Learner Reflection & Practice
Observe your everyday use of Frame and Stance. When are you deliberately directing the frame of your body as a component of communication?
In what situations, other than a formal presentation, do you envision employing the Ready Position? Think about the many types of Ready Positions in playing a sport or an instrument, setting your body in a Ready Position before using a sharp knife to chop onions or before a young child leaps into your arms.
When you practice patterning your body to be ready before you execute a physical activity or motion, you concentrate and pay attention differently.
In everyday, low risk face-to-face communications and virtual environments, purposefully set your body in a Ready Position in different circumstances when you communicate or present. Observe what occurs in not only your thoughts and feelings as you communicate out loud, but also how a communication partner interacts with you or responds to you. Once you practice in everyday communications, in all classroom discussions, lab interactions, or presentation situations, practice the Ready Position BEFORE you speak. Remember, if you are seated, your hips become your base.
Uncross legs and when possible position both feet flat on the floor in a basic to wide position.
The process of readying your gesture stays the same. In most virtual meeting spaces people are seated. Physical readiness will continue to translate through the camera as engaged and a lack of physical readiness will translate as disengaged.
Deliberately bend your elbows and bring your hands together in a resting position that maintains energy and extension through the fingertips. Allow your gesture to begin to actively move in support of your verbal communication purposefully. The Ready Position may feel awkward and different, but try it out more than once or twice and observe what happens in your communication.
The seated Ready Position does require more concentration as the raised gestural positioning above the arm rest level takes a bit of getting used to.
For the camera frame to capture gesture you may need to raise gestural position to chest level depending upon the boundaries of the screen. Observe the concentration and energy that you employ to direct your physical communications.
Full comprehension of the physical components of in-person communication and the modifications for communicating effectively in the virtual environment require their use and practice.
As you Practice the Ready Position what are you noticing about how you respond to a stance that sets up a more open Emotional Center. What are the strategic implications for you in recognizing the impact of your Emotional Center?
In considering the concept of Emotional Center, observe when you position your body frame by how you are feeling toward other people, the content, or your own internal preoccupations. When in front of others or your computer, do you maintain an open torso or do you shift your torso away at times? Do you feel a shift in comfort by moving from a wider to a narrower stance or by adjusting your seated position from open to crossed legs? In the next section you will learn about more Orientation and further explore how your choices of physical composition are connected to the Emotional Center.
The key to effective communication is the Listening Body. Observe what body positioning you naturally default to when listening. Do you disengage with your body as you process what you hear or are you equally engaged physically as you listen? Why do you think the listening body is as important as the verbally expressive body?
Practice the Listening Body with that same concentration and energy that you would if you were speaking. Observe how much more of the interaction or content you absorb when practicing a Listening Body.
Try to become conscious of how this simple physical framing depresses wandering thoughts and encourages engagement in the communication and person(s) or camera in front of you.
Practice these tools with structured content that you communicate in a presentation. You can choose about 20 to 30 seconds of professional, educational or personal experience material that you have previously presented on, or, that you know well and could easily present on.
Or, you could simply introduce yourself with this pattern:
Tell your name.
Share a bit about where you are in your educational journey.
Reveal something interesting that you like to do or a hobby you engage in.
Now that you have your content in mind, frame your body in the Ready Position and then practice the material out loud. Practice
staying anchored in the Ready Position and resist traveling or shifting in your seat.
Instead expend that energy and those impulses to move your feet and body into your arms and hands and allow gesture to utilize that energy.
Keep practicing with different kinds of structured content or improvised content.