Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI), are a set of skills said to contribute to the accurate evaluation and expression of emotion both in one’s self and in others; the effective regulation of emotion in self and others, and the use of feelings to motivate, plan and succeed in one’s life ( Salovey, P., Mayer, J., 1990). Exercising emotional intelligence entails the understanding of the human psyche and its effect on the way people act (Meyer, 2015).


When a person with high EI responds to a situation, his /her ability to perceive emotions and act effectively on them is what separates the successful from the average (Bradberry, 2014). Many experts now believe EI to be more important than IQ and is undoubtedly a better predictor of success, quality of relationships and general happiness (Scuderi, 2016). EI can be broken down into four main skills according to the EI model developed by Mayer and Salovey in the 1990’s (Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M., 2015):

  • Recognise – being able to accurately identify and understand the emotions of ourselves and others.
  • Facilitating thought: The ability to generate, use or feel emotions as necessary to communicate feelings or employ them in other cognitive processes
Diagram of emotional intelligence

Diagram of emotional intelligence

  • Understand: Understanding the cause of emotions and how emotions change
  • Manage: The ability to be open to emotion, and to modulate them in oneself and others so as to promote personal understanding and growth

Emotions can influence the way we think, how we act and what we do. A person who is angry or in a negative mood tends to focus on undesirable details and mistakes whereas a person in a good mood tends to be able to produce more innovative ideas and solutions (Cenere, P., etc. 2015). Being able to recognise which state of mind is best for a certain situation is an imperative communication skill (Choi, J., Chung, G., Sung, S., Butt, A., Soliman, M., Chang, J., 2015).


Bradberry, T. 2014, Emotional Intelligence – EQ, [online]. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/#683107483ecb

Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M. 2015, Communication Skills for Business Professionals, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic. Pp 208-210

Choi, J., Chung, G., Sung, S., Butt, A., Soliman, M., Chang, J. 2015, Does Emotional Intelligence Matter in Interpersonal Processes? The Mediating Role of Emotion Management, [online]. Available at: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=58149a1b-ce11-4e9b-bcc9-6c2e71730805%40sessionmgr120&vid=2&hid=114

Craemer, M. 2014, Emotional Intelligence is Vital to Workplace Success, [online]. Available at: https://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/pod/leaders/orgdev/alliance/articles/EQ-_Craemer.pdf

Marchant, J. 2013, Why Emotional Intelligence is Important in the Workplace, [online]. Available at: http://www.emotionalintelligenceatwork.com/resources/why-emotional-intelligence-is-important-in-the-workplace/

Meyer, C. 2015, Why Emotionally Intelligent Are More Successful, [online]. Available at: http://www.fastcompany.com/3047455/hit-the-ground-running/why-emotionally-intelligent-people-are-more-successful

Salovey, P., Mayer, J. 1990, Emotional Intelligence, [online]. Available at: http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EIAssets/-EmotionalIntelligenceProper/EI1990%20Emotional%20Intelligence.pdf

Scuderi, R. 2016, The Importance of Emotional Intelligence, [online]. Available at: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/emotional-intelligence-why-important.html

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Non-Verbal Communication in Speeches

Human beings are living walking and talking messages. Even without speaking, a person is constantly communicating, through a series of bodily movements and other ques; whether they be doing it consciously or unintentionally (Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M., 2015). Non-verbal communication extends a wide variety of skills and processes that can be used in coherence, or instead of verbal communication (Deepika, 2015). When it comes to delivering a speech, a person’s non-verbal communication is crucial in identifying with the audience and making their point clear (Kadian-Baumeyer, 2016).

There are many types and subcategories of nonverbal communication, but examples recognised to be some of the most important in speechmaking include:

  • Body Language – A person’s body language can give great insight into their thoughts and psychological wellbeing. The study of bodily movements as they pertain to nonverbal communication is called kinesics (Hartman, 2004). Being able to recognise the meanings behind different gestures and stances is an invaluable skill for communicating effectively.Sign-language
  • Paralinguistics – Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that doesn’t classify as actual language. This includes things like tone of voice, inflection, volume and pitch (Cherry, 2015).
  • Facial Expressions – Facial expressions are responsible for a large percentage of non-verbal communication and often give away a person’s emotional state without their knowledge (Burke, 2016)


When performing a speech, whether it be to a small group or large audience, how a person uses both their verbal and non-verbal communication skills in coherence can greatly affect the way the audience perceives their words (Kadian-Baumeyer, 2016). Body movements alone tells the audience almost as much as the actual words. The speaker often has all eyes focused on them, and even small indications of body language can affect the context of speech (Kadian-Baumeyer, 2016). The difference between a good speech and a great one is the way the speaker presents him/herself on stage. Strong body language, controlled tone and pitch, facial expressions and countless other small nonverbal messages are all required to deliver a good speech.

