Updated: Aug 2, 2020
This is part of our Girls Who Fight COVID-19 Activity Series. We created this collection to share educational games that teach kids about safety, confidence, and character. We truly hope you enjoy and learn some valuable lessons along the way!
CATEGORY 02: CONFIDENT PRESENTATION
There is a ton of data that shows how important it is for us to present ourselves confidently. For self defense, this plays a role in deterring predators and bullies who look at someone who stands tall and strong and thinks ‘that person will put up a fight, no thanks!’. Both bullies and predators are known to target those who seem most vulnerable. This information helps us learn how to conduct ourselves so that we deter people from trying to take advantage of us. Outside of self defense, confident presentation helps a person navigate a successful life. Through job interviews, social environments, presentations, and personal relationships, the way a person presents themself (body language, gait, voice) determines how they are perceived and often treated by others. We benefit the most from any situation if we present ourselves as confident and capable. We wrote an article dedicated to the research and findings on this topic.
How do we do it?
Confident body language (OPEN body language): standing tall with shoulders back, and head up high. Hands are comfortable at your side. Legs are shoulder width apart. When walking, you take wide strides and move like you have a place to be, and hands sway at your sides naturally. The vibe is powerful and competent.
Vulnerable body language (CLOSED body language): shoulders hunched, head down, eyes on the ground. Hands and/or arms crossed in front of your chest, in pockets, or fiddling with clothing. Legs are crossed, or very tight together. Facial expression is sad/scared. When walking, take small steps and move slowly. The vibe is aimless and defeated.
Fix My Posture!
The Purpose: Learn how much your kids instinctively know about distinguishing confident from vulnerable body language. Then teach them about both.
The Game: Get into a poor posture and have the players call out ways to fix your stance. Slumped shoulders, head down, arms crossed or in pockets, legs tense, feet turned inward, hands fiddling or tensing up, sad or scared facial expressions, shoulders tense.
Don't teach them the proper posture first, you will be surprised to see how much they already know. After all, posture as an indication of status is a phenomena that is noticed in most animal species, including lobsters, who have inhabited the earth far longer than dinosaurs! After standing still, add walking and have the kids direct you into walking more confidently. Every time they suggest a change, implement it into your act until they run out of suggestions and you are walking powerful and confident.
Further Challenge: For a week, tally all the times you see the player walking confidently and an X for all the times they walk non-confidently. Add prizes for different levels achieved.
The Game: Have your kids draw a ‘before’ and ‘after’ confidence training picture of someone walking about. It could be a girl, boy, tiger, dog, bird. As I said, body language is an animal thing too! Kids might find it fun to draw a ‘vulnerable vs confident’ hippo.
Methods: this one doesn’t really need a contest, but you could give the animal or character a name, and use that as a cue in real life. “Don’t be a Vulnerable Vulture”, or be a “Confident Camel!”.
Here's an example from one of our clients of these cues working in real life:
"My daughter would get upset when I said that to walk hunched and with arms crossed is a sign of weakness. Now I can say 'Walk with confidence how Gemma showed you' and my daughter immediately stands tall and owns her space."
- Barbara S.