Nonverbal communication is one of my favourite areas of social communication. Watching the light bulb go off in my client’s heads when it clicks is so rewarding. After direct teaching of tone of voice, facial expression and body language, I always like to show clients how impactful nonverbal communication can be and how our communication is more than just what we say.

One of my favourite activities after direct teaching of nonverbal communication is using YouTube videos. There is a silent animation video on YouTube called For The Birds. In the video there are no words — only bird sounds, facial expression and body language. I like to watch the video once with clients and during the second viewing, we have a competition where the client has to write down as many emotions as he sees while I do the same. Then, we compare lists and see who has more emotions. Some emotions my clients and I have identified are:

  1. Bothered
  2. Irritated
  3. Annoyed
  4. Happy
  5. Calm
  6. Excited
  7. Confused
  8. Silly
  9. Sly
  10. Scared
  11. Worried
  12. Panicked
  13. Embarrassed


The goal of this video is for my clients to see how many emotions they can identify without a single word being spoken. It is quite powerful when they realize what is happening.

Another activity I like to use is comparing the trailer for the original The Lion King movie and the live action film. A big piece of criticism that the live action film received was that the animals could not “emote” like they did in the cartoon version. My clients and I compare the two and, more often than not, we discuss that it is easier to see how the characters feel in the cartoon version because of their facial expression and body language.

Other excellent silent animation videos are:

The Present

Glued

The Defective Detective

Snack Attack

Elephant In A China Shop