Newspaper article, The Wall Street Journal, The power of non-verbal communication: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122426675804545129



Andrews University, 2016, Non-Verbal Communication Modes, [online]. Available at: https://www.andrews.edu/~tidwell/bsad560/NonVerbal.html

Burke, C. 2016, Public Speaking Tips: Body Language 5 – FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, [online]. Available at: http://www.artofcommunicating.com.au/public_speaking%20tips/-body_language_expression.html

Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M. 2015, Communication Skills for Business Professionals, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic. Pp362-368

Cherry, K. 2015, Types of Nonverbal Communication, [online]. Available at: https://www.verywell.com/types-of-nonverbal-communication-2795397

Deepika, P. 2015, The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication, [online]. Available at: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=5fd9e16e-1896-4eab-9b4e-b24c79a7555d%40sessionmgr4003&vid=1&hid=4102&bdata=-JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=112375386&db=bth 

Hartman, N. 2004, NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION, [online]. Available at: https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/55898/15-281Spring2004/NR/rdonlyres/Sloan-School-of-Management/15-281Spring2004/BE8A9AEB-CBBC-4A61-A473-8FF4B143C151/0/nonverbal.pdf

Kadian-Baumeyer, K. 2016, The Role of Nonverbal Communication during Speech Delivery, [online]. Available at: http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-role-of-nonverbal-communication-during-speech-delivery.html

Media References (Chronological order):






Soft Skills in Business

When looking to hire new workers, employers and employees often cannot discern the difference between actual skills and traits (Russo, 2015). Hard skills are the expertise, skill sets and other teachable abilities that are based on fact, and are often considered to be more important than their softer counterparts (Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M., 2015). Soft Skills are more subjective and are often associated with personal attributes and character. Hard skills are often key to landing an interview when applying for work through technology, as electronic sorting systems will only look for certain skill requirements (Russo, 2015). However a 2014 online survey conducted by Harris Poll of over 2000 employers showed that 77% believed soft skills to be just as important as hard skills and 16% believed they were more important. Despite this, when it comes to business, individuals fluent in these unique skills are regularly overlooked in favour of people with more tangible talents.


The reason soft skills are so important when it comes to business is that employers need to ensure that their company maintains a high level of professionalism; both within their own ranks and with customers, business partners and anyone else who has contact with them (Zambruski, 2011). Organizations that can prioritize beneficial soft skills in their employees reap the rewards of customer satisfaction and those who don’t fall behind the pack (Tulgan, 2015). Companies that do not support and reward key behavioural traits in their employees run the risk of their workers acting in a manner unbefitting to the company and what it stands for (Tulgan, 2015).

The demand for employees to emphasise good soft skills increases with each passing year, as business moves away from dictatorship and more towards socialism. In a society where technology is overtaking the globe, being able to persuade people and build relationships has become an increasingly valuable asset to have (Featherstone, 2015). Teaching undergraduate students about the importance of soft skills could directly influence their future employment opportunities; and the absence of good soft skills could destroy the career of someone who has ability and expertise but lacks interpersonal qualities (Robles, 2012).


Cenere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., Lewis, M. 2015, Communication Skills for Business Professionals, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic. pp 8-12

Featherstone, T. 2015, do soft skills really matter? [Online]. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/the-venture/do-soft-skills-really-matter-20150401-1mcjsl.html

Poll, H. 2014, CareerBuilder’s Survey, [online]. Available at: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=4/10/2014&id=pr817&ed=12/31/2014

Robles, MM 2012, Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace, [online]. Available at:http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4292baf3-c002-4918-b5fa-531a3bd26226%40sessionmgr4004&vid=2&hid=4102

Russo, K. 2015, Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What They Mean to Your Job Search and the Weight They Carry with HR, [online].  Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristi-russo/hard-skills-vs-soft-skill_b_8341566.html

Tulgan, B. 2015, Unlocking the Power of Soft Skills, [online]. Available at: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=3c24cdfd-d790-4d76-b691-fb35430e55bd%40sessionmgr104&vid=0&hid=126

Zambruski, D. 2011, what are Soft Skills and why are They Important? [Online]. Available at: https://www.resumeedge.com/what-are-soft-skills-and-why-are-they-important/