| | Re: Which is more imporant, spoken language or nonverbal communication?
What a fun exercise!
The non-verbal elements can also undercut, override, and transcend any spoken words. Just look at the Reuters daily photographs which regularly capture poignant images of public figures - and often contradict their words.
Linking this question to our classroom practices, I've found that university students are often more surprised by how they look than how they sound when they view videotapes of their presentations. We are probably far more aware of the words we speak than the gestures we make. Students often write quite a bit on both self-evaluation and peer-evaluation forms about gestures, indicating a greater confidence to judge non-verbal communication by both ESL students and native speakers in communication courses.
Words, of course, still matter and provide far more sophisticated information and nuanced detail. Gestures convey moods, not reasons or insights.