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DEVELOPING SKILLS OF NGOS Presentation and CommunicationTOPIC MATERIAL Overview Introduction Non-profit leaders and activists can improve the effectiveness of their organisations by improving their internal and external communication skills. An organisation must express itself clearly to the outside world, while a healthy working environment — one result of successful internal communication — benefits managers, employees and vol- unteers alike. External communications involve a delicate balance of information and entertain- ment, as well as a compromise between wanting to achieve lofty objectives and limita- tions on time and resources. Learning effective methods of presentation can greatly increase an organisation’s efficiency. The skills presented in this guide can be useful on a daily basis, as well as when preparing messages for broad dissemination. The value of persuasion cannot be overstated. Communication is the imparting or exchange of information, ideas or feelings. It is not a one-way process since a message must be received in order for communication to take place. Presentation is a structured communication based on the actual audience’s needs in order to achieve a certain purpose within a given timeframe, where the overall goals are providing information and promoting ideas. Presentations are a form of communication, and if we can communicate effectively presentations cease to be difficult. But they are far from being simple communication, and they frequently require additional skills of persuasion and influence. Objective of the Guide The purpose of this guide is to encourage you to think about yourself. How do you communicate with yourself, with those close to you, with friends, with colleagues at work, with business partners and with donors? This guide offers helpful communication and presentation skills, gives information and examples on how to improve these skills, how to practice them on yourself and to present them to others. The guide also provides an applicable background and practical tools for leaders and activists to develop their communication and presentation skills. This guide enables the user to: • encourage the trainees to assess their potential in developing communication and presentation techniques; • identify communicational noise and other barriers; • ensure a mutual understanding between the sender of the message and the receiver; • strengthen the communication tools to be more effective and fair in different work- ing relationships; and • understand the relationship between non-verbal and verbal communication. Skills to be Developed The training guide provides easily applicable tools to develop everyday communica- tion, avoid conflicts and prepare and conduct presentations for small or large, familiar or unfamiliar audiences. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 7TOPIC MATERIAL Acquiring the skills offered in this guide will help the user: • avoid or overcome communication barriers; • apply assertive communication techniques; • achieve the purpose of a presentation by applying the basic rules of effective com- munication and presentation; •identify the expectations of an audience or a conversation partner; • increase the effectiveness of communication by applying verbal and non-verbal techniques; • plan and use visual aids by considering the rules of human perception; and • prepare an effective and exciting presentation for any audience. How to Deliver the Training Misconceptions about The guide should be used in combination with the activities pre- Communication sented in the training toolkit. Most of the guide’s content is designed in a way that can be used as a handout or reader for the participants ■ Good communication skills come during the training session. The trainer may, however, adopt it to the naturally. specific context and time frame of the training activity. ■ We communicate only through words. ■ Communication is always a con- scious and deliberate activity. Ready to Train ■ It is possible to completely control Conversation our communication. Participants in a conversation are ready to accept different speak- ■ Communication always leads to ing styles. This could mean posing questions, responding or listening better relationships and better actively. Besides listening, conversation also means thinking about problem solving. what we hear and what we are going to say. Silence can also be a form of conversation, as can meta-communication (communication about communication). The sidebar offers some popular misconcep- tions about communication. