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Listening Exercises


I am wanting to do a listening exercise as part of a skills presentation for my CTP qualification. Does anyone know of an activity that would last approximately 10 minutes? The main element of the presentation is the review part so equally this must last at least 10 minutes or more. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Charlotte Walton

7 Responses

  1. Do you have an objective in mind?
    there are a number of exercises available depending on what you are wanting to achieve (other than the type of demo that will impress the assessors!)

    If you want to test the listening skills of the delegates then you could try a 2 minute “presentation” followed by eight minutes of theory “lecture”. Then ask the delegates to recall as much of the 2 minute presentation as they can.
    You will have ten minutes to draw out their recollections and to assess why they remembered bits and why they forgot bits. (the “lecture” is only there to provide them with some opportunity to forget)
    Interestingly you will probably be able to include the visual signals that aided memory/understanding…listening with their eyes….oh, how poetic!

  2. Listening Skills exercise
    I find this exercise useful: Break delegates into A’s and B’s. Brief A’s that they will talk for 2 minutes while the B’s will listen. They can tell any kind of story. Brief the B’s that they must listen carefully for the first minute and then distract them selves by yawning, looking at their watches, etc. Get them to move to different parts of the room so they won’t hear each other.
    Then you use a flip chart to record the effect the ‘listening’ had on each delegate. Ask them to record their feelings. This will fit neatly into your timeframe. Charlotte Troy

  3. A time you weren’t listened to
    What about this.

    Ask people to think of a time when they felt they weren’t listened to (could be work, family, doctors, shopping etc). Split into pairs and share stories, the listener must try and identify 2 things:
    what the person in the story did that demonstrated non-listening and what impact this had on the speaker (usually they feel devalued, angry, upset, hurt).

    To debrief you can gather all the ideas together and develop some principles of good listening by reversing what happened in the stories.

    Hope this makes sense and that your assessment goes well.

    Derek Hughes

  4. Listening Exercise
    If you want to make the point to your target audience of the level of concentration that needs to be applied when listening…. the children’s party game of Chinese Whispers is an excellent demonstration! Devise 4 sentences ahead of the programme which contain difficult words, but a distinct piece of information with some “waffle”. Make it relevant to the topic of the day. The last person to get the message writes it down; it is only said once to each person. The sentences should follow immediately – ie first one passed on, then second etc, so that there are bits of information being passed at the same time by the time you get to person 4.

    At the end of the process – discuss.

    It usually makes the point that we do not actually work very hard at listening at all, but rather are selective in hearing what we want to hear. If it has worked well, the piece of information will have been maintained through the messages, whilst the waffle will have been discarded!

    In the discussion element, pull out the difference between listening and hearing and the importance of this in the communication process. Discuss how the message could have been better communicated!

    Good Luck with the CTP.


  5. Listening and Being Listened To
    Try this exercise which has been successful with students on counselling courses. Split into pairs. Each pair will then take it in turns to talk for 1 minute about anything they want. First session the pairs are back to back so they can’t see each other.
    Second session they face each other but the listener must remain silent and not move.
    Third session they face each other and the listener is encouraged to make appropriate verbal and non-verbal signals in response to the talker.
    At end of each session get the pair to quickly note down the effect the situation had on their listening (30 secs or so) At end of exercise debrief group feedback – this will also allow you to feedforward into a session looking at non-verbal aspects listening skills.
    Hope all goes well.

  6. Listening
    Try this…
    1.Ask for a volunteer
    2.Send the volunteer out of the room.In their absence,delegates decide two things they want to know about person,within realms of privacy and decency! Eg-what did they have for dinner last night,or favourite football club
    3.Delegates write questions down and conceal from vision of volunteer who returns to trg room
    4.Volunteer invited to sit at the front -tabled horseshoe – and make any statement.Anything! It could be “on the way to work this morning I saw a squirrel
    5.Volunteer turns to first delegate -first delegate,knowing what group really want to know-must base an OPEN question to volunteer on last thing that came out of his or her mouth.Suppose the hidden question is favourite football club and the delegates choice is Manchester United -who else? – this is how things might develop…
    V -On the way to work this morning I saw a squirrel
    D- What kind of squirrel
    V-A grey squirrel
    DELEGATE TWO then has to ask Open Question based on last words of volunteer
    D2-What other colours are there other than GREY
    V -Red
    D3-How has the colour RED featured in your life? NOTICE the adverb HOW.If the person asked IS RED your favourite colour,the response would be YES or NO,and delegate 4 only has that word to base a question on
    V-Red was the colour of my last car,my front door is red and the team I watch on Sat wear Red
    Care must now be exercised -and by the way this is not usually as fast as this example – because delegate cannot assume red equals Manchester United
    D5-Which team?
    V-Man Utd
    D6-goes for the kill-Are they your fav team?

    LISTENING and avoiding dumping a closed answer on your neighbour comes right to the fore.Youmay need to set a time limit.


  7. Bus driver exercise
    This can be used as an ice breaker or a listening exercise. You tell the group that you will be asking question on what they are about to hear` and that they can take notes if they wish. You start by saying you are the bus driver! You then read out a bus route . eg You are the bus driver at stop no 1 three people got on the bus, one of them was wearing a red hat. At stop 2 4 people got on and 1 got off. At stop 3 2 peolple got on, 1 person was carring a bag and the person with the red hat got off. You countinue with this detailed theme. When you have finished you ask the question What is the bus drivers age? The majority of people will not have heard the opening line ” you are bus driver”.


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