Practical work: Building Authority


Objective: Improve your body language, verbal communication, and active listening skills to communicate more confidently and effectively.

Materials Needed: Video recording device (smartphone, webcam, etc.), mirror, feedback form (optional).

Part 1: Strong Body Language

  1. Observation and Self-Assessment
    • Record yourself giving a short talk or engaging in a conversation.
    • Watch the recording, focusing on your posture, gestures, and eye contact. Note any instances of closed body language, such as crossed arms, lack of eye contact, or slouching.
  2. Practice and Improvement
    • Stand in front of a mirror and practice delivering your talk or engaging in a conversation, this time consciously adopting open and confident body language.
    • Repeat this exercise daily, gradually incorporating more natural and varied gestures, maintaining good posture, and making consistent eye contact.
  3. Feedback and Refinement
    • Ask a colleague, friend, or mentor to watch your practice session and provide feedback on your body language.
    • Use the feedback to refine your non-verbal cues, focusing on areas that need improvement.

Part 2: Effective Verbal Communication

  1. Clarity and Conciseness
    • Prepare a 5-minute talk on a topic related to your expertise.
    • Practice delivering your talk, focusing on articulating your ideas clearly and concisely. Avoid jargon, and use simple language to make your point.
  2. Public Speaking Practice
    • Join a public speaking group or take a class to practice your speaking skills in a supportive environment.
    • Focus on your pacing, volume, and intonation to enhance the delivery of your message.
  3. Real-World Application
    • Seek opportunities to speak at small events, workshops, or even team meetings to apply your skills in real-world settings.
    • Reflect on each experience, noting what went well and what could be improved.

Part 3: Active Listening

  1. Conscious Engagement
    • In your next conversation, focus entirely on the speaker. Avoid formulating your response while they’re talking.
    • Use verbal affirmations and nods to show you’re engaged.
  2. Reflective Listening
    • After the speaker finishes, summarize their main points back to them to ensure you’ve understood correctly.
    • Ask follow-up questions that deepen the conversation and show genuine interest.
  3. Feedback and Practice
    • Engage in practice conversations with friends or colleagues where you focus solely on improving your active listening skills.
    • After the conversation, discuss with your partner how listened to and understood they felt, and identify areas for improvement.

Reflection: After completing these exercises, take time to reflect on your progress. Consider keeping a journal of your experiences, feelings, and areas of improvement. Note any changes in how others respond to you and any increase in your confidence levels.

Continuous Improvement: Building confidence in communication is an ongoing process. Continue to seek feedback, practice regularly, and challenge yourself with new speaking and listening opportunities to further develop your skills.