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Verbal communication is a process of transmitting meaning with words in oral or written expression. Characteristics of verbal communication: • Words are symbolic expression of thoughts. • The meanings of the words are agreed up on. • Communication makes sense from the verbal context in which words are used. • Verbal communication is in large part under conscious control. Non-verbal communication is the transmission of meaning in direct contact by all means that are not verbal. Facial expressions, body movements and tone of voice are all means of communication whose meanings are culturally based. For example, in Bulgar- ia shaking your head left and right means “yes” instead of “no.” PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 8TOPIC MATERIAL Difficulties in Communication — Noise Communication noise is a group of disturbing factors that disrupt communication. It is caused by an inappropriate “channel,” sending an unclear message, or not consid- ering the needs and expectations of the receiver. The following elements contribute to communication noise: • physical noise — background sounds that hinder communication; • mental distractions; • misunderstandings resulting from word choice (foreign or technical terms, colloquialisms); • lack of concentration; • prejudice, stereotypes, negative attitudes (towards origins, races, religions, etc.); • inappropriate expectations; • emotional pressures; • social anxieties (being introverted or unsure, having low self-respect, etc.); • breaking communication etiquette (i.e. when being introduced, when thanking, when interrupted, etc.); and • manipulation/games (showing interest but wanting to cause conflict; inviting coopera- tion but wanting to dominate, “yanking someone’s chain”). Communication Barriers Communication that hurts includes criticism, condemnation, suspicion, slander, denunciation, blame, teasing, absence of tact, Major Elements of Verbal and threats, provocation, ridicule, irony and mimicking. Non-verbal Communication Communication that drives you crazy includes denying Verbal communication expressed feelings, denying expressed wishes, denying what has already been agreed, refusing to share responsibilities, raising and ■ Words; then breaking hopes, word-splitting, projection, accusing somebody ■ Context; else of bad intentions, not considering somebody else’s wishes, rep- ■ Sentence construction. etition, looking for hidden meaning in everything. Unfair communication includes stereotyping, putting words in someone’s mouth, constantly changing the topic, making accusations, Non-verbal communication misusing statistics, interrupting, intimidation, humiliation, provoking ■ Tone of voice; feelings of guilt, mocking, ridiculing and ignoring. ■ Facial expression; ■ Posture; Major Elements of Effective Communication ■ Gestures; Effective communication hinges on four key elements: ■ Distancing; • consistency of verbal and non-verbal communication; ■ Volume; • listening; ■ Intonation. • raising questions; and • assertiveness. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 9TOPIC MATERIAL Consistency of verbal and non-verbal communication The majority of a message’s content is transmitted through non- Types of Non-listening verbal language. If the verbal and non-verbal messages are contradic- ■ Pseudo (false) listening tory, people tend to believe the non-verbal message. A good commu- pretending to concentrate, nicator combines the two elements of the communication so that they but in reality the message is not getting through; complement each other and work towards a coherent meaning. It is important to know that the majority of communication is done ■ Listening on one level without really speaking. Sometimes it is enough to look at a certain receiving one part of the message (verbal) while neglecting others; person and we know what he or she is “thinking.” Very often we can find ourselves in a situation when we know somebody is angry or ■ Selective listening hurt, but when asked “What is wrong?” he or she replies “Nothing.” filtering a message to hear only what is of particular interest or confirms “Are you angry?” “No, I am not angry. Why should I be angry?” what is already believed; Non-verbal communication could be described as more honest than verbal discourse because it is very difficult to hide (our reac- ■ Selective refusal concentrating only on topics one tions, facial expressions, movements, body positions, volume, tone does not want to hear. When this of voice, etc). topic arises in conversation, the listener simply represses and rejects it; Listening Listening is the key element of effective communication. The goal ■ “Stealing” words of real listening is to understand what the speaker is trying to express. listening only to find an A good listener sends verbal and non-verbal messages to the speaker opportunity to start speaking; that facilitate communication. This is called active listening. ■ Defensive listening Before learning about active listening, it is important to first look at treating a message like a personal the forms of non-listening (listed in the sidebar). attack against the listener’s behaviour or beliefs; People do not listen in the following situations: ■ “Ambush” listening • when comparing themselves with others; listening for an opportunity to attack the speaker. • when having a negative attitude toward the speaker (e.g. thinking he or she is boring); • when giving advice; • when reassuring; • when always agreeing; • when thinking about responses; and • when looking for hidden meaning. Active listening refers to a listener’s active efforts to improve communication. Mes- sages are often imprecise and abstract, but the speaker does not realise it. It even hap- pens that speakers are themselves unclear on the thoughts they are trying to express. A basic principle of active listening is sub-questions, and most of all, indirect questions. Direct questions about sensitive and personal topics can provoke discomfort, lead to negative or defensive reactions, distrust, and even to total withdrawal of the co-speaker, and to a complete breakdown of communication. In complicated situations, when it is not clear what a certain person wants or feels, it is a good idea to use indirect questions, in other words paraphrasing or summarising. Active listening implies that you heard not only what the speaker has said, but that you understand his or her feelings, needs and expectations. Decoding a message is an important part of understanding someone. Raising questions Raising questions makes communication effective and instills trust in the conversa- tion partner. It is therefore important to understand the different types of questions and their characteristics. