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Reading Body Language: Sitting Positions

Reading Body Language: Sitting Positions
Training Articles, Body Language, Personal Impact, Meeting Skills, Persuasion Skills

Article Rating:::: 174 Ratings :::: Monday, February 6, 2012

Humans are predictable. Magicians have taken advantage of this predictability for generations. Knowing how to read people helps you significantly in your negotiations, persuasions and overall communications. This ability to predict human behaviour is often related to our evolutionary past. As we have evolved to survive in our environment, we have acquired a lot of “hardwiring” in our brain which now simply dictate our behaviour. We are all too familiar with some of the common behaviours such as seeking water when thirsty or wanting to leave the meeting room when we can no longer hold it.

However, some of these hardwiring and their consequences are more subtle and a careful observation can give the observer a significant advantage in predicting the eventual behaviour. It's all about reading non-verbal signals, where people  are looking, their body orientation, their posture, their eyes, their legs and other gestures. 

In this article, a particularly useful body language technique is presented that helps you read people and understand what people are likely to do before they do it and to use this knowledge to your advantage. This also helps you to improve your communication skills as you don't have to rely primarily on what people say and can read other non-verbal signals to understand them.

 

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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect
Exercises, Body Language, Large Group, Acting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 90 Ratings :::: Monday, December 12, 2011

Sometimes a little action can lead to a lot of change as the actions are amplified. This exercise helps delegates see this effect in a symbolic exercise on gestures on what is famously known as the “butterfly effect”. It is ideal for courses on team building, communication skills, change management, body language and leadership skills. It also demonstrates the power of non-verbal signals and how we can be strongly sensitive to certain gestures. 

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Acting Exercise: Act For Your Group Until You Win

Acting Exercise: Act For Your Group Until You Win
Games, Exercises, Team Building, Body Language, Acting

Article Rating:::: 87 Ratings :::: Monday, July 18, 2011

 

This exercise helps participants to practice acting in front of a small audience. The ideal acting is one that conveys information as quickly and efficiently as possible. People need to think of ideal non-verbal gestures associated with a particular activity. Others will be looking to interpret the activity based on these gestures alone. A trainer can then teach on the importance of these gestures or how certain universal signals are interpreted quickly. 

The training activity is designed to be competitive, so participants are pushed to act better. This will help to improve communication skills, relationships and in particular non-verbal interpersonal skills.

 

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Team Building Exercise: Shrinking Platform

Team Building Exercise: Shrinking Platform
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Body Language

Article Rating:::: 99 Ratings :::: Monday, April 25, 2011

This is a simple yet challenging teambuilding game which puts pressure on a group to solve a problem as the clock is ticking. The shared problem solving can help to improve relationships and encourage teamwork. To successfully survive the task, the group must learn to work together quickly and efficiently. They might need to assign a leader, they might need to self-organise their activities and they may need to use body language and non-verbal signals to convey meanings quickly. 

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Non-Verbal Awareness Exercise: Use Your Senses

Non-Verbal Awareness Exercise: Use Your Senses
Exercises, Body Language, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 81 Ratings :::: Monday, February 21, 2011

The purpose of this activity is to help delegates examine their non-verbal and non-visual senses and build their confidence in sensing and reading others. It demonstrates the power of people's conscious and unconscious ability to read others even when their eyes are closed. This exercise is great in increasing people's ability to sense their environment without looking and instead employing all other senses to maximise information transfer. 

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Attention to Detail Exercise: What Was in The Box?

Attention to Detail Exercise: What Was in The Box?
Exercises, Team Building, Body Language, Attention and Focus, Memory

Article Rating:::: 249 Ratings :::: Monday, January 24, 2011

The purpose of this exercise is to help delegates practice memorising and paying attention to detail. Repeated exercise can increase focus and help people to become more aware of their surroundings as it encourages careful looking. It also highlights the importance of using all non-verbal senses, such as touch to increase memory retention and recall. The exercise is also useful for teamwork, communication skills and leadership skills. 

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Presentation Skills Exercise: Tell a Story

Presentation Skills Exercise: Tell a Story
Exercises, Body Language, Presentation Skills, Personal Impact

Article Rating:::: 74 Ratings :::: Monday, November 22, 2010

Good presentation skills and public speaking require multitude of skills; creativity, storytelling, creative slide design, engaging attitude, emotional content, effective non-verbal gestures and so on. Apart from good slide design, it is also important for presenters to focus on delivery skills to properly showcase what they show in the slides.

The modern practice of delivering presentations strongly encourages the use of images in slides. Hence, a presenter must be capable of showing an image and then deliver a key related message while the image is shown while using hand gestures, meaningful body posture, expressive arm placement and other non-verbal signals.

This exercise helps delegates to focus on this specific area and practice the skill.

 

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Acting Exercise: Moving and Following

Acting Exercise: Moving and Following
Public Speaking, Exercises, Exercises for Kids, Body Language, Large Group, Acting

Article Rating:::: 100 Ratings :::: Monday, October 18, 2010

This is a quick acting exercise which is usually used to get delegates familiarise themselves with space and movement. It encourages people in looking carefully and being constantly aware of their body orientation, posture and the environment they are in. You can also use it as a fun energizer.

 

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Acting Exercise: Act Like an Actor

Acting Exercise: Act Like an Actor
Leadership, Public Speaking, Body Language, Acting, Emotional Intelligence

Article Rating:::: 121 Ratings :::: Monday, July 26, 2010

 

This is a useful exercise in acting. Use this exercise to help people adopt certain roles or learn how to imitate target behaviours. Acting and understanding how an ideal role feels like can help delegates to get to those targets. For example, being able to act like a manager can significantly help people to eventually become a manager. Not only acting like a manager helps the person to see what it takes to be a manager, others will start to respond appropriately and will be more receptive when that person is elevated to the managerial level. For example, what is the typical body language of a manager? What do they say and how do they say it? What signals show that they are confident in their role? What gestures do they use to reassure? How do they show their feelings indirectly to allow saving face?

This exercise helps with various useful roles provided as mission cards. You can use the exercise as a template for other useful roles or choose based on the content of your course.

 

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Acting Exercise: Act Out The Roles

Acting Exercise: Act Out The Roles
Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Body Language, Acting

Article Rating:::: 94 Ratings :::: Monday, April 26, 2010

In this exercise, participants learn how to act or roleplay certain roles. Acting is a very useful skill. It can greatly help people to place themselves in position of others and learn to think like them. Unfortunately, most people are not trained on this skill and simply find it strange to perform an act. They might feel shy, awkward or simply start laughing at their own abstract acting. The best way to overcome these problems is to simply act. Acting isn’t hard once people understand that all they need to do is to commit to it. This exercise helps people to act in front of each other based on specific scenarios. It encourages them to imitate certain non-verbal gestures that convey meaningful information about a person and hence in the process learn about communication skills as well.

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