Whenever you look at the topic of body language, you’ll always hear that familiar statistic that says 93% of all communication is body language and voice tonality. Now, whether this figure is true or not, body language is undeniably important in social relationships. I want you to imagine for a moment that you’ve just been introduced to someone. You try to make friendly conversation with them, yet their replies only seem to logically impart information on you in a deadpan voice that reminds you of your high school geography teacher. Shortly after, you’re introduced to a second person, but just as you start clenching your teeth, you find you’re completely taken aback by their genuine, yet casual demeanour with a vibe of pure warmth that makes you feel like an old friend. So you can see here, that it’s not just that body language and voice tonality make up 93% of all communication, it’s that body language and voice tonality make up 100% of the communication that actually matters.
So now you may be thinking,”How can I get good body language?”, but by asking that, you’ve immediately fallen into the trap that undermines the entire conventional concept of body language. Let’s see what happens when we treat verbal language just like we’d treat body language. We’ll take a word that makes you sound like you know what you’re talking about, let’s say, “infrastructure”. Surely then, the infrastructure of a good sentence’s infrastucture would sound something like this infrastructure. Nonsense right? This really highlights the fact that it’s not about adding “good language”, it’s about communicating well using language. It’s not about adding “good body language”, it’s about communicating well using body language, where no individual movement is necessarily good or bad, just an appropriate or inappropriate method for the intended communication.
So we need to start seeing body language as a kind of language, and as with any language you need a kind of grammar, a structure, a set of principles to enable you to express yourself in any way you wish. Now, Laban Movement Analysis is the only system that comes close, it describes qualities of movement, but it doesn’t describe non-verbal communication, which is true body language. So there really is no current system today to describe social body language, which is something I’d like to introduce.
Get ready for part 2!