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 10TOPIC MATERIAL Open questions The sentence starts with a question word (Why, Who, What etc.) and allows the con- versation partner to answer freely. It provides an opportunity to express an opinion and offer a considered message. A simple example is, “How do you feel?” Closed questions The answer to a closed question is simply “yes” or “no.” They guide the conversation partner to provide the answer according to what we expect to hear. E.g., “Are you angry?” Leading questions This question sounds open, but the speaker’s opinion is imbedded in the question. The conversation partner is faced with more of an invitation to agree or disagree rather than an interest in information or opinion. A leading question can be considered as much a statement as a question. E.g., “Don’t you think the price of petrol is too high?” Be careful with “why” questions Generally people do not have an answer to “why” questions. These open-ended questions tend to provoke defensiveness, rationalisation and spu- rious reasoning. When asking “why” questions, it is wise to express curiosity and avoid provocation. Use“what” and “how” questions to help: • find a better solution (How do you see this situation?); • break a problem into smaller pieces (What hurts you in this situation?); • redefine problems (What is really the problem in this situation? Can you define it in another way?); • reveal personal expectations (What do you expect from yourself in this situation? How would you like to solve this situation?); • gauge the readiness to get personally involved (What do you feel you can con- tribute?); • receive acceptance of personal responsibility for the problem (How does this situa- tion and its solution depend on you and on your behaviour?); and • find another way to look at this situation (How are others looking at this situation? What would someone that you highly respect say in this situation?). Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is reshaping what has been said to make it more comprehensible. It can be used to give the speaker a chance to confirm or to correct what the listener believes has been expressed. Paraphrasing starts with a phrase like “In other words...” or “So, you’re saying that ...” Beside simply understanding facts it is important to show an under- standing of the speaker’s emotions. It can be done by starting a sentence with “It seems to me that you feel ... because ...” Paraphrasing can be a useful tool for insuring that suc- cessful communication has taken place. When you are actively listening to someone you are sending the following messages: •I understand your problem. •I see how you feel because of this problem. •I will help you think about this problem and help you find other solutions. •I believe in you, and I believe that you alone can find your own good solution. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 11TOPIC MATERIAL For example: Ivan says, “Marko spilled water on my chair and now he is laughing. I will rip up his picture.” The teacher paraphrases: “You are angry at Marko, because now you have to work on your picture again. Let’s see how are you doing with your picture.” Putting the same text into a different context can change its meaning. Assertiveness Assertiveness is providing feedback to others without criticising Active Listening Guidelines his or her personality but expressing dissatisfaction about a given Make a commitment to listening and behaviour/situation. give the speaker your full attention. Feedback is an analysis of actions or behaviour that an observer Look into the speaker’s eyes. gives to help someone improve. The effectiveness of feedback infor- mation depends on how it is formulated and on the relationship Do not interrupt. (Do not ask “why,” or say “Me, too...”). between the actor and the critic, and their expectations. Feedback can be given either as an evaluation for certain behav- Paraphrase (You might start your sen- iour, meaning “you” messages (e.g., “It is not nice that you are late tence with “If I understood you cor- again”), or as a description of experience and the reaction of a speak- rectly you ...”). er to certain behaviour, meaning “I” messages (e.g., “When you start- ed talking about it I was very frightened”). Experience has shown that evaluating feedback often provokes resentment and defensive- ness. Description feedback helps receivers understand their place in a particular envi- ronment and to change their behaviour according to the relationships they want to devel- op with other people. In everyday life people are not very well trained in communication skills and they usually give feedback