The Power of Non Verbal: How Your Body Language Can Bring Learning to the Class

Sep 12

We are continually communicating, verbally and non-verbally. Non-verbal communication is through body language, which is a skill we need to take advantage of, learn, practice, and master. Even when we may not be speaking, we are always communicating with our bodies and fifty percent of all our communication is non-verbal.
Body language is powerful and honest and even though one may lie verbally, your body language reveals the truth. Good communication includes powerful body language aided by good verbal skills which creates a lasting effect on the minds of students while the lecture becomes inspiring, interactive, engaging and interesting for the students.

To have an influence and impact on your students it is useful to learn the following Body Language Tips:

Express with your hands: Our hands indicate our trustworthiness according to Vanessa Van Edwards, who is an author and Behavioural Investigator. “Our hands are our trust indicators,”she states. When people are unable to see our hands, they find it hard to trust us. While one teaches, it is useful to use one’s hands and keep them visible instead of keeping them in your pockets, behind your back or under the desk.

Expressiveness: One effective way to have influence over your students and make them remember their teacher and the information she taught is by being expressive. By varying the tone of your voice, using a range of facial expressions and moving your hands help in emphasizing your point. Vanessa advises us to think of different ways in which you could use your hands, your voice, your facial expressions and your body. Smiling aids in communication, making it easier, less awkward and more convincing. Being a “mood-changer”, it evokes friendly feelings in both the speaker and the listener.

Eye Contact: One of the most important ways we communicate in is through eye-contact. Eye contact communicates “trust, good feelings and rapport, all of which are good leveraging qualities.” However, too much eye contact can frighten shy students. Hence it is important to use eye contact, but one must be careful not to use it over.

Posture: A “sagging posture” communicates the lack of confidence and reveals poor leadership qualities. The students interpret this as being unsure of yourself, resulting in their not listening to or trusting what you say. Good body language helps you inspire and engage people.

Proximity: While some teach that moving close to difficult students discourages bad behavior, on the longer run it is interpreted as dominance, aggression and antagonism. Hence it is advisable not to intrude into the personal space of your students who will respect you for it.

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