Currently viewing the tag: "body language"

Dancing into the end zone

Upon victory, an athlete’s initial and instinctive reaction is one that displays dominance over his or her opponent, according to a new study published today in the journal Motivation and Emotion.
Such body language, known as a “dominance threat display” and labeled as “triumph” in other studies, was observed in winners of Olympic and Paralympic judo matches. It appears to be innate and stems from an evolutionary need to establish order and hierarchy in society, said San Francisco State University Professor of Psychology David Matsumoto. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a victory scene paying particular attention to your character’s body language and the internal monologue behind it.

Journaling Prompt: How do you act if you win a contest or competition? What is your body language saying? If you’re not sure, ask your best friend how you act.

Art Prompt: Dominance Threat Display

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell as story about the experience of winning.

Photo Credit: San Diego Shooter on Flickr


Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo by JelleS.


Have you ever had someone go crazy, telling you off, acting like a two year old? Read this great description of a female tantrum:

The whole episode started innocuously enough, but soon escalated into one of those foot-stomping, tear-gushing, guilt-stabbing, man-damning rants which only the female of the species deliver so artfully. -Phil Truman, Legends of Tsalagee

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character who goes postal. Write a scene about someone of each gender doing this.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when someone told you off. Describe how that person acted and how you reacted.

Art Prompt: Tantrum

Nonfiction / Speech writing Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an adult throwing a tantrum.

Photo Credit: M. Pratter on Flickr

cat akimbo

Sorry about the picture – I couldn’t resist!

akimbo adv. with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards: she stood with arms akimbo, frowning at the small boy. (with reference to limbs) flung out widely or haphazardly. late Middle English: from in kenebowe in Middle English, probably from Old Norse.

Writing Prompt: Write a poem or haiku with the word akimbo

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you slipped or fell with limbs akimbo.

Art Prompt: Akimbo
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your article or your speech today.

Photo Credit: kaibara87 on Flickr

Mt. Rushmore

Last week we saw one of today’s most charismatic leaders, Steve Jobs, resigning from the company he built with his riveting way of communicating his vision. But was that charisma, or was it a determined professional who spent hours, unseen, rehearsing his presentations. Almost certainly it was the latter.

The research results suggest that charisma is sometimes an illusion. While managers can establish a reputation as a transformational, charismatic leader in a number of valid ways, managers can also gain the mystique of charisma by veiling how they accomplish what they do, like a stage magician. Prof. Morris, who leads Columbia Business School’s Program on Social Intelligence, elaborated on a point elucidated by this area of research, “Winning in business and political endeavors comes not only from performing well, but also from managing the interpretations that others make of your performance.” – Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Just like Steve Jobs, your writing charisma is based on the back story that only you will see. This is a prompt that encourages you to flesh out your characters and the world in which they live in ways that will never appear in your story.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you use rehearsal (or don’t) to improve your charisma.

Art Prompt: Charisma

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how they can improve their charisma.

Photo Credit: jimbowen0306 on Flickr


I’m a big fan of the fetal position when I’m in pain, so I was surprised to read this study about how posture affects your perception of the intensity of the pain.

While most people will crawl up into a ball when they are in pain, Bohn’s and Wiltermuth’s research suggests that one should do the opposite. In fact, their research suggests that curling up into a ball may make the experience more painful because it will make you feel like you have no control over your circumstances, which may in turn intensify your anticipation of the pain. Instead, try sitting or standing up straight, pushing your chest out and expanding your body. These behaviors can help create a sense of power and control that may in turn make the procedure more tolerable. Based on previous research, adopting a powerful, expansive posture rather than constricting your body, may also lead to elevated testosterone, which is associated with increased pain tolerance, and decreased cortisol, which may make the experience less stressful. – Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character dealing with severe pain.

Journaling Prompt: How do you deal with pain?

Art Prompt: Pain
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Give your audience some strategies for coping with different kinds of pain.

Photo Credit: Unfurled on Flickr

gritty market seller

I love faces with character. And I’ve learned about body language in Toastmasters. Recently my best friend started taking dance lessons, and she has an entirely new way of standing and moving. She’s more self-aware and it shows in her posture.

In the lineaments of a face shine the spirit; in the posture of the body speaks the soul. -Kate Elliot, Shadow Gate: Book Two of Crossroads

Writing Prompt: Write a scene without using any emotional descriptors. Use body language to convey how your character is feeling.

Journaling Prompt: How does your posture change with your moods? Pay attention to that for a day if you’ve never noticed and then journal about it.

Art Prompt: Tell your audience about the different aspects of body language and how they can use them to communicate clearly.

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Posture

Photo Credit: NeilsPhotography on Flickr

so big hand gesture

I talk with my hands. When I really need to think, I need to have a pen in one of them. I often think better if I walking around, gesturing freely, and talking aloud. It’s good to know that science proves that I’m not crazy.

“Being able to use your body in problem solving alters the way you solve the problems,” says University of Wisconsin psychology professor Martha Alibali. “Body movements are one of the resources we bring to cognitive processes.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Deepen your character sketch. How does your character use body language to help the thinking process?

Journaling Prompt: How do you use your body to help you think?

Art Prompt: Body language

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about how you use body language to enhance your thinking process.

Photo Credit: mikebaird on Flickr