Body language is a powerful tool at the disposal of a skilled orator. Adolf Hitler, one of the most skilled public speakers of the 20th century would have the gestures of his rehearsed speeches photographed so that he could study them and improve upon their efficacy (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2011). Hitler was inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner during the architecture of his political strategy. Opera is a form of theater: an art form that uses a synergy of linguistic information, visual composition, symbolism, drama, and music to move its audiences. Hitler was well aware of the theatrics of politics, and he was shrewd to exploit that dimension of his strategy so that he could move his people enough to make them ignore or justify the atrocities of National Socialism. Gestures allow the orator to...
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...ation with an overly stern expression, the receiver may be put in a state of discomfort toward the perceived intentions of the sender.
Nonverbal communication is extremely important because communication happens on multiple dimensions: the linguistic dimension, the symbolic dimension, and the emotional dimension. The true message related between the sender and receiver, beyond mere linguistic information, is coordinated in the spaces between where these dimensions relate in the minds of both sender and receiver.
Fast, J. (1970). Body language . New York: M. Evans; distributed in association with Lippincott.
Manusov, V. L., & Patterson, M. L. (2006). The SAGE handbook of nonverbal communication . Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2011) Retrieved from
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