View Content #28690

Content Type4
TitleUnderstanding Non-Verbal Communication in Presentational Speaking

This activity was designed for learners of all levels to help them recognize and use non-verbal communication strategies that are typical of presentational speech in the target language. 

Learning outcomes:
Learners will be able to:

  • Identify three types non-verbal communication strategies in the target language
  • Use these non-verbal strategies when using presentational speech

Mode(s): Presentational, Interpretive

Materials: Non-Verbal Communication in Presentational Speaking video, presentational speech recording (Novice example in Spanish (weather report), Intermediate example in English (cooking video) , Advanced example in Portuguese (TED Talk))


  1. Show learners the Non-verbal Communication in Presentational Speaking video
  2. Provide a short example of presentational speaking to learners (Novice example in Spanish (weather report), Intermediate example in English (cooking video), Advanced example in Portuguese (TED Talk)). Ask them to note a few non-verbal communication strategies that they noticed the speaker(s) using within the speech. Specifically, direct them to pay attention to eye cues, pauses, and hand movements.
  3. Lead a larger group discussion of non-verbal strategies that learners noticed. Specifically discuss:
    1. Where did the speaker look? How often did their focus change? Did changes in focus impact you as the listener in any way? What is the relationship between eye contact and the speaker-listener relationship?
    2. When did the speaker pause? Did it seem to provide emphasis? Add to a sense of urgency? How does pacing and pausing create importance or draw focus?
    3. What did you notice about hand movements? Were there more or fewer than you expected? What impact did they have? Can gesture draw listeners’ attention to ideas?
    4. What about what the speaker did might be genre-specific? For example, would you expect a similar use of pauses in a weather report as you would a speech made at an award show?
  4. Ask learners to prepare their own presentation that aligns with curricular needs and learner goals. For example, Novice learners might present photos of their families, Intermediate learners might create their own instructional speeches related to cooking or crafting, and Advanced learners might prepare a persuasive speech before legislatures about a critical social issue. This preparation may have to take place over multiple days.
  5. In groups of two, ask learners to present to one another. Ask learners to provide feedback regarding the non-verbal communication strategies (eye movements, hand movements, and pauses) they see in practice.
  6. Debrief as a group. What non-verbal communication strategies from the target langauge are learners successfully incorporating? Which are still difficult?


  • In Step 5, it would be helpful for learners to record themselves so that they can decide whether they agree with their peer’s evaluation.
  • After Step 6, you may wish for learners to present their presentations for the entire class. 
Inputdate2021-11-17 13:50:42
Lastmodifieddate2021-11-29 11:57:18
ExpdateNot set
Publishdate2021-11-29 10:15:05
Displaydate2021-11-29 00:00:00