in indirect ways, using “you” messages. For example, we often hear: “You are making me angry.” It is very hard to tell what the person is really experi- encing, and for what reason, as well as how this problem can be solved. Feedback is extremely useful when presented properly. See Figure 1 for rules on how to form effective feedback. When giving feedback, non-verbal signs are also important, for example tone of voice, posture and gestures, which can support or refute the verbal message. The major rule for the receiver of feedback information is to calmly listen to what has been said and to refrain from becoming defensive. It is also important to ask for further explanations if something is unclear. Feedback information is not only a way to give sup- port but also to provoke and encourage. So we can differentiate: • confirming feedback information — the listener confirms that the sender is on the right track, making progress toward his or her goals; and • corrective feedback information — the listener provides a response to what the sender is “wondering” in realisation of a certain goal or in doing a certain activity. Corrective feedback information should be very carefully formulated. It is important to keep in mind that the goal of feedback is not to change the other person but to give your impression. “You” and “I” messages Usually in “you” messages we are judging the other person. This kind of judging is very dangerous if the communication process runs into difficulties. In that case “you” messages usually lead to resentment and bring out defensive behaviour. In this kind of situation, especially when the behaviour of the other person has a direct effect, “I” mes- sages are much better to use. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 12TOPIC MATERIAL In these messages we are describing: • certain behaviour that bothers us or in anyway jeopardises us; • results of that behaviour; and • feelings caused by this behaviour. According to some professionals, “I” messages can actually be passive because oth- ers are left to do something for us. So if we want to make them active, more direct and in that way more complete, it is necessary for them to know what we want to happen. Figure 2 demonstrates the difference between passive and active suggestions. Presentation Skills Although a presentation in its simplest form is any expression of thought or emotion to a receiver of the message, it has come to mean displaying a concept to a group of peo- ple with interest in the topic. The key elements of a successful presentation are subject, time, purpose and audience. Subject A presentation can focus on a number of subjects, issues and top- Useful Web Sites ics. The presenter and the audience have different relationships with www.idebate.org the subject for a number of reasons. There are three situations relat- ed to the presenter’s and the audience’s level of knowledge regard- www.ukans.edu/cwis/units/coms2/ ing the topic: vpa/vpa.htm www.public-speaking.org/ • The presenter is familiar, but the audience is less informed. www.mts.net/infopak/PAGE4.HTML • The audience is familiar, but the presenter is less informed. • The audience and the presenter are equally informed. FIGURE 1 Rules for Forming Effective Feedback Descriptive — When we describe our experiences Timely — Feedback is more effective when it relates we are giving someone an opportunity to learn some- to behaviour that is recent rather than old. thing about people in general. When we are judging Desired — Feedback is truly effective only when the or trying to interpret something, however, we are receiver wants to hear it. It is most effective when the increasing the likelihood of defensive behaviour. receiver forms the questions that test the effective- Concrete — Always focus on what can be changed ness of certain behaviour. and stay away from what could be interpreted as an Checked — It is important that both the sender and attack on the person’s character. receiver of the feedback information can check the Constrictive and balanced — Always consider the content of the message. This can be done if the possibilities and needs of the receiver. receiver repeats in his/her own words how he/she understood the message. In this way we avoid mis- Useful — Relate advice to behaviour that can be understanding and in this process other members of changed. Do not criticise behaviour that a person the team can participate. simply can not change, stammering, for example. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 13TOPIC MATERIAL FIGURE 2 Passive vs. Active Communication PASSIVE ACTIVE You make me angry when you interrupt me while …so I am suggesting you let me finish. I’m talking… It is very hard for me when you don’t tell me when …I would feel much better if you told me when are you coming home. It makes me feel… you’re coming home. Time The time frame of the presentation is often determined by the audience or an outsider (e.g. management or the organiser of the conference). The structure of the presentation should be developed in a way that the key messages of the presentation can be deliv- ered in varying lengths of time. Purpose A presentation has two different purposes: manifested and hidden. A manifest pur- pose is clearly expressed: what we want to achieve by providing the presentation (e.g. an oral report to the