7 techniques to hone teaching skills with powerful body language

Teaching is one responsible profession that assigns a teacher with the accountability of teaching not only a few students in a classroom but the multiples of people; the students further come in contact with. The time frame for which lessons taught by teachers remain in the mind of students depends mainly upon the impact of those teachings. This impact is generally stronger when the learning sessions are accompanied by expressive body language. However, the problem is that many of the teachers around the world have not been able to understand the importance of body language in teaching. Therefore, they do not recognize its need and fail to use this remarkable tool in their teaching sessions. Also, very few are aware of its accurate application because of which a high number of instructors remain unknown about the magical power of body language.

This article is designed to guide on the importance of body language in teaching and the 7 approaches to deliver effective teaching through the portrayal of powerful body language. Also, it will discuss the impact of non-verbal communication on students. The credentials and the problems produced in the article have been worked upon the basis of a survey. Further to the results achieved from the survey, the article has been framed and written with possible solutions to the problems of delivering effective teachings with non-verbal communications skills. Moreover, thorough research has been done to enlist and execute potential solutions to instill the art of non-verbal communications in teaching.

Survey to get acquainted with the problems

A survey of 20 teachers was conducted online, asking them simple questions on the reasons for their inability to use non-verbal communication skills in teaching. The questions were short and close-ended, prompting more teachers to participate. The results produced a frame of problems, which teachers across the globe have been facing in terms of using non-verbal techniques in their teaching methodology. Additionally, the contact details of the respective teachers were taken note of, to reconnect with them, once the solutions of their problems have been achieved. The details of both the surveys are mentioned at the end of the article, to provide a thorough insight to the survey analysis.

# Problems analyzed through the data

The results obtained from the survey are exhibited in the graphical representations along with the problems analyzed through the respective data. These are problems that are mostly faced by instructors around the world in making the use of correct body language while teaching.

  • Do you agree that the body language of a teacher plays a crucial role while teaching the student?

    Strongly agree 10.53%
    Agree 26.32%
    Neither agree nor disagree 10.53%
    Strongly disagree0%
    According to this ethnographic analysis, it has been summarized that 52.63% disagree while 26% agree that body language of the teacher plays a crucial role while teaching.

    What restrains you from teaching with non-verbal communication skills?

    Work pressure 21.05%
    Environment 21.05%
    Knowledge/Skills 36.84%
    The results directed that 36.84% of the respondents believe that knowledge or skill are the main factors that restrain them using non-verbal communication skills while others accounted to 21% each of work pressure, environment and experience.

    Instructors and teachers are unable to instill the right body language in teaching

    The problem to choose the right method of exhibiting non-verbal expression is a constant that has been disturbing teachers across the world. Most teachers are unaware of the body language and are also bewildered about the importance of non-verbal communication in teaching and learning. Few who know the importance, are unaware of which style should be practiced for encompassing body language to produce maximum results. Therefore, the Problem of instilling right body language exists at every level, and this must be solved for ensuring a better learning experience.

  • Do you agree that stress has a significant impact on teaching skills?
    Strongly agree 36.84%
    Agree 52.63%
    Neither agree nor disagree 5.26%
    Strongly disagree0%
    This analysis directed that a high percentage of the respondents are in favor of the question as 36.84% strongly agree and 52.63% agree that stress has a significant impact on the teaching skills.
    Do you agree that it is easy to handle pressure at work?
    Strongly agree 15.79%
    Agree 15.79%
    Neither agree nor disagree 5.26%
    Strongly disagree0%
    The ethnographic analysis of this question directing that 63.16% of the teachers think dealing with pressure is a tough job at work, whereas only 15.79% believe it to be a manageable task.
    Teaching is a high-stress level job

    Stress is one of the most crucial factors that impact the teaching ability and hinders the usage of body language in teaching. The practice to teach, nowadays is not only about delivering lectures but is a tedious task, for which instructors also have to be multitasked. This multitasking puts them in the overburdened stage. This burden leads to a loss of focus at work, and also refrains them from using various aids for teaching and makes them less creative at delivering lectures to students.

