Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second[Charley] To engage young people I think eye contact's number one. So to make sure that you're not just talking at them, but to actually engage them, encourage them to talk back to you as well. When I was presenting up there, I know it was difficult because I was doing some scanning. But it was also important that I looked at them and I engaged them and to try and encourage them to ask questions. But also being welcoming as well. So just the tone of your voice, very important to make sure that you're immediately on good ground with them and then not make you think of a great big monster. So to smile, for example.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsAs soon as they see you smile, they know that you're approachable. [Alistair] In terms of verbal and non-verbal communication, I feel like talking with your hands is quite useful when you're talking to children. Being able to emote and express what you're talking about. [Sarah] I think the worst thing you can do is hide either behind a desk or in a corner by the computer. If you've got a PowerPoint, please, please don't just stand in the corner by the keyboard and press Space. Because the kids need to be seeing you, they need to be looking at you and you need to smile, you need to look happy. You can move around the classroom, go and talk to particular students.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 secondsIf you're asking them a question, walk towards them and say, what do you think, what do you think? And just move around, get to know them, walking between them, look at what they're doing. But also non-verbal communication can help if they're being a bit chatty or a bit noisy, just say, you all right over there? Or just an eyebrow, or just tapping on the desk or something just to get them focused, and looking at what they're supposed to be doing.

Non-verbal communication with young people

Watch Charley, a STEM Ambassador, and trainee teachers, Alistair and Sarah, talking about how they use non-verbal communication and video clips of young people.

Identify

From the video, in addition to what is said, what are the different types of non-verbal communication you can see being used in the video and share in these in the comments below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People In STEM: Activities and Improving Communication

National STEM Learning Centre