Lesson 9: Exuding Confidence

Graphic of individual looking confidently in the mirror

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To discuss and practice assertive body language

Materials needed: Panel of sighted individuals, resources for a field trip

Introduction

“Which of the following three choices describe how you hope to be perceived:

  • You respect others and yourself. You are kind, caring, honest, and confident.
  • You are a pushover. Others can get you to do anything because you will not stand up for yourself.
  • You get what you want, even if it means using hostility and aggression. You do not respect others.

Discussion: Assertive Body Language

“Hopefully, you want to be and appear assertive. You want to look out for the interests and needs of others and yourself. You want to be confident and compassionate.

Your body language introduces you as confident or uncertain. It will present you as capable, dependable, poised, and secure, or it will present you as timid, nervous, unproductive, and insecure.

Learning and using confident body language is a choice and can become a habit that reflects inner strength and respect. Choosing assertive body language also increases your confidence, which is especially helpful if you do not yet feel sure of yourself.”

Exercise: Interview Panel

Using the questions below, have the students interview a panel of individuals, including a sighted peer and a sighted professional.

  • Can you please describe body language that expresses confidence?
  • Can you please describe body language that expresses a lack of confidence?
  • How do you feel when someone you’re speaking with avoids eye contact?
  • What might you assume if someone walks with his or her face toward the ground?
  • What might you assume if someone is continuously fidgeting?
  • What might you assume if you are introduced to another and offered a weak, loose handshake?
  • What might you assume if you are speaking with a young man whose facial hair is scruffy, between clean-shaven and a beard?
  • What might you assume if an individual has a permanent smile, no matter the situation?
  • Do you appreciate a genuine smile?

The students can ask questions regarding assertive or nonassertive body language.

Discussion: Demonstrations

Review and demonstrate the following:

  • Eye contact, face pointed toward speaker/listener
  • Standing straight, shoulders back
  • Arms by your side instead of hands in pockets or crossed arms
  • Genuine smile when greeting another and during appropriate times in a conversation
  • Firm, welcoming handshake
  • Appropriately wide stance
  • Avoid fidgeting or repetitive movements
  • Speak with occasional, large gestures

Exercise: Real-World Practice

Create a field trip, such as walking through the mall and ordering a drink in the food court, to practice assertive body language intentionally. Upon return to the classroom, provide students the opportunity to evaluate their use of assertive body language.

“Today, we discussed body language that communicates confidence. Use of confident body language reflects inner assertiveness. You can choose how you want to be perceived and practice presenting yourself in this manner.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications:

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