  • Do you acknowledge, the difference in the learning needs of the students, as a problem?
    In this question, 84% of the respondents agreed while around 16% disagreed that difference in the learning needs of students impose a problem for teachers.
    Education is transforming, and teachers need to Cater to multiple learning needs at a time

    Education today is about learning, unlearning and relearning again. Thus, it can be said that the education field in itself is going for a transformation and students, and teachers have to cater to multiple needs. The difference in the needs of learning of the students put much pressure on the teachers and their effectiveness. Also, not every teacher has the ability to cope with the varied demands of the students and understand the student's body language in the class. The inability to master the art of body language hinders them to deliver smartly to the doubts of different students. It is also because of the variation in the understanding power of the students, and even sometimes few students try to over smart the teachers which act as an obstacle in their way of acquiring knowledge.

  • Do you acknowledge, the difference in the learning needs of the students, as a problem?
    In this question, 84% of the respondents agreed while around 16% disagreed that difference in the learning needs of students impose a problem for teachers.
    Remember the boring Math lecture! Inability to create a right learning atmosphere in the class

    The example of the Mathematics boring class can perfectly be suited here as it was not the maths subject that leads to a boring lecture but the non- active learning atmosphere of the class, which imaged the subject as a demon for the students. So, the question that stems out is the teachers' inability to create a learning atmosphere. Also, the non- cooperativeness of the class adds to the difficulty levels of the teachers. Moreover, the lack of knowledge regarding the importance of body language in teaching and its impact on students result in creating such a disobliging atmosphere in the class.

  • Is it tough to convince students with your answers?
    This question was framed to evaluate the ease with which the teachers convince their students about the explanation of a corresponding answer. The responses highlighted that 68.42% agree while 31.58% disagree that it is tough to convince the students with the solutions.
    Lack of Convincing skills.

    As there is a direct link between teachers convincing power and student grasping, the teachers who can convince students, have a class that has high acumen; whereas teachers who fail to do so have to suffer. What it is that convince students? It is the body language and non-verbal communication. According to the analysis conducted above, most of the teachers fail to create an aura that helps in convincing students, and the reason is a lack of understanding regarding body language.

  • Do you agree that understanding the level of students increases by using body language?
    Strongly agree 10.53%
    Agree 26.32%
    Neither agree nor disagree 5.26%
    Strongly disagree0%
    The subjective analysis calculated that a strong percentage of 57.89% of respondents are unaware whereas only 10.53% are aware of the importance of body language in teaching.
    Failure to make students understand the right perspective

    For making students understand the right perspective teachers have to be confident in themselves, and this confidence comes from the right posture and non-verbal communications between the teacher and the student. Thus, because of the lack of understanding and the absence of body language and other teaching aids, it has become quite difficult to make students perceive the right path of knowledge.

  • Do you enjoy teaching?
    The response to this question disclosed results that 57.89% of the teachers enjoy teaching, whereas 42.11% take it as a toll on them.
    Failure to gain the attention of the students

    Attention is generated through the right use of communications skills, and most teachers fail to gain attention, which is another major problem that the teachers came across. According to them, it gets quite tough to withhold the attention of the students for long. It takes them barely a few minutes to get distracted, and then their mischiefs begin, and they do not obey the teachers.

  • Do you use other teaching aids?
    The answers to the above questions revealed that around 79% of the teachers do not use other teaching aids while only 21% utilizes other techniques to teach effectively.
    Have you ever heard about power-posing?
    This question seemed to have introduced a new word in the dictionary of teachers, as 73.68% of the teachers said, they had never heard the term power- posing. On the other hand, a very less number of 26.32% replied with a yes, directing that they are aware of the term usage.
    The imbalance between verbal and non-verbal modes of communication

    One other significant barrier that has got highlighted with the help of this survey is the problem in coping a balance between the verbal and the non-verbal communication methods. Though, it is something that comes with practice and focus, but due to the increasing stress levels of teachers, it gets harder at the later stages also, to pose an equilibrium between the two modes.

# What is the need to manifest with the non-verbal communication skills?

According to a famous American psychologist, Albert, “people get 55% of information from expression." This means that the power of expression of a speaker is his utmost tool to form an influential impression on the audience. It not only helps him to catch the attention of his audience but also helps him to form an instant bond with them.

The formation of the bond helps both- the sender and the receiver, to come in a comfort zone, wherein the exchange of thoughts and ideas can be easily made. Also, it is believed to be one of the most significant marks of a progressive teacher, wherein the instructor not only teaches but also simultaneously learns from the students.

Moreover, teaching with the help of body language, makes it highly easy for students to understand and perceive things rightly. Many-a-times, teachers have this complaint that students are not able to understand their viewpoint so, to help them form a better understanding of the topic, it is a prerequisite to adopt a mix of teaching practices. Also, such practice gaps the bridge of communication between the teachers and the students.

