David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.
Nonverbal Communication Activities for Adults
Nonverbal communication is a vital part of how humans interact. It has been said that 50% to 70% of communication is nonverbal, though people disagree on the exact number. It's therefore important that people are able to understand their own body language, control it, and correctly interpret other people's body language. A person who can do this will have a greater chance of success in business and in life in general. Here are some activities you can complete with a group of adults, to help teach about nonverbal communication.
Charades is perhaps the classic nonverbal communication game, showing that it is possible to communicate even complex ideas without using words. Play a game of charades with your students, but instead of TV shows and random musical artists, stick to everyday messages and emotions to convey like, ''My father just died,'' or ''I don't understand how to use a computer.'' This will make the activity of more practical use.
Another way to study nonverbal communication is to analyze it directly. You can have students work in groups to analyze and interpret photos of people expressing particular feelings, emotions, and character traits nonverbally. Students can look at pictures of people, and discuss what they can glean from them. The discussion can then widen to the whole class, and students can see if there were any disagreements, or if the nonverbal communication was obvious.
Silent Movie Acting
Another game to help practice nonverbal communication is the silent movie acting game. Start by creating a series of silent movie scripts, and hand them out to students. Each script should have a small group worth of actors. Have them act out the script without using words - every line of dialogue expressed using nonverbal communication. An alternative version of this activity, that can make it more entertaining for those who are watching the performances, is to have one person be able to talk, and the others use nonverbal communication. This provides a more humorous contrast between the actors.
For this activity, create a series of index cards with fairly intricate lists of actions to complete. For the activity, provide a series of props that students can use. For example, one set of instructions may say to put on one red glove, wear a baseball cap backwards, and hop on one foot. Put students into groups, and give each group a set of these instructional index cards. Each student takes turns being the one who must complete the action. An index card is chosen, and the instructions on the card must be communicated to that person nonverbally. During the activity, none of the group members can talk.
Body Language Tips Posters
There are some specific tips that can be helpful for people improving their nonverbal communication, and their interpretation of other people's nonverbal communication. Find lists of these tips online, and split them equally between different small groups. The goal for this activity is to create a poster summarizing the particular tips they have been assigned. Putting all the posters of the class together, students will have an excellent summary of nonverbal communication tips. These tips can include things like walking around during a formal presentation to command attention, mirroring the mannerisms of the person you are talking to in order to create connection, pausing to look at someone's face before smiling, using hand gestures, angling your body, having a firm but short handshake, making a moderate amount of eye contact, and many more.
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