management about the performance of the team we manage). But the presentation has another purpose which is not directly expressed, and this is the hid- den purpose (e.g. we would like to get more financial resources for our team). Audience Guidelines for Giving The audience is the key element of a successful presentation. Corrective Feedback Knowing who they are, what they would like to get out of the pre- sentation, what their interests are, how familiar they are with the sub- ■ It should be said in a friendly tone ject, and what their manifested and hidden purposes are, are essen- with consideration for the person receiving it. tial questions to answer before a presentation is prepared. Rules with regard to the target audience: ■ It should be connected to the con- firming feedback information. •Use appropriate channels and media depending on the size of the particular audience. ■ It should be short and direct. ■ It should not be directed to the per- • The presentation should appeal to the audience’s interests. sonal characteristics of the person we • The knowledge of the topic and learning potential of the are giving feedback to, but rather to his or her behaviour. audience should be anticipated. ■ It should be limited. Trying to give • The vocabulary should be adjusted to the audience so there are too much feedback only makes it no unfamiliar terms or unexplained acronyms. more difficult for the receiver to understand and process the informa- •The venue and equipment should be adequate and appropriate. tion. ■ Another listener should be asked to If even one of these rules is broken, the learning process can be provide feedback to provide an addi- severely hindered. tional perspective. Even an excellent presenter/facilitator/trainer who is an expert ■ Still another listener should be on the topic should avoid coming to a presentation unprepared and encouraged to find alternative ways intending to improvise. A detailed plan of the presentation, appro- of achieving certain goals. priate materials and visual aids are essential. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 14TOPIC MATERIAL FIGURE 3 Steps in Preparing and Giving a Presentation CHOOSING A COMMUNICATION CHANNEL Delivery: Tell them what you promised. In written form it is easier to: Give the title, key message and request for feedback at the end of each part. present complicated facts (regulations, legal acts, reports); and Select information (simple, concrete, vivid). decrease the possibility of expressing negative Organise the information. emotions. Emphasise the goal of the presentation. Communicating orally it is easier to: Present positive arguments. use emotions convincingly; Summarise occasionally. direct the listener’s attention; Analyse possible objections. answer direct questions, solve conflicts and build Closing: Tell them what you have told them. agreement; Signal to end; adjust ideas according to the listeners’ reactions; and Summary; receive instant feedback. Conclusion; Combining the two channels allows the speaker to take advantage of the benefits of both forms, but the speaker Closing (return to the beginning of the presenta- must insure that they are complementing each other tion/statement, finish with a vivid, positive and not introducing contradictions or distractions. “picture” or explain to the listeners what your expectations are); WORKING OUT A PRESENTATION STRUCTURE Invitation for questions. Tailoring the topic to the listeners: How many listeners are already familiar with the presentation topic? How important is this to them? What are their opinions and attitudes towards the topic? What is the general state of mind of the listeners? Opening: Tell them what you are going to tell them. Greeting, introduction (begin with a surprising or humorous statement, a story or joke related to the topic, a provocative question or an apposite quotation); Subject (title/subject of your presentation); Objective (the purpose of your presentation); Outline (the main points you will cover); Timing (length of presentation); Questions (when audience can ask). PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 15TOPIC MATERIAL FIGURE 3 continued Steps in Preparing and Performing a Presentation Answering questions: Answers should be connected to what has been said in the presentation. Explain that you will answer questions at the end of the presentation. Answers should be addressed to all listeners. Stop periodically during the presentation to pose If the question is hostile and aggressive, rephrase it questions that the audience may have. into a neutral or positive form. While questions are being asked, look the person If you do not know the answer, admit it and make in the eye and avoid the temptation to nod and a promise that you will look for an answer. look away. After you finish with questions close your presen- If you need to think about a question, repeat or tation with a short summary. paraphrase it. Rules At the beginning of meetings, workshops and open debates, it is very important to make the rules clear to everyone and call on them when necessary (emphasise how much time there is for presentations, discussion, questions, etc.). Materials and Visual Aids Rules for preparing materials: • Make them attractive and easy to read (big letters, bullets, drawings, limited number of colours). • If possible, use