This is why, the teachers, are always required to equip themselves with various tools of communication. Among the list of effective teaching tools, use of body language while teaching has been regarded as the most persuading tool to achieve the desired results.

#What rules the body language?

This section will answer the questions, how body language of teacher gets controlled and what are the factors that contribute towards making the teacher work positively and productively in the class?

For this, it is mandatory to introduce Cortisols, which are responsible for the fluctuations in the stress levels of a human being, which further directly impacts on his non-verbal behavior. The level of the Cortisols is directly proportional to the stress level of a human body, therefore a teacher who is less stressed will portray a nice behavior in the classroom while teaching.

Also, the controlled levels of Cortisols are very important to relax the mind and maintain the focus of the entire session, towards teaching the students effectively. As per Amy Cuddy, a renowned American Social Psychologist, “our non-verbal’s govern how we think and feel about ourselves." This clarifies the fact that a teacher under high stress or pressure will not be able to utilise non-verbal communication skills properly in the class.

Further, it directs to the fact that power possessed by a teacher fades with the increase in his stress levels. Also, the same can be observed through the enactment of body language as postures of open arms, straight shoulders, hand movements, head held high, depict the signs of being powerful and that tell a person is not stressed. The same science can be utilized magnificently while teaching and by keeping the Cortisol levels low. Now, how to implement it while teaching will be discussed in the next section.

#Recommendations or 7 approaches to deliver effective teaching through powerful body language

This segment deals with the solutions to the problems related to the adequate use of body language while teaching. The techniques mentioned below, will help the teachers create a magnetic effect in their classroom and will guide them through the impact of non-verbal communication in the classroom.

Different power poses exhibited by the great psychologist, Amy Cuddy during her various interactive sessions.

  • Power pose- the absolute solution

    To control the body language positively while teaching, all a teacher needs, is to try a power pose, before he enters the class. A power pose can be a stretch with arms wide open, or walking in a bossy way, or sitting straight upright on a chair with head held high. It can be any pose that fills the mind of a teacher with power and confidence. Although, there can be changes in the personal power poses but the above mentioned ones are just a few examples of the same.


    Practicing these power poses will not only help a teacher to lower down his stress levels but also boost him with more confidence. It would further allow him to get accustomed to more of his communication styles and their usage for a better portrayal of body language while teaching.

  • Let the aura multiply connectivity

    Body language in teaching is not only about hand movements, it also refers to the atmosphere the teacher creates in the class with his presence. It does not mean that the students should get scared of him and do not utter a single word in the class. It actually refers to the charismatic ambience in the class, created by the teacher, which binds every student with honesty and truthfulness. The teacher should make sure that students are really interested in his subject and should actively take part in every discussion.

    This covers the broader aspect of non-verbal expressiveness, wherein, the teacher is disseminating positive vibes in the class. Therefore, the students become not only attentive but also try to understand each and every topic with more clarity.

  • Personifying the extended self!

    Standing at one corner of the class, can never let the teacher form connections with students sitting across the room. So, the most important step for a teacher, is to roam around the class and form eye contact with each and every student. This activity will not only let the students feel the presence of the teacher but will additionally make the students more attentive throughout the session. Also, it will rule out the chances of students misbehaving in class or trying to disrupt the rhythm with their mischiefs.

    Along with the students, the teachers can also stay determined and confident for the entire lecture as walking straight with stretched body, is another power pose that charges a human mind with more confidence and non-verbal ability.

  • Produce an amalgam of two styles!

    For a teacher, to deliver in an impactful manner, it is a mandate to use the blend of both verbal and non-verbal communication in a balanced manner. Also, the teaching should be done in a way that students are able to visualize the content shared and understand the very depth of it. For this, it is highly imperative to make intelligent use of both verbal and non-verbal expressive modes. When a teacher accomplishes the stage of maintaining a balance between these two styles, then he can proudly announce himself as an influential teacher.

  • Allow intonation to enhance the efficacy

    With the growing needs of students, demands are going up for making shifts in tones of voice, and the time has come wherein displaying good body language has become a mandate for teachers. Also, due to the increasing gap in the student’s ability to understand, a number of teaching tools have been implemented at the classrooms. Such tools include the implantation of smart boards, speakers, LEDs or chart boards which has resulted in bringing ease more attentiveness in class.

    Also, it is a well- known fact that audio- visual media helps to catch the instant attention of the audience so, by applying the same principal in the classroom and supporting the class sessions with mixture of other verbal and non-verbal teaching aids, teachers can produce great outcomes.

