The aim of this exercise is to get the delegates think about body language and gestures and observe how such signals can be instrumental while communicating. The training exercise illustrates the importance of communication without using words and how much a social context or background can help us understand what is going on in a given situation. The exercise also helps unleashing the writing creativity of delegates so it is also ideal as an exercise in storytelling and creative writing.
Write a short story where all communications are carried out through body language.
What You Need
- Divide the delegates into pairs. If you have an odd number of delegates use a group of 3.
- Explain that the purpose of this exercise is that each group must write a 600 word story. They should first brainstorm and plan what they are going to write and then write it on paper.
- For the story delegates should consider the following rules:
- The story should consist of a conversation between two or more people.
- There should be no “words” in these conversations. Instead, the entire communication must take place using body language.
- The narrator should explain what is happening by describing the body language of the characters in the story.
- The narration can be third-person or first-person depending on each group’s choice.
- Groups should aim to cover gestures, manners, facial expressions, tone of voice and body states associated with various emptions such as crying.
- Allocate 30 minutes for groups to plan and write their stories.
- After the allocated time, bring groups back together and ask each group one by one to read their stories for others.
- Ask others to provide feedback on the each story.
- Allocate 5 minutes for each group’s story reading and discussions.
- Following with a final discussion to summarise what was learned in this exercise.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes
Activity: 30 min making the story + (N * 5 min) = 50 minutes for 4 groups
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
When you were first tasked to write a story with no “words”, did you think it is going to be very challenging? Now that you have gone through it, what do you think of the difficulty of the task? How easy is it to communicate through body language? What does this suggest when we communicate with each other? What do you think of this approach as a writing style?