diversified visual aids (flipcharts, overheads, handouts). From the list in the sidebar, although all are in use, there are few that can be described as almost universal — the flipchart, the over- Training Aids in Common head projector and the handouts. Use Today Audio cassette players; Flipcharts Flipcharts are extremely useful visual aids. This is a pad of fairly Slide projectors; substantial A1 sized paper that is the modern equivalent of the earlier Combined audio and slide projectors; “newsprint,” consisting of sheets of thin paper. It has several purpos- Computers; es: gathering ideas from the audience, drawing charts or schemes, writing tasks for exercises, putting sticky notes on it, writing out the Flipcharts; agenda, drawing pictograms, making sketches or doing other artistic Handouts; activities. There are three types of flipcharts according to the time of prepa- Interactive videos; ration: Physical objects; • Ready made — the images and writing are prepared before the Overhead projectors; presentation and no additional writing is involved. Video players; • Half made — the visual materials are prepared before the pre- Video projectors; sentation and then supplemented during the presentation. White boards. • Improvised — writing and drawing on the flipchart is done spon- taneously during the presentation (note: before the presentation, con- siderable thought should still go into what will go on the chart). PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 16TOPIC MATERIAL All three of these methods require intense preparation and plan- ning. Great care should be taken as to how the flipcharts will be pre- Tips on Making Flipcharts pared and displayed. Efforts to make use of the contents of a flipchart ■ Give each flipchart a title. will be greatly appreciated by the audience. The sidebar at right ■ Use thick markers; letters should be offers tips on how to make effective use of flipcharts. visible from 10 metres. ■ Use large leading capitals for effect. The overhead projector The overhead projector is the electronic version of the flipchart. ■ Alternate colours (e.g. one line of There are some important rules to remember when operating an red, one line of blue). overhead projector during a presentation: ■ Illustrate your pages with drawings or shapes such as circles, boxes, etc. • Point to the transparency on the projector, not at the screen. ■ Avoid complete sentences. • Switch the projector off as soon as you have finished with a slide. ■ A flipchart is not a Christmas tree — • Remember that switching the projector on and off in swift don’t use everything at once. succession is distracting, so use it sparingly. ■ Integrate your flipchart with handouts you prepare. ■ Use completed pages to show that Handouts you take the presentation seriously. During a presentation a handout can play different roles. It is a ■ Avoid markers that bleed through the visual aid for those who learn through seeing. After the presentation, paper. the handout can be used as a reminder of the content and the learn- ing points. Figure 4 categorises handouts according to their role and ■ Make notes lightly in pencil in format. advance (it won’t be seen by the audience). These forms are not mutually exclusive. Some types can be com- bined to match the concept of the presentation and the needs of ■ Talk to the audience, not to the audience. Another distinction is how the handouts are distributed. flipchart. ■ Make sure everyone can see the flipchart’s contents easily. FIGURE 4 Handout Varieties Exercise handouts are used as a framework for indi- Mnemonic handouts are a variation of the listing vidual or group work by the audience. Filling them handout. Mnemonic techniques enable the audi- in is part of the learning activity. Within this catego- ence to remember the most important elements of ry are budget forms, financing profiles for NGOs and the presentation. questionnaires. Text handouts provide detailed information about Listing handouts provide a simple list of issues to be the topic. This type of handout can be completely addressed during the training. Such a handout can independent material — it need not necessarily be connected to previous parts of the presentation be connected with the training. With careful by repeating themes or information and then asking preparation, this information can even become a participants to supplement them with their own separate publication. ideas. Support handouts do not contain the content of Discussion handouts provide the first ideas for dis- the presentation, but they can nevertheless be cussion in the group. The content of the handout valuable complements to it. These can be hand- provides suggestions or controversial statements outs describing individual parts in a role-play, rather than information. This can be a drawing, a instructions for simulations or directions for warm- scheme or a plan that encourages discussion. up activities or evaluation. PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 17PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 18Training Toolkit PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 19PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 20TRAINING TOOLKIT: IN THE OTHER HAND Tool 1: In the Other Hand Description: Opening up to new means of communication Participants: Individually Duration: 5 minutes