SPEAKING WITH EASE & EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SPEAKING WITH EASE - LESSON PLAN

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1 UC STEP 2013 SPEAKING WITH EASE & EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SPEAKING WITH EASE - LESSON PLAN This class is broken up into two portions: Speaking with Ease (00 mins) Effective Communication (00 mins) SPEAKING WITH EASE LESSON PLAN OBJECTIVES: 1. To provide tools that will help delegates become more comfortable when speaking in public. 2. To provide an opportunity to practice public speaking with the benefit of these tools. 3. To learn how to help peers become better public speakers by providing constructive feedback. NOTE: TO ENABLE EVERYONE TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK THIS CLASS SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN CLASSES OF 10-15, WHICH WILL BE SUBDIVIDED INTO SMALLER GROUPS OF 4-6. MATERIALS NEEDED: 1. Blank index cards 2. Hand out: Speaking with Ease PROCEDURES: 1. Organize Your Thoughts: Go over Planning Your Speech (Hand out: Speaking with Ease). 2. After talking about these, hand out index cards and have the delegates write bullet notes down to create a short speech (2 minutes or less) on one of the following topics: a. Someone who has made a difference in my life! b. A mistake that I never want to make again! c. Who do you admire most, and why? 3. Visual Directness: Go over the Principles of Visual Directness (Hand out: Speaking with Ease). 4. After briefly talking about these, divide the class into groups of 6 or less. Each group member will be required to give their speech once. Each leader will take one group to work with, and will work with the same group throughout the class. a. Have a volunteer give their speech to the group. Tell the group beforehand that they will be peer coaches, specifically looking for the Principles of Visual Directness. Refer them to the checklist in their handout. b. After each speech, ask the group for feedback. Both supportive and constructively critical comments 1

2 should be encouraged. c. Have a second group member give their speech, and again ask for feedback afterwards. 5. Vocal Enthusiasm: Reconvene the entire class and go over the Principles of Vocal Enthusiasm (Hand out: Speaking with Ease). After briefly talking about these, the class divides again into the same smaller groups. a. Have a volunteer give their speech to the group. Tell the group beforehand that they will be peer coaches, specifically looking for Principles of Vocal Enthusiasm as well as the Principles of Visual Directness. Refer them to the checklist in their handout. b. After each speech, ask the group for feedback. Both supportive and constructively critical comments should be encouraged. c. Have a second group member give their speech, and again ask for feedback afterwards. 6. Physical Energy: Reconvene the entire class and go over the Principles of Physical Energy (Hand out: Speaking with Ease). After briefly talking about these, the class divides again into the same smaller groups. a. Have a volunteer give their speech to the group. Tell the group beforehand that they will be peer coaches, specifically looking for the Principles of Physical Energy as well as those of Vocal Enthusiasm and Visual Directness. Refer them to the checklist in their handout. b. After each speech, ask the group for feedback. Both supportive and constructively critical comments should be encouraged. c. Have a second group member give their speech, and again ask for feedback afterwards. 7. Summary/Conclusion a. Public speaking is one of the most important skills you will use not only in Student Council, but throughout your life as well. It is also one of the most feared. b. Great public speakers are not born they are made c. Therefore, practice is extremely important tape recording, in front of a mirror, etc. 2

3 Principles of Planning All speeches have the following parts: Introduction Middle Ending or Conclusion Principles of Public Speaking 1. Organize your thoughts Identify the topic for the speech Decide on your objectives What do they expect to hear? What do they need to hear? Identify one or two major points that you would like to communicate. Identify the key idea you will need to summarize at the end of the speech. 2. (Optional) Write these planning thoughts down! (In real life, if the situation allows) Jot one or two word bullets 3. Put yourself in your audience s place. Remember their attention span, how much time they may (or may not) have, and their level of interest or familiarity with your topic. Make sure your language is plain and understandable. Think through your organizing process. Did you cover all areas? Principles of Visual Directness Make eye contact with the audience It s important to connect with the listeners and engage the inattentive Don t read from notes major bullets are okay for referencing at a glance. Convince the audience you know what you are speaking about and believe in what you are saying. Principles of Vocal Enthusiasm Principles of Physical Energy Project your voice Be strong and alive Use inflection in your voice Pay attention to your voice levels Enunciate when in front of the room Be believable, look like you know what you re saying Make it easy to listen to you Avoid being passive take and active role in what you re saying Be careful of swaying, pacing and rocking Use your upper body for movement in purposeful moves Be confident Open body (don t hide anything, like your hands behind your back) Planned gestures can work for you, but it must seem spontaneous. Don t stand on one leg Don t be defensive in your posture (crossed, folded arms) It s your job to adjust to the facilities you are going to have to deal with! Incorporate a plan for using the room in your delivery! 3

