Demonstrative Communication Paper Demonstrative communication is in large the majority of how we communicate with others. The many forms of communication continue to change with all the technology

Demonstrative Communication Paper

Demonstrative communication is in large the majority of how we communicate

with others. The many forms of communication continue to change with all the technology

that we use on a day-to-day basis, we tend to rely on this technology for our main form

of communication. “We are witnessing a breathtaking evolution of new forms of digital

communication. More than witnessing, we are facilitating it. All of this is unfolding so quickly

that we do not have time to pause and reflect on what is happening.” (Iskold, para. 11)

Because of the increase in the use of technology, we lose the face-to-face communication

that we are used to, where we can observe the receiver and their responses and reactions

to conversation as well as the sender can relay a specific tone to the conversation so that

the receiver can understand the context behind the message. The initial perception of

communication is that we spend most of our time talking, in reality; we spend most of our time

communicating non-verbally or through demonstrative communication, especially with all the

technology that plays such a large part in our daily lives, which make communicating much

quicker and easier. There are a several ways that we communicate demonstratively such as:

facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, materialistic features or items/something that

is meant to be perceived with high stature (a house, clothing, furniture, vehicles, neighborhood,

etc.), the use of touch, and the list goes on. Each of these are examples of a characteristic of non-

verbal communication and can be a tool meant to define us in a certain way and/or image, which

allows others to get to know something about a person from a distance, beyond the words that we



The most common forms of demonstrative communication, understood and used

by all humans, include facial expression, body language and tone of voice. These non verbal

expressions can either emphasize what we are saying or contradict what we are saying and any

and all meaning behind it. Many behaviors such as a shrug or a smirk might be an adjunct to a

sarcastic remark and leave the behavior susceptible to misinterpretation. On the flip side, if you

tell an employee that he did a great job on a project while simultaneously crossing your arms and

rolling your eyes, your nonverbal communication may be contradicting your verbal

communication. Tone of voice can completely change the meaning of a verbal message. This

type of demonstrative communication could be referred to as the Inconsistency Ad Hominem.

“Sometimes a person’s claim seems inconsistent, not with previous statements but with that

person’s behavior. This type of reasoning, where we reject what somebody says because what

he or she says seems inconsistent with what he or she does.” (Moore & Parker, 2009, p. 213)

Another example of a contradicting behavior would be, an employer is lecturing an employee,

using a tone of voice that is perceived as “mean” and “stern”. If the employer changed his/her

tone of voice, it may also make a negative or remedial message seem more positive. If you were

to change the way you addressed the issue with the employee in a more calm fashion, outlining

the issue and working with the employee to calmly make the appropriate changes, the results

may be more successful as the employer is addressing the situation in a positive manner and you

may not be perceived to be angry, disappointed and/or upset with them.

Many times we are completely unaware that our nonverbal communication is affecting

the way that people perceive us. For example, older adults may perceive “skimpy” clothing

on young ladies as a sign of lack of respect for their body or themselves, that she is rebellious,


unintelligent or even that it is scandalous. A young lady who is dressing in “skimpy” clothing

may not perceive this as being negative, but perhaps positive for one reason or another.

Touch is one of the most intimate forms of communication and can be perceived both

positively and negatively. People who are “touchy feely” may be regarded as overly friendly.

Some cultures are more likely to touch when greeting someone than other cultures. For example,

in some countries, they may hug you or not touch you at all, but here in the United States, we

shake hands when we first meet someone. By touching someone, you can relay a message of

comfort, intimacy or even pain if you touch too hard. An example of this form of demonstrative

communication being misinterpreted would be if you were to shake hands with someone and

carry a very firm and long hand shake. This leaves the individual on the other end of the firm

handshake unsure of the meaning and/or purpose of that.

One of the most important things about demonstrative and non-verbal communication

is being aware that it exists. Most of us do not spend much time thinking about what our

nonverbal communication is saying about us, and is definitely something that we should be more

conscientious of. These messages in large, is the majority of our daily communication and the

results of our nonverbal messages could result both positive and negative, without even knowing


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