A stranger's continually staring eyes conveys either interest or dislike. Drooping shoulders is a sign of tiredness. A twinkle in the eyes signifies that the person is of the happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic types. A gentle pat on the shoulder conveys acknowledgment and support from the person.
Can we not make out a lot about the person from his / her facial expressions and body language? We have not been taught the meanings of these gestures anywhere, but we can still grasp them amazingly. Simple nonverbal communication comes naturally to most of us.
Gestures, body language, and facial expressions, are the major types of nonverbal communication, and form the crux of this kind of communication in our daily life. Studies reveal that we communicate many things non-verbally, and it is an important part of our daily communication.
To gain an expertise in this field, we have presented a few activities for adults, that would help develop these skills to a considerable extent.
The winner would be the group who does it the best (the judge would decide which is the best and neatly designed tree ). As this is a nonverbal communication activity, you cannot communicate with your team as you normally do, and if you need anything, you have to communicate the same through gestures, eyes, hands... whatever else, but not through speech.
This includes collecting all the material, and planning the further process too. This activity effectively develops nonverbal communication, as you need to communicate the procedure to your fellow team members. Only those who are experts in will be able to bake the cake well!
Suppose there are two groups involved in the activity. The group members have to decide on a phrase for the member of the other team to enact. There would be a time limit of 5 minutes given to the person to enact the phrase to his / her team members.
Through the enacting member's gestures and expressions, the team has to guess the phrase right. And 10 points would be allotted for each right guess. The team which gets the maximum points in the end, wins! Acting is an effective way that develops nonverbal communication, because it makes you learn a variety of expressions and gestures.
The nonverbal activities should be conducted on this special day. On this day, watch a movie with the volume muted, and try to understand the expressions of the characters. Then check later how much you have guessed right.
To develop these skills in kids, make it a point to habituate them with some gestures and eye expressions like anger and love. Humans naturally inherit this ability to understand gestures and eye expressions. Study of body language and facial expressions is a complex study, but can be surely mastered with time and by active participation in these activities.