Arts & Entertainment

Make Your Communication More Impactful

LeVar Burton

Lesson time 12:13 min

Understanding storytelling can improve the way we communicate in everyday life. Learn how to clarify your message, set an intention, and use rhythm, pacing, and pause.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Conversation vs. Communication · Wordless Communication · Use Mirroring to Build Rapport · Practicing Better Listening · Breath as a Portal


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I think it's important to remember that there's a difference between conversation and communication. We can talk just to hear ourselves talk or to fill up the void. A lot of us have a discomfort with silence, and we talk so that we don't have to suffer the silence. But conversing and communicating are really not the same thing because communicating indicates, again, an intention to have an exchange. Conversing is-- for me, it's just sort of like tossing the salad, just throwing it up and mixing it up. But communicating-- it's more precise. It's more intentional. And it's more directed. The best way to get better at it is just to bring that awareness to the moment. Am I interested in just conversing here? Or am I really trying to communicate? Is there-- is there a deeper purpose? Is there-- is there a reason I am engaging with this person? What can I bring to the moment? What can I give? And what can I receive as a result? It's that effort to be aware, to be conscious of the reasons that we're communicating and the manner in which we're communicating, right? Rhythm, tone, expression, all of those things come into play. But at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the day, it really is about, what is my intention for being engaged in this moment? [MUSIC PLAYING] For years on "Star Trek-- The Next Generation," my eyes were covered. And what I had to do was develop a new way of communicating that did not involve my eyes. So what that looked like for me-- I allowed for my energy to be front and center, whereas before I relied on the expressive nature of my eyes. And what I discovered was I had to communicate everything that my eyes would have said in body posture and energy level, right? And Geordi was a really engaged-- he's a really engaged human being. And so all of Geordi's movement, even when standing still, was open and receptive. These are the things that we kind of learn unconsciously as we grow up as human beings-- that it's possible to communicate without saying anything. The idea that my body is telling a story along with me and that-- and that I want to be aware of what my body is saying as a part of this communication. We oftentimes get so focused on the delivery, on the words, right, that we miss out on how much communicating we're doing unconsciously. The idea that when you sit with your arms crossed that there's a part of you that you're actually closing off to the conversation-- now, it may sound silly. But it's actually true that when you sit in a posture that is open and receptive, you tend to be more open and receptive. Of the many ways that we communicate with one another nonverbally, I think that there are a couple of areas that is important to focus on. The power of one's eyes as a nonverbal communicator is really important to be aware of. They say that the eyes are the window into the soul, right? And what that means to me is that there is an emp...

About the Instructor

With his iconic roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation and 23 years as the host of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton has left an indelible mark on our culture. Now the Emmy, Grammy, and Peabody winner is sharing his approach to storytelling so you can connect authentically with any audience. Learn how to find intention, use your voice, and mine your experiences to be a more effective and dynamic storyteller.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

LeVar Burton

Emmy winner and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton teaches you his techniques for more dynamic, authentic storytelling.

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