Paraverbal communication refers to the messages that we transmit through the tone, pitch, and pacing of our voices. It is how we say something, not what we say. Paraverbal message accounts for approximately 38% of what is communicated to someone. A sentence can convey entirely different meanings depending on the emphasis on words and the tone of voice. For example, the statement, “I didn’t say you were stupid” has six different meanings, depending on which word is emphasized.
Some points to remember about our paraverbal communication:
- When we are angry or excited, our speech tends to become more rapid and higher pitched.
When we are bored or feeling down, our speech tends to slow and take on a monotone quality.
When we are feeling defensive, our speech is often abrupt.
1. Account for about 38% of what is perceived and understood by others.
2. Include the tone, pitch, and pacing of our voice