These are the invisibles of communication and we don’t really learn them in formal lessons, we just pick them up as we go…but sometimes we don’t so here are a few tips…
Aims – To improve eye contact, rate of speech, topic maintenance, turn-taking, interpretation of facial expression, body language and listening skills.
Activity 1 – Say Hello to the Group
Go round the group. Each person says their name and another fact about them (e.g. favourite food, lesson, toy, TV programme, hobbies etc). Take turns.
Activity 2 – Talking about Listening
Remind the group about listening to each other and what it is. Look at mind map made in the first session by the LTL therapists. How do we know what listening is?
Activity 3 – Talk Cards
Use topic cards sent by email. Cut them out and laminate. Each person chooses a card; they have 10 seconds to think what to say, then 1 minute to speak. Use a timer/clock. Afterwards, each person asks them a question & awaits response.
To make it harder – make each person responsible for their own timings and knowing when they need to start wrapping up what they have said.
To make it easier – increase thinking time, give card to person to look at, use visual prompts, use traffic light system for timings (e.g. show the green card through the talking time, show amber card when 15 seconds left, red card at the end of a minute).
Activity 4 – Attention and Memory
Go round the group, the 1st person does an action e.g. clap then the next repeats their action and adds own action e.g. clap, stamp and so on. If this becomes easy play the “I went to the shops and I bought…..” game. This means that each participant needs to listen and attend to the session
Continue these activities changing the questions each time you do this. You can adapt and change what you’re doing depending on how the group gets on.