10 Ways Body Language Can Help You Be More Powerful - Forbes

In the basic speech course, such powerless styles are usuallyencountered. As speech teachers, we are well aware that beginningspeech students use a large number of these variables. In afundamentals class, however, attention is often given to content overdelivery. As a result, delivery concerns are either neglected orminimized in order to avoid placing more pressure in an alreadyanxious situation. Accordingly, speech effectiveness should be gradedby content, not by delivery. However, can instructors avoid beinginfluenced by these language factors? Thus, the null hypothesis maybe stated: The number of power indicators present in a speech doesnot affect its perceived effectiveness.

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Clearly, these studies demonstrate that the level of powerlessspeech variables does affect effectiveness; however, the abovefindings are all based in courtroom settings, not on othercommunication events. If these language variables do affect speakereffectiveness, an investigation of these variables in a non-courtroomsetting is certainly warranted. By discovering how they may functionin other settings, specifically in the basic speech class, we willbetter understand the process of communication, as well as importantfactors affecting the relationship between student as speaker andteacher as evaluator.

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The variables may serve to indicate a gap in the message. Thesource is searching for words or otherwise considering the messageprior to transmitting it. The receiver, it appears, picks up thesenonverbal cues and makes an inference about speaker confidence. Ifthe speaker uses a more powerful speech style, the speaker isperceived as more credible and, accordingly, the speaking event ismore effective. On the other hand, if the confidence is low, thepower is lessened, and the speaking event is less effective.