Oral History Interview & Importance Part 16

Body Language

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


It is imperative for an interviewer to be well versed on communication techniques and apply them to properly manage the interview. One of these techniques is Body Language.

Body language or non-verbal communication comprises a major part of our daily communication. This techniques is in times clearer and more effective than verbal communication and it is perceived to be a complementary component. This communication technique might be a reflection of any individual’s emotional or physical status. Hence, it is important to know and apply it properly to promote our verbal and non-verbal communication skills in an interview.

Some experts believe that a careful study of the body language makes it possible to recognize their emotional status. Many people reflect the emotions and affection through body language. For instance, it is possible to understand the state of happiness, grief, excitement, anxiety, peace, impatience, perplexity, inability, despair or other emotions through hand, food and eye movements.

Some body movements have specific connotations in the culture of a community which is unique and people use them consciously instead of words. Obviously, in an interview with individuals from a specific cultural origin, it is important to know these signs to avoid any complications with the narrator. In interviews with religious or political or civil figures, the interviewee takes offence against the sitting manner or position of the interviewer; such positions might contradict their culture of respect! For instance, years back, a group travelled to Egypt to interview Sheik al Azhar, however, since he took offence on the way one of the interviewers was sitting, he asked the team member to leave the room!

Body language movements and signs imply meanings and are important communicators of other feelings to the audience such as trust or distrust; excitement; lack of interest. Looking at the body language of people when they talk, for instance, if they’re sure of what they’re saying or when they are happy and excited, you see more hand movements and body language signs and it can exceed the level of words and transform into imagery. Some people use the movement of their hands and foot to draw an image and picture of the event they are talking about and if deprived from movement possibility they shall fail in communicating a message.

Obviously, we learn these signs in time and by living within our families and communities and apply them, right or wrong, in our daily conversations. This communication method like verbal communication evolves in time due to various cultural and social effects. Knowledge of and attention to these changes helps us to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations in our communication with others.

Other notes will be made on body language function and application in the next article.


Oral History Interview & Importance Part 1 - Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 2 - Characteristics of an Interviewer

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 3 - Selecting a Subject

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 4 - Narrator Identification & Selection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 5 - Goal Setting

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 6 - Importance of Pre-interview Data Collection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 7 - To Schedule & Coordinate an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 8 - Required Equipment & Accessories

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 9 - Presentation is vital

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 10 - Interview Room

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 11 - Pre-interview Justifications

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 12 - How to Start an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 13 - Proper Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 14 - Sample Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 15 - How to ask questions?

Number of Visits: 730


Full Name:
Memory Telling of Zahra Almasian, Veteran Lady of the Holy Defense

Relief in Khorramshahr and Abadan

The first young years of Zahra Almasian coincided with victory of Islamic Revolution and beginning of the imposed war by Saddam Army against Iran. She began working in several fields in Abadan in early days of invasion of Iraqi Baathist in Iran. But as Khorramshahr situation became critical, which was at high risk more than Abadan, she goes to Khorramshahr for relief, and after several days of activity under heavy fire of the enemy, she is injured there.

Research Literature & Oral History

We are constantly dealing with oral history texts that, if included in the historiography circle, their genealogies are missing. Perhaps under appreciation of the most important part of the writing, which is a major contribution to the endurance and validity of the text, has been neglected. Negligence and hurriedness, have caused a lot of work not to be desirable. To this end, we try to recall in this succinct series, the literature of research in accrediting the text.
Three books included memories:

"The Seeds of Pomegranate", "You Are Iranian; Are not You?", "Thirteen in Seven"

By reading this book, you will be familiar with books "The seeds of pomegranate", "You are Iranian, Are not you?" and "Thirteen in seven". These books include memories about Saddams army imposed war against Islamic Republic of Iran.
First chapter of oral history films of Isfahan Bazar unveiled

Accompaniment of oral and visual history

According to the website of Iranian Oral History, “the ceremony for unveiling the first chapter of the collection of oral history films of Isfahan Bazar” attended by a number of veterans of the bazar and organized by Assar Khaneh Shahi Museum (the Center for Studies of Isfahans Public Culture) was held in the Conference Hall of the Central Library of the city of Isfahan on Sunday 29th of April 2018.