Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 4

Your non verbal communication says a lot even when you are not speaking. This is very important to keep in mind when conducting a workshop or presentation as your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

This is part four of this series on Perfecting Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops. We have covered six other non-verbal techniques: eye contact, head nodding, body movement, posture, proximity and vocal quality.

To read more about these techniques be sure to read our previous posts.

In this final post, we will address the techniques of smile and humor.

Technique #7 – Smile

Say “cheese”! Remember to smile so that both your mouth and your eyes are smiling! When smiling with both your mouth and your eyes, you will look relaxed, and it is then that people will genuinely respond. When you feel relaxed, you will be sending a cue to your participants that they too can feel relaxed.

When someone smiles, they send a powerful message of:

· Happiness
· Friendliness
· Warmth
· Likability
· Affiliation

If you smile frequently, you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and participants will react favorably and learn more.

Technique #8 – Humor

Humor is often overlooked as an effective tool for learning. Laughter actually releases stress and tension for both the facilitator and the participants. Develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage participants to do the same. It fosters a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.

Obviously, adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to your success; however, it’s not the only crucial element. Creating a climate that facilitates learning and retention requires good nonverbal and verbal skills. To improve your nonverbal skills, record your speaking on video tape. Then ask others for suggestions on refinement.

By being aware of these simple facilitation do’s and don’ts, you will improve your skills as a facilitator.

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