Nonverbal Communication Project

Here is exercise that I'm working on for a nonverbal book I'm doing that I thought might be useful. It contains just a few general instructions for creating a video and lots of video examples. Although most clearly directed at the nonverbal course, I thought this might also be appropriate in interpersonal and hybrid courses as well. The videos noted here might also prove useful to interject periodically throughout a course in nonverbal/interpersonal/human communication.

Creating a Video of Nonverbal Communication


An excellent experience for learning about nonverbal communication is to teach it. Consequently, a popular assignment in many nonverbal communication courses is to create a video to teach some aspect of nonverbal communication. You might then upload it to YouTube or some similar site, exchange videos with others, and critique each other’s videos.

There are numerous websites that illustrate and demonstrate the ways to go about making a video. For example, http://www.youtube.com/create offers a variety of suggestions for creating a video. And, of course, there are a variety of websites that will help you film, design, and edit your video. Just search for “video design,” “create video,” or similar terms and you’ll find the most recent videos on creating videos. These websites and their accompanying videos—as well as all the videos you’ve already watched--will provide a lot better instruction than any print description could.  

In addition to the suggestions you’ll find online, consider these as well.

1.      Keep your video short—aim for 2 minutes. This will force you to compact your ideas but still treat a single idea in some depth. 

2.      Clarify the purpose you want to achieve. Do you want to illustrate specific gestures or an interaction? Do you want to compare nonverbals in different cultures? Once you’ve formulated your purpose, you’ll be better able to select appropriate ways of creating your video.

3.      Select the appropriate means for achieving your purpose. So, for example, if you want to illustrate different gestures in different cultures, then you’ll likely need members of both cultures to demonstrate the gestures or you’ll need photos or graphics.

4.      Keep your subject limited. Don’t try to cover too much. For your first nonverbal communication video, consider focusing on one code and illustrating one aspect of that code—for example, if you want to focus on touch, then you might limit your video to, say, relationship touching. Or, if you want to focus on gestures, you might limit your video to adaptors or illustrators. The idea here is to cover a limited topic but in some depth rather than a broad topic in only general terms.

5.      If you use PowerPoint or Prezi slides, keep them simple. Viewers are not likely to read slides with too much information on them. Similarly don’t crowd the slides with visual images. Use additional slides rather than crowd them.

6.      Keep it professional. You may find it useful to add this video to your resume should you want employers to see it. Of course, if it’s on a public site, prospective employers are very likely to see it whether you want them to or not.

7.      Here is a list of nonverbal communication videos that you can use as examples of the varied types of videos you might create. It should prove useful to review some of these with the idea of your doing your own video. What are some of the pitfalls that you’d want to avoid? What are some of the clever techniques that you might want to adapt?

These videos vary widely in just about every conceivable way. Some are quite professional and sophisticated in terms of production while others are the works of beginners with little technical equipment. Some are basically informational—those produced by colleges and narrated by professors, for example—while others are promotional for books or seminars. Some are designed to sell a product and others are designed to fulfill a requirement in a communication course. Some of the videos make well-substantiated claims, the kinds of conclusions you find in your nonverbal communication textbooks and research articles. Others, however, make claims beyond what most academics would accept. For example, if you just watched the videos you’d come away with the idea that you can read a person like a book. Of course, you can’t.

I’ve tried to group these into a few categories though most of the videos vary over several nonverbal codes. The categories used here simply reflect the videos I found that I thought would be useful. Most of the videos are short—the longest is 11 minutes, 23 second and the shortest is 32 seconds. The average is probably around 4 minutes.