Materials: Sticky notes Procedure: Distribute sticky notes to the whole group and ask participants to sign their names, but with the opposite hand of the one they usually use. Discussion: Is this a new experience for you? How does it look to you? Have you ever practiced writing with the opposite hand? Can you think of any ways this exercise is connected with communication? Have you ever tried to communicate in new ways? 1 PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 21TRAINING TOOLKIT: MIRROR Tool 2: Mirror Description: Raising awareness of non-verbal communication Participants: In pairs Duration: 20-30 minutes Procedure: Split participants into pairs and explain that this exercise will help them see what 1 they are doing with their bodies while talking with other people. Make them decide who is going to be a mirror and who is going to tell a story (for example, some- thing that happened in the morning). After two minutes give them a sign to exchange roles. Explain to the “mirrors” that 2 they must reflect the non-verbal signs of the person who is telling the story. After all participants change their roles, group discussion follows. 3 Discussion: After this exercise it is very important to give participants a chance to say how they felt during the exercise, what they noticed, and what they learned. It is important to talk about both roles. The trainer could then say something about previous experience with this exercise and give a short summary or handout about non-verbal communication. What are we doing while we are talking? What faces do we make? What are we doing with our hands and the rest of our body? 2 PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 22TRAINING TOOLKIT: LEADING THE BLIND Tool 3: Leading the Blind Description: Practicing listening skills and understanding how signals are received by other people Participants: In pairs Duration: 30-40 minutes Materials: An empty room and obstacles (desks, chairs, etc.) Procedure: Divide participants into pairs. Explain that this exercise will help them see how we 1 receive signs from other people, how good we are at this, and also how much trust we are willing to give someone to lead us. It is important to emphasise that the whole exercise is done in complete silence. 2 Verbal communication is forbidden. The whole group participates in pairs. One person from the pair is going to be leading the other — the “blind” person — and after a few minutes they will switch roles. Make sure that participants do not dis- cuss their technique before beginning the exercise. The trainer will make things even more difficult by putting obstacles in the way 3 (chairs, desks, etc.). The leader must avoid these obstacles while taking care of the “blind” person. Discussion: After completing this exercise it is necessary to talk with participants about their experience, both as a leader and as a blind person. Have them discuss how they felt and what they experienced. Ask them how they communicated. What sorts of signals did they use and how? 3 PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 23TRAINING TOOLKIT: GROUP SCULPTURE Tool 4: Group Sculpture Description: Learning to express emotions with non-verbal communication Participants: Groups of four or five Duration: 40-50 minutes Materials: A list of topics (like happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.) Procedure: Split participants into groups of four or five. Assign each group a theme on which 1 to build a sculpture from their own bodies. Give them about 20 minutes for this task. Each group then presents its sculpture 2 and discusses it. Discussion: After each presentation it is necessary to discuss the way the sculpture was built. How did the talks in the group progress? Did they have several competing ideas? If so, how did they decide on one? Was it hard to perform this exercise? What did they learn from it? 4 PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 24TRAINING TOOLKIT: BEING A GOOD LISTENER Tool 5: Being a Good Listener Description: Examining listening techniques Participants: Groups of three Materials: Flipcharts and markers Procedure: Start by explaining the roles of each small group member. One is the listener who 1 tries to encourage the speaker as much as possible. The second is the speaker, who has five minutes to explain a problem in his or her everyday work. The third is the observer, who observes how and if the listener is encouraging the speaker or not. While the speaker is talking, the observer has to watch the listener to see how he or 2 she encourages conversation. After five minutes they switch roles. For the next five minutes the listener becomes the speaker, the observer becomes the listener and the listener becomes the observer. Rotating recurs until all have fulfilled all roles. At the end of the exercise each member of the group has to say what he or she 3 noticed his partner did to encourage conversation. On one board, note the types of behaviour that encourage conversation, and on the other indicate the behaviour that discourages good conversation. Figure 5 contains lists of ways to both encour- age and discourage conversation. Discussion: Is non-verbal communication helping? What kinds of questions have been asked and what kinds of statements have been made? 5 PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATION 25