4 UC STEP 2013 SPEAKING WITH EASE - Handout PLANNING YOUR SPEECH: 1. Organize Your Thoughts Introduction What is your topic? What are your objectives? Body what major points would you like to communicate? Conclusion what is the key idea you need to summarize? 2. Write It Down Use index cards easier to work with Only write bullet points one or two words each Do NOT write an essay and read off of it! 3. Your Audience How familiar are they with your topic? What do they need to hear? What do they expect? Did you cover everything you need to? PRINCIPLES OF VISUAL DIRECTNESS: Make eye contact with your audience all of them! Connect with your listeners and engage the inattentive! Don t read from notes reference major bullets at a glance! Convince your audience that you know what you are talking about! Convince your audience that you believe in what you are saying! PRINCIPLES OF VOCAL ENTHUSIASM: Project your voice be strong and lively! Use inflection in your voice don t be monotone! Enunciate when in front of the room speak clearly! Be believable look like you know what you are saying! Avoid being passive take an active role in what you are saying! PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL ENERGY: Avoid swaying, pacing, and rocking don t stand on one leg! Use your upper body for purposeful moves! Open body don t hide your hands behind your back! Planned gestures can work, but only if they seem spontaneous! Don t be defensive in your posture don t cross/fold your arms! 4

5 UC STEP 2013 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION LESSON PLAN LESSON PLAN OBJECTIVES: 1. Delegates will review the basic elements of good communication, and have opportunities to practice them in a non-threatening environment. 2. Delegates will recognize the importance of listening skills, and have opportunities to develop and improve them. MATERIALS NEEDED: 1. Handout: Effective Communication 2. Two different pre-made drawings PROCEDURES: 1. Introduce Communication Model (3-5 minutes). Briefly review Sender-Message-Receiver-Feedback model of Communication with delegates (shown below). SENDER the person who is communicating MESSAGE what is being communicated RECEIVER the person who is listening FEEDBACK the response to the message MESSAGE SENDER RECEIVER FEEDBACK Direct delegates to read the first two pages of the handout at a later time to learn more about the importance of feedback. IMPORTANT POINT: For effective communication, we need to be both a clear speaker and an active listener. Bad things happen when the messages we send and receive are not understood as the same message on the sending and receiving ends of the communication! 5

6 2. Back-to-Back Pictures (5-7 minutes). REFER TO HANDOUT Activity #1. Ask delegates to pair up (in each pair, we refer to Delegate A and B) and sit back-to-back, so they cannot see each other. a. Delegate B needs to have page 4 of their handout ready, and a marker to draw on it. b. Give a copy of Drawing #1 to Delegate A, who must then describe the drawing to Delegate B. The only person allowed to speak is Delegate A Delegate B may not ask any questions. Delegate A may NOT specifically name any object in the drawing, they must describe the object in terms of its size, shape, etc. c. Delegate B will try and duplicate this drawing on page 4 of his/her handout. d. Allow about 5 minutes for this exercise at the end of this time, allow Delegate B to see the original drawing. Ask the pairs to share what made it difficult (or easy) to them to duplicate the drawing. e. Have Delegates A and B switch roles, and give a copy of Drawing #2 to Delegate A. The rules are the same, except that now Delegate A (who is drawing) can ask questions about the original drawing. Repeat this exercise, allowing about 5 minutes. f. Lead a general discussion about this exercise: i. How do you think that you and your partner did, in terms of duplicating the original drawing? ii. What made it hard (or easy) for you to duplicate the original drawing? iii. What could have been changed about this exercise, to make it easier? 3. Mirror, Mirror (7-10 minutes): Reconvene the entire group and have them all face the front or center of the room. a. Have two volunteers and the leader to come up and stand in front of the room. The two delegates should face each other, with the leader behind one of them. Give them the following instructions: The leader will make some kind of pose. The one delegate who is facing the leader will give instructions to the other delegate who is facing away from the leader, who must follow these directions precisely as they are given. The idea is to get the delegate facing away from the leader to match exactly the pose of the leader. Your goal is to work together and communicate effectively to do this in as little time as possible. b. Allow the delegate facing the leader to give directions, and make sure the other delegate is following them EXACTLY do not allow this delegate to speak. When the delegate s pose matches that of the leader, stop them. c. Have the two delegates switch places, and repeat the activity. d. Divide the class into groups of three delegates each, and spread them out around the room to do this activity. Be sure that groups alternate so that each delegate gets a chance to try all the different roles. 4. Summary/Conclusion a. Close by reminding everyone that hearing and listening are two very different things. While hearing 6

7 comes naturally, listening is a SKILL that needs to be practiced. b. To be an effective communicator, it is not enough to talk you have to be able to be an effective LISTENER. c. REFER TO HANDOUT A good, clear speaker these pages give many details about what the qualities of a good speaker and listener are. They also give very good advice about how correctly and effectively use feedback. d. REFER TO HANDOUT see THINK ABOUT THIS: - direct delegates to look over the list of communication habits on their own, and see which ones annoy them and which ones they might be guilty of. 7

