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Speakers use it, too

As a speaker, you use body language for better or worse. You might not think of it that way, but that's what it is. Researchers have estimated that a person is capable of twenty thousand distinct gestures, each of which has its own meaning. This vocabulary, if we can be justified in calling it that, dwarfs the working vocabulary of the typical English-speaking person.

According to American Speaker, a program for speakers and speech writers, research by a leading communications expert has shown that the visual impact of a speech accounts for an astounding 55 percent of the audience's impressions. This compares with 38 percent for vocal impressions—the speaker's tone of voice, range, enunciation, and so forth—and only 7 percent for verbal impressions. So, are we forced to conclude that what a speaker says is less important than how he says it or how he looks while saying it?


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