Watch video clips to observe and discuss the use of different body language
In this session, students look at people’s body language and interpret what message they are sending. They discuss the uses of different body language, and end by choosing an actionable takeaway.
1. Begin by “posing” with a few different body postures and expressions such as:
• Standing, hands on hips
• Leaning back in a chair
• Furrowed brow, nodding
• Sitting, legs crossed, tapping
2. Ask students to call out what they are “reading” by your body language.
3. Explain that good communicators use body language to match the message they want to convey.
4. Pass out the Body Language 2 Thought Catcher to students.
5. Watch the following 3 clips on SILENT.
6. Invite students to record effective body language used by the speakers. Ask students be very specific in what they are seeing. Remind them that body language is nuanced and subtle, so they should watch closely.
7. Each clip is only 30 – 40 seconds. It may be beneficial to watch each clip two times.
President Obama – State of the Union (watch until 0:35)
Malcolm X – On Self Defense (watch from 1:40-2:10)
Mother Teresa – Novel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (watch from 15:25 – 15:55)
8. Once students have completed the sections for each speech clip. Have students share their findings.
9. This optional clip is a video montage represents a great many ‘do’s’ in speech making. Watch for eye contact, posture, gestures, and movement. Please view the video in its entirety to assure its appropriateness for your class.
Optional – (12:13) Montage of various speakers
- Based on the clips from Obama, Malcom X, and Mother Theresa, can the class make assumptions about these people? Their content? Their intended speech purpose?
- If you were sharing important information, what are some practical, non-verbal ways that you can show that you are being welcoming and not boring or threatening?
- Based on these clips, can they glean certain ‘absolutes’ about communication through body language?
To close, ask students to identify one “body language challenge” that they can try during the next week. Have students share which challenge they are choosing.
Challenge 1: Choose one example of body language from their worksheet to do more of this week.
Challenge 2: Ask yourself, does my body language match the message I am trying to give? Adjust if needed.
Challenge 3: During each interaction with someone, do one small welcoming piece of body language such as smile, nod, sit with an open posture, eye contact, arms uncrossed, head up, etc…