Another example where 100% of the communication is 'non-verbal'

Regular readers will know that I'm not over-impressed by 'experts' who exaggerate the importance of body language and non-verbal behavior, and especially those who continue to spread the Mehrabian myth that 93% of communication is 'non-verbal' (for more on which, see links below).

But there are exceptions where 100% of the communication is indeed non-verbal, as in the case of a World Cup referee sending a player off for not having hit an opponent in the face that I posted a few weeks ago HERE.

A more elegant example where 100% of the communication is non-verbal is to be found in the way conductors interact with the orchestra during a concert.

No doubt the Mehrabianistas would want to put a percentage on how much of the communication is coming from Simon Rattle's facial expression as compared with movements of his hands (left, right and/or together), body, mouth, eyebrows, face, etc.

But how you'd go about arriving at such measurements is quite beyond me, and I'd be most interested to hear from anyone who could enlighten me on the matter. Meanwhile, I'll just have to make do with watching (and listening to) the music....

P.S. Since posting this, John Hindmarsh, to whom thanks, has drawn my attention to a fascinating TED talk by Itay Talgram comparing the styles of great conductors

Other posts on body language & non-verbal communication:
P.S. Since posting this, Jon Hindmarsh, to whom many thanks, has drawn my attention via Twitter (@jonhindmarsh) to a fascinating TED talk by Itay Talgram comparing the styles of great conductors:


  1. Yes, there is a great quote from Peter Brook about physical presence and orchestra conductors (but now I need it I can't find it!). I have been using Gustavo Dudamel footage as an example of one whose energy is perfectly at service in the task at hand, passionate but utterly focused. And no, without the instruments it wouldn't mean much!
    Carol Noakes, Voice Ltd.

  2. I've never understood the role of conductors - surely the musicians know what order the notes come in?


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