General introduction to NVC


what is nonverbal communication? Nonverbal communication, vocal cues and facial expressions 3 min, 01 sec


Movie clips showing varied forms of nonverbal communication, 2.58


Deborah Borisoff and others on nonverbal communication—general, 3.01http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07AufHZygjs


Doctor-Patient nonverbal communication, 7.19 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRE7f52bS7w


Candidates/campaigning and body language effectiveness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3yy5eIJW2Y&feature=related


Power and nonverbal communication, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS1LI_ut3fs

Interpersonal Conflict, 4min 32 sec





Perception of Beauty 1 mn, 15 sec. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAnRQncZ_uk


The factors that make for attraction, 11 min, 23 sec


what makes a man attractive to women?


body language and attraction 2.25. A series of images depicting various forms of body language that communicate attraction


measuring beauty, 2.58





For a discussion of cultural differences in gestures. 5min, 19 sec


The use of silence in Japan, 7.11


Cultural dimensions, Hofstede, 2.09


A discussion of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions


Touch behavior in different cultures, 3.39


NVC in Greek culture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEps2bzE0u8, 4.47

NVC in Brazilian culture, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTgPMkFWDlQ, 3.09

NVC and culture, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyPhAeZcsvY, 5.24--general

NVC and South Korean Culture, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFQFp05Twww, 4.31

NVC gestures and cultures, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM9Iu4OQXAw, 5.17

Polish and Japanese gestures, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi6h8zktO1s, 1.41

Colombian hand gestures, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDEAPV73v4s, 1.12

Hand gestures in various cultures with subtitles identifying the varied meanings, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHSe1ogHYUw, 3.24

Maria Baltar talks about greeting rituals in different cultures, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMskROH6v6U, 7.30

Dan Fishel from the Columbia Business School talks about the American handshake, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDhXD25fmMo, 4.42




Lying, spotting deception, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WFvcZnokKE, 8.15

Lying in the beginning of relationships, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcBsRbT4vLQ, 3.28

James Pennebaker on deception and words—a useful addition to most of the nonverbal stuff on deception—(discusses and shows tapes of Representative Anthony Weiner who lied and then told the truth about sending sexual photos, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc073RIC7_M, 2.33

Suggests there are 3 ways to tell if someone is lying to you, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWQtuXSnXtU, 7.22

Social behavior and etiquette—signs of lying 1 min, 59 sec. Discusses some of the popular beliefs about deception detection

Jan Hargrave talks about deception and aims to teach you how to tell what others are thinking through observing nonverbal communication. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X7fKZTmZa4&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLD0D3AA38EE11B8D4, 9.34




Simple word charts with voice over on first impressions (both verbal and nonverbal), offers the standard advice but very well phrased, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqiIXOpH-BA, 1.23

Staged interactions of job interviews with some good advice on nonverbal communication, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5Cy1yf9wwQ, 9.28

Suggestions for speed dating, both verbal and nonverbal, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P43aALpN1UY, 2.28

Suggestions for making a good first impression, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOGFmFRJ2xA, 1.19

Discussion of suggestions for more effective body language in dating, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKx--9CG0fY, 5.44

Interview with Barbara Roberts on face reading and especially if you can tell when someone is dangerous solely from face reading, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpgM2tbCUMQ&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLD0D3AA38EE11B8D4, 5.47

Professor Gary Deaton talks about posture and gesture in a job interview, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bNSsfDfy2Q, 3.52

Nick Morgan talks about how speakers are evaluated by the way they stand and walk to the stage, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIdttrC0xtM, 2.02


SPECIFIC CODES (touch, gestures, smell, etc.)


A short video on tracking eye movements to study consumer behavior 2 min, 44 sec


Touch Avoidance 1. 29


On color communication, 1.56


On color communication, 1.56


Silence—puts forth examples of when silence is destructive


Chronemics: Polychronic v. Monocrhonic time orientations, 10.41. Show a variety of people with different time orientations


Monochronicity v. polychronicity, 3.07


Proxemics—the close talker from Seinfeld, .47


Nonverbal proxemic violations, 4.54


Eye contact, 1.44


on the silent treatment, cartoon character talks about the problems with the silent treatment 5.53


Rate of speech from a sales training point of view 6.13. “Listenable rate of speech”


a humorous monotone speaker 1.16


Clothing and communication, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNJ7zfMd2fw, 2.02

Clothing—do clothes make the man?, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg7eqQ3QTYI, 3.05 with some good historical notes

Sales tips on dressing for your prospects, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feMK9Kr1yDc, 2.20

Cathrine Hatcher talks about color as communication, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUefDi65d6I, 5.48

An ad for Old Spice that illustrates the importance of smell, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgGVXhya6hk, .32




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