Body Language

Body language is non-verbal communication and is how we say what we say without using words. Body language uses body poses, gestures, and eye movements. Examples include putting your hands in your pockets, folding your arms, or eye movements when communicating. People send and interpret such signals intuitively, and physical expressions may reveal many things about the person using them. An example of body language that can be interpreted a variety of ways is eye contact. Some people may feel that this shows trust, opening, respect, confidence, or connection. Others though may feel that it is confrontational, judgmental, aggressive, or a sign of disrespect. Depending on the context it is important to understand how body language can mean numerous things in different settings. Examples of physical expression that are non-verbal include waving, pointing, touching and slouching.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is how people communicate face-to-face using their words. Key tips for verbal communication include:

 • Remember to be aware of what you are saying.

• Consider your position of privilege and power as a staff or volunteer providing this service

• Before you speak, think about your purpose, or the main idea of your words.

• As you speak, watch the other person to see if your point is making the desired effect. If not, think about what you are saying, revise your message and try again.

• Use plain language, while being aware that plain language should not be used in a way that makes someone feel they are being considered less intelligent.

• Only provide advice to people when they request it.