Twelve tips for effective body language for medical educators

Andrew J Hale, Jason Freed, Daniel Ricotta, Grace Farris, C Christopher Smith
Medical Teacher 2017, 39 (9): 914-919

BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of human communication is nonverbal. Although the fields of business and psychology have significant literature on effectively using body language in a variety of situations, there is limited literature on effective body language for medical educators.

AIM: To provide 12 tips to highlight effective body language strategies and techniques for medical educators.

METHOD: The tips provided are based on our experiences and reflections as clinician-educators and the available literature.

RESULTS: The 12 tips presented offer specific strategies to engage learners, balance learner participation, and bring energy and passion to teaching.

CONCLUSIONS: Medical educators seeking to maximize their effectiveness would benefit from an understanding of how body language affects a learning environment and how body language techniques can be used to engage audiences, maintain attention, control challenging learners, and convey passion for a topic. Understanding and using body language effectively is an important instructional skill.

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