Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, body language or posture, physical distance, facial expression and eye contact, which are all types of nonverbal communication. Speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page. However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on face-to-face interaction, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during iNonverbal communication represents two-thirds of all communication. Nonverbal communication can portray a message both verbally and with the correct body signals. Body signals comprise physical features, conscious and unconscious gestures and signals, and the mediation of personal space. The wrong message can be established if the body language conveyed does not match a verbal message. Nonverbal communication strengthens a first impression in common situations like attracting a partner or in a business interview: impressions are on average formed within the first four seconds of contact. First encounters or interactions with another person strongly affect a person's perception. When the other person or group is absorbing the message they are focused on the entire environment around them, meaning the other person uses all five senses in the interaction: 83% sight, 11% hearing, 3% smell, 2% touch and 1% taste.
The first scientific study of nonverbal communication was Charles Darwin's book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. He argued that all mammals reliably show emotion in their faces. Seventy years later Silvan Tomkins (1911–1991) began his classic studies on human emotions in Affects Imagery Consciousness volumes 1-4. Rudolf Laban (1879–1958) and Warren Lamb (1923-) raised body movement analysis in the world of dance to a high level. Studies now range across a number of fields, including, linguistics, semiotics and social psychology. Another large influence in nonverbal communication was Ray Birdwhistell, who "pioneered the original study of nonverbal communication—what he called 'kinesics.' He estimated that the average person actually speaks words for a total of about ten or eleven minutes a day and that the average sentence takes only about 2.5 seconds. Birdwhistell also estimated we can make and recognize around 250,000 facial expressions."
A study revealed that students who rated a professor as highly likeable from only a two-second first impression found the class much more enjoyable throughout the semester versus the students who did not."]