Glad to Meet You – Sort of

To show the importance of first impressions and how body language can
contradict or reinforce verbal messages.

Prepared flip chart paper describing the role-play situations.


Divide the participants into small groups of 3 to 4 people. Advise the small groups that they will each participate in a role play in which they are asked to meet and greet each other in each of the following ways:

• They really do not want to meet the other people.
• They fear the other people may reject them.
• They already know the people and are good friends with the people.
• They already know the people, but only slightly.

Instruct the small groups that each group member is to participate in all four role-plays as the person either meeting or greeting. Everyone must assume one of the greeting roles. The remainder of the groups is to role-play the other people in the situation. Allow the participants fifteen (15) minutes to do this activity.

Process Points
After completing the activity, conduct a discussion to include such questions as:

What influences you most when making first contact with others?
Did your nonverbal behavior reinforce or negate your words or feelings?Which roles were the most difficult/uncomfortable for you and why?
Do your nonverbal cues speak as loudly as or more loudly than your words?
Are you conscious of your range of nonverbal signals?
How can your nonverbal signals impact the impression you make on others?
Do nonverbal cues have an impact on your delivery of information to others?If yes, how? If no, why not?