  • Authenticity is the rule to convince

    This came out to be a major problem analysed through the survey, that teachers were not able to convince their students with their answers. Now again, the role of power and confidence comes into the picture. If a teacher is confident and well prepared, then nobody can challenge his credibility. Therefore, trust of students need to be earned by the teachers to build a position of authenticity among them.

    Also, the role of body language in teaching is undeniable here even, as the teacher is expected to behave assuredly and thereby form a positive impact on the students.

  • Favor articulation for better expression

    A communication that is one sided, can never be fruitful. So, to make it impeccable the teacher needs to develop an atmosphere which caters to the, to and fro communication needs of the class. It means that the teacher is required to give sufficient space and time to the students, to think and react to the strategies explained. Also, at the end of every class, there should be a question/ answer session, to clear all the doubts of the students.

Moreover, by offering space and freedom to the students to participate in the class, the teacher allows their minds to grow creatively and think logically. Collectively, while doing such activities, one would also experience a great example of persistent use of body language and its direct impact on students.

This will additionally foster the non-verbal expressive skills of students and help them to achieve beyond the desired results.

Survey to study the impact of 7 techniques

After the results were achieved in the form of ‘7 approaches to deliver effective teaching through powerful body language’, it was further shared with the 25 teachers surveyed online in the very beginning of the research. All these teachers were contacted personally and requested to implement these findings in their daily teaching practices to which, all the teachers agreed. After exercising the seven approaches for seven consecutive days in their classrooms, another set of questions were shared with the survey respondents personally. The results they came up with, were simply overwhelming. Along with being thankful, they also shared their experiences with us, which has been summarized below as the ‘Impact of study’.

#Impact of Study

  • By practicing power pose, the teachers were able to exhibit a stronger and fearless version of themselves. They could teach with purpose and with effective use of body language in their teaching activities. According to them, this small step, before every class made them feel very positive and instill more hopefulness in them to teach the students.

  • By redefining their body language and giving a new shape to their personality in the class, the teachers admitted that they could withhold more attention of the students. Also, students tend to look at them more and respond in the same non-verbal expressiveness. This not only helped them satisfy their purpose of lecture but also made them build short term goals for their future classes.

  • Taking rounds in the class, has been an activity, already practiced by many teachers. However, the twist of power pose in the same reinforced their presence in the class and made their students feel more active and being watched. This again gave a positive impression on the students and they tend to become more focused in class.

  • The balanced management of the verbal and non-verbal communication tools came up as a support system for teachers to demand more attentiveness from the students. Also, it became quite easy for them to explain things in a better way. The constant reassurance to the mind, to make wise use of both the forms, again kept them in a flow and as they said it became adaptive in some time.

  • Every teacher today is facilitated with the various tools to produce high-quality teaching sessions, but the reminder of technique lacked. The teachers used to undermine the power of these teaching aids, hence used them very less. However, as per the mention and explanation in the 7 approaches, they used these tools wisely along with the effective use of body language and they could see themselves, the mere observers had started to transform into interactors.

  • This reassured the the place of authenticity of the teachers among their students. Though, it does take some quality time to earn that trust, but once a teacher reaches that position, then nobody can question his credibility when it comes to delivering lectures. This was practiced by the teachers with the help of power posing and use of positive body language in teaching and they saw that it was quite easy to convince the students than before. Also, gaining the attention of the class, was no longer a problem for many teachers.

  • Well, this became the favorite part of the students as told by the teachers. They said, students shared their experiences and knowledge with them, which made the entire classroom session, all the more interactive and productive. Furthermore, along with the attentiveness, the attendance of the students also increased in the class and students demanded more of explanations in various topics of the respective subjects.

All these results have been very satisfactory and leads to the belief that if teachers will adapt the technique of body language in teaching, then it will have a broader impact on the students studying in various parts of the Globe. Further, an upsurge can be expected in the teaching skills of the instructors and the results showcased thereafter by the students.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Facial expressions and hand movements are the most powerful tools of communication that can be conveyed through body language skills. These skills can help the speaker mark a positive or a negative impression on the listener.

  • Facial expression, hand movements, eye contact and touch are four most important parts of a body language. These signals help in making an amiable atmosphere for the listening and also helps the person to communicate in a much better way.

  • Body language is the non verbal communication that a person does with the help of his body movements. This communication supports the verbal communication and makes a stronger impact on the receiver.

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