8 UC STEP 2013 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION - Handout Communication skills are vital to the student leader and non-leader alike. Although communication can take many forms, from conversation to writing a letter or making a public speech, it is evident that four elements comprise any communication. The four basic elements of communication are: the MESSAGE what is being communicated the SENDER the person who is communicating the RECEIVER the person who is listening the FEEDBACK the response to the message MESSAGE SENDER RECEIVER FEEDBACK Although the four elements of communication can be identified, what actually happens when people communicate is much more complex. The perceptions, past experiences, values, time of day, self-concepts, needs and interests of people can have a profound effect on how they say what they say and how they interpret what they hear. Therefore, it is important to become a clear speaker or writer, and an active listener. Being a clear speaker and an active listener requires that the messages we send and receive are understood as the SAME message on both ends of the communication! Communication skills are very important to both student councils and the people within them. Therefore, all council members should be concerned about being good communicators with individuals and councils should be concerned about communicating to the student body, school staff, administration, and the community. A good, clear speaker Understands what he/she wants to say Constructs what he/she wants to say before speaking Considers the audience and the setting Considers his/her own possible overtones and hidden agendas Speaks simply and explicitly, and is willing to clarify and restate the message Encourages and provides for responses and interactions Checks to assure understanding, and listens to responses Supports his/her words with actions 8

9 A good, active listener Really wants to listen and shows it Is attentive Listens to understand the intended meaning Remains quiet while listening Responds to the message and doesn t react to the speaker Doesn t argue mentally while the speaker is talking Avoids hasty judgments Responds honestly and considerately FEEDBACK Feedback is a way of helping another person to consider changing one s behavior. It is communication to a person (or group) which gives that person information about how others are affected. It helps an individual keep their behavior on target and thus better achieve their goals. Both positive and negative feedback are potentially beneficial, if the following guidelines are followed: It is descriptive rather than evaluative. By describing one s own reactions, it leaves the individual to react defensively. For example, I think your remark about Mary s absence was inappropriate to the topic, rather than You re stupid. It is specific rather than general. To be told that one is dominating will probably not be useful. Instead, try do you think that Sally would react more positively if we listened to her suggestions and allowed the group to respond to them? It is solicited, rather than imposed. If it is not explicitly asked for, an implicit agreement should be reached before it is given. A statement such as I have some feedback on what you just did do you want to hear it? would serve as a sufficient indicator of the receiver s willingness to accept feedback. It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and the giver of the feedback. It can be destructive when it serves only our own needs and fails to consider the needs of the person on the receiving end. It is directed toward behavior that the receiver can do something about. Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some shortcoming over which there is no control. Negative feedback is enhanced by specific suggestions for improvement. It is well timed. In general, it is most useful at the earliest opportunity after the given behavior except when the receiver is preoccupied or experiencing deep emotion. It is checked to ensure clear communication. One way of doing this is to ask the receiver to rephrase what you just said. It is checked for accuracy and external agreement. Is this just your impression, or is it one shared by others? Feedback, then, is a way of giving help. It is a corrective mechanism for the individual who wants to learn how well behavior matches intentions. Being open to feedback is a must for anyone who wishes to grow as a leader. 9

10 LISTENING Some facts about listening: About 80% of our waking hours are spent communicating in some way About half of that time is spent listening Students spend 60-70% of their time in class listening Listening is the most used skill, and the least taught skill In ten minutes of listening: You hear, understand, properly evaluate, and retain about half of what is said (5 minutes worth), and in 48 hours you will forget half of that a final result of 2½ minutes of total remembering. ACTIVITY #1: Here is a test to see how well you listen. Listen very carefully to the description that your partner gives about a drawing he/she is looking at, and try and reproduce it in the space below. 10

11 ACTIVITY #2: Here is another test to see how well you listen. Listen very carefully to the description that your partner gives about a drawing he/she is looking at, and try and reproduce it in the space below. 11

12 THINK ABOUT THIS: Which of these habits ANNOY you when you are trying to communicate? Which of these habits are YOU guilty of? 1. He never looks at me when I talk I don t know whether or not he is listening. 2. She continually fidgets with a pencil, paper, or something. 3. He has such a poker face and manner that I never know whether he understands me. 4. She rummages through papers on her desk or through her pocketbook while I am talking. 5. All the time I talk to him, he looks out the window. 6. She smiles all of the time, even when I am telling her about a serious problem of mine. 7. He sits there and doodles on paper, drawing pictures. 8. She frequently looks at her watch or the clock when I am talking. 9. She closes her eyes or rests her head on her hand as if resting. 10. He always takes notes when I am talking. I get so worried about how I am saying things that I forget what I was saying. 11. She files her nails or cleans her glasses while I am talking. 12. He looks at me like he is checking me out. I begin to wonder if I have a smudge on my face or a tear in my clothes. 13. She stares at me like she is trying to out-stare me. 14. She acts as if she is just waiting for me to get through talking so she can interject something of her own. 15. He doesn t put down what he is doing when I come in and turn his attention to me completely. 16. He walks away from me when I am still talking. 17. She is always rushed for time. 18. He overdoes trying to show me that he is following what I am saying too many nods of the head or uh-huhs. 19. She interrupts me when I talk. 20. He always gets me off subject with his questions and comments. 21. When I am talking, she finishes sentences for me. 22. Whenever I make a suggestion, she always throws cold water on it. I ve quit trying to make suggestions. 23. He rephrases what I say in such a way that he puts words into my mouth that I did not mean. 12

13 Effective Communication Activity #1 Drawing 13

14 Effective Communication Activity #2 Drawing 14

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