What is a Nonverbal Cue?

A journalist at Forbes asked me today to define what a nonverbal cue is.  Please read my answer below.
What’s a nonverbal cue?

Nonverbal cues include all the communication between people that do not have a direct verbal translation.  Nonverbal cues are all body movements, body orientation, nuances of the voice (called Paralanguage) facial expressions, details of dress, and choice and movement of objects that communicate.

Time and space can also be perceived as having nonverbal cues.  If you send a text on a Saturday night requesting your team work on a project the fact that it is a text is a cue, the day of the week and the time of day the text is sent all are nonverbal cues. Conveying things about you as the sender and what the receiver feels about them and about the subject of the request.

To clarify the statement that nonverbal cues include all the communication between people that do not have a direct verbal translation. So for example the OK sign you make with your hands is considered verbal communication while an upward movement you may make with your hands as you say ok is nonverbal communication.

 How do you define Nonverbal Communication? Here is the list of cues and behaviors under each separate category of nonverbal communication.

Kinesics – body movement and placement, including gesture, leaning, facial expressions.  kinesics: see body language.  

Paralanguage - voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style

Prosodics - features such as rhythm, intonation, stress

Vocalics  par·a·lan·guage
The set of nonphonemic properties of speech, such as speaking tempo, vocal pitch, and intonational contours, that can be used to communicate attitudes or other shades of meaning.

Noun 1.
- vocalizations other than words, such as sighs and moans

Haptics - touch

Proxemics  prox·e·mics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the cultural, behavioral, and sociological aspects of spatial distances between individuals.
- spatial distances

Chronemics -time

Olfactics - smell, pheromones 

Artifacts  artifacts

see specimen artifacts.
- use of objects such as cell phones, purses, cigarettes

Technics - A label I have given to the nonverbal aspects of written texts, and electronic communication font choice, handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, length of text, physical layout of a page and the timing of messages.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.