syllabi content better (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002). The teacher’s non-verbal communication is linked with a positive attitude of students towards the teacher, the content of education and their willingness to work in the classroom. Exhibiting eye contact, face-to-face positions and a relaxed body posture can have positive effects on the attitudes of learners and positively impact learning process.

Many participants value the traits that they perceive to be closer to them. People are very fond of those who show characteristics that are similar to theirs (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002). Non-verbal cues help individuals to express how similar they are with each other. This helps in increasing the likelihood of influence or persuasion. The fact that the source is appealing affects his or her persuasiveness, regardless of the quality of their arguments, level of expertise or even their credibility.

Non-verbal cues that are used to express physical attractiveness between the source and the target can have very huge impacts on persuasiveness (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002). People who are more attractive are more likely to get many offers for help when they are in need. These people have higher salaries and a higher chance of changing the stand of their listeners than those who are less attractive (Knapp & Hall, 2002). Research has shown that lawyers that are more responsive to clients create strong impressions, for expertise attraction and trust than those that are nonverbally responsive. In politics, candidates who are more active especially when there is no sound are more persuasive and influential. Smiling and positive facial expressions have a deep positive influence. Appearances have an impact on the level of competence, integrity plus the suitability that the constituents attribute to their candidates (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002).

Many business people who are dependent on verbal component of communication do not use an important aspect that can help in shaping and mediating some of their ideas. This affects their business ideas (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002). Non-verbal communication is beneficial when utilized in a complimentary manner and in coordination with all other forms of verbal communication. The management of impressions that people create on others is often done for the purpose of persuasion. For instance, in a job interview, relationships between a student and teacher, during business deals or even within the home or church settings (Manusov & Jaworski, 2006).

The non-verbal factors that immensely affect the persuasiveness of an individual include maintaining eye contact. This shows affection, positive attitude and the inclusion in the communication process (Knapp & Hall, 2002). Maintaining eye contact increases the success of persuasion. This is in comparison to people who avoid eye contact during persuasion. Since many people communicate with those that they consider as attractive, friendly and positive, touching is used to express affection, sexual interest and pleasure. This is because many people consider physical closeness persuasive.

People allow more attractive individuals to become more intrusive into their personal space without having an effect on people’s persuasiveness (Manusov & Jaworski, 2006). The other positive effects may be immediate body postures, the forward leaning postures and variable facial expressions. Vocalic factors and variations can influence and persuade an individual to accept a given source, ideology or undertaking. The monotonic persuaders in many cases bore the audience as they lose most of their persuasiveness and influence. Voices that are high pitched indicate excitement.

The style of dressing can also affect the persuasiveness of people. For example, men who wear summer clothes are perceived to be less professional than those who wear long trousers. This points to the fact that appearances cues are closely linked with the persuasiveness of an individual depending on the environment.

The art of persuasion and exertion of influence is complex and success requires tact. There are many factors that a persuader needs to be fully aware of including the self-revelation and stylistic choices for different communication settings, rules and internal process that operate within each and every person they intend to communicate with or influence (Burgoon, Dunbar, & Segrin, 2002). There are different forms of non-verbal cues that can be used for effective communication, persuasion and exertion of influence including facial expressions, eye movements and body languages. It is possible manipulate these non-verbal message carriers by the persuaders through the impression management. This process involves the use of powerful verbal and non-verbal signals to convince and influence the audience and even change their viewpoint in certain ideologies and thought process that they would have normally rejected.

In conclusion, non-verbal communication is immensely significant when it comes to persuasion and exerting influence. Through the non-verbal cues, it is possible to persuade others and encourage them to behave in a certain way. Different people use different non-verbal cues to persuade and influence others in different settings. For example, men may wear suits to persuade people that they are professional while businesspersons may use facial expressions to persuade customers to buy their products and services. Non-verbal communication cues therefore play an important role in persuasion and general communication process.


Burgoon, J. K., Dunbar, N. E. & Segrin, C. (2002). Non Verbal Influence. Retrieved 6 2, 2015, from Http://

Knapp, M. L. & Hall, J. A. (2002). NVC in human interactions. Toronto: Thomson learning.

Manusov, V. & Jaworski, A. (2006). Casting nonverbal behavior in media representation and responses . Retrieved 6 2, 2015, from Http://