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What is the role of gestures in non-verbal communication?

Gestures play an important role in non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication involves the use of body language, facial expressions, and gestures to convey meaning. Gestures are one of the most common forms of non-verbal communication and can be used to complement or replace spoken words. They can convey a range of meanings, from simple greetings to complex emotions and ideas.

Gestures can be divided into two categories: emblems and illustrators. Emblems are specific gestures that have a clear and agreed-upon meaning within a particular culture or group. For example, the 'thumbs up' gesture is commonly used to indicate approval or agreement. Illustrators, on the other hand, are gestures that accompany speech to emphasise or clarify the meaning of spoken words. For example, a person may use hand gestures to indicate the size or shape of an object they are describing.

Gestures can also be used to regulate conversation. For example, a person may use a hand gesture to indicate that they want to speak or that they want someone else to stop speaking. Gestures can also be used to establish rapport and build relationships, particularly in cross-cultural contexts where verbal communication may be limited.

Overall, gestures are an important aspect of non-verbal communication and can convey a wealth of information about a person's thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Understanding and interpreting gestures is therefore an important skill for effective communication.

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