Amy Cuddy TED talk: Lesson Plan

Today I am sharing with you a lesson I did with my EAP students. This lesson is appropriate for adults and mature students. The language level is better for students who are  B2 (upper-intermediate) and above. The pace of the talk is quite fast but because Cuddy gives lots of examples and the topic is interesting, students did not really mind. There are subtitles you can add if you think this is necessary (YouTube).


Listening and note taking

Speaking (expressing opinion)

Writing (summarising)


Amy Cuddy TED talk

Your body language shapes who you are

Before listening

  1. You are going to watch a TED talk about body language (nonverbal communication). Why is body language important? Discuss in groups.(6-8 mins)
  2. Can you think of common gestures and types of nonverbal communication that are common all around the world? What do they mean? The V symbol we do with our hand, for example, means victory. Discuss in your groups (5 mins)
  3. What’s an Alpha type personality? Write down the characteristics of an Alpha type personality(5 mins)
  1. Look up the terms testosterone and cortisol. They are hormones. What do they affect? (6 mins)

You are now going to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk. Take linear notes because you will need them later on (22 mins).

After listening

5. Fill in the gaps based on your notes (3 mins)

Fake it…………………………….

Fake it ………………………….

What do these phrases mean. Discuss in pairs (4 mins)?

6. What do we learn about Amy Cuddy’s life? Talk about this with the person next to you (5 mins)

Now, summarise the talk in pairs (150 words).

You can find the task sheet with the exercises for the Amy Cuddy TED talk here

My learners really enjoyed this session. They found it very interesting. My lesson lasted for 90 minutes. They spent a lot of time summarising. If your classes are sixty minutes long, you can set the summary as a task for homework. I have not included minutes on the task sheet. Also, if you have extra time, you can talk about the different types of body language shown in class, what Amy Cuddy said regarding gambling and hormones and so on.

I hope you liked this lesson plan. Feel free to share and let me know how it went if you use it.


8 thoughts on “Amy Cuddy TED talk: Lesson Plan

  1. I’ve used this video with my classes many, many times before they have given speeches. They often get so into it that they forget to take notes! Whoops! Haha, but students seem to love this talk. Thanks for the lesson plan.


    • Hi!!
      I know. So do mine and then I pause the talk and say, ” Hey you guys, you gotta take notes cause you will be summarising later… OR I am gonna check your notes …. ”. I love watching this talk. She is an excellent speaker!!


  2. Pingback: #Augustfavourites 2015 | My Elt Rambles

  3. Thanks for this Joanna, I saved the link earlier in the summer as I thought it would come in useful and it did! Earlier this week I showed the talk to some students to help them practise their note-taking skills. Thanks so much!


  4. Thanks for your lesson plan on this, Joanna. I think body language is an important aspect of communication and is oftentimes overlooked. I would love any feedback on my lesson plan for this same video @ Thanks in advance!


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