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About the course
Find out what gets in the way of you being an effective communicator on our communication skills course.
Learn a variety of tools and techniques to help you improve.
This communications training course is for anyone who is required to demonstrate a good level of communication skills in their day to day work.
It's a practical, fun-filled two days, packed with exercises, games, discussion and practice.
- Understanding how Communication Works
- Gaining Active Listening and Responding Skills
- Managing Conversations more Effectively
- Identifying Your Own Strengths
- Building Confidence
- Body Language and Non-Verbal Cues
- Communicating Harmoniously With Others
- Filling up your Communications Tool Kit
- Expanding your Options in Difficult Situations
- Practising New Skills Successfully
Unlike off-the-peg communications training, this course is tailored to reflect the needs of each delegate.
We will include many of the exercises listed below, and any additional material that the trainers feel is relevant.
Everything we do is participative and interactive. There will be work in pairs, small group work, games, processes and exercises designed to stimulate, challenge and develop your knowledge and skills.
How Communication Works
We unpick all the elements that go into communication to see how you can be more in charge of your communication.
It gives an overview of how communication works at its best and identifies where it can go wrong.
The course is based on this key aim, giving you opportunities to practice in each section.
You'll have the chance to identify your default style and consider how that affects the way that you're perceived.
We will practice ways to turn up and down different aspects of your natural communications style.
We have a range of exercises which experiment with the effects of variations of tone.
You will practice how to change the tone of your voice.
Have a go at choosing a tone of voice for a chosen outcome.
We have fun looking at ways to deliberately mangle our message and bury its meaning under waffle, padding and jargon.
If we know how to make our communications worse, we can also see how to make them clearer.
We share one of our best communication exercises which shows a failsafe way to deliver a clear key message.
You Can Never Turn your Body Off!
As the listener, you have a surprising amount of control.
We have a variety of exercises to demonstrate the power and control the listener has, through body language and attitude.
Making ourselves consciously aware of our options means that we can remain on a front foot when it comes to communicating effectively.
The Background Story
What makes us who we are inside and outside of work?
What is our history or our form with particular sorts of people, particular subjects in particular scenarios?
We will chew over those challenging situations and interactions that trip us up.
We will be looking for those small changes to our words, tone and body language that might make a big difference next time.
When was the last time you got something wrong?
When were you last misunderstood?
Miscommunication seems to happen most when we base what we do on assumptions, perceptions and misconceptions rather than upon objective fact.
After exploring why and how it happens, we will look at what you can do about it.
Just being looked at, or not has a powerful effect on all of us.
What do we make of those who avoid looking at us directly or else those who seem to hold our gaze too long?
We will discover what happens when we deny or intensify our eye contact.
The conditions in which a communication happens are also vitally important.
How warm is it?
Is the lighting harsh or soft?
How does the provision of simple or expensive refreshments affect a meeting, an interview or a difficult interaction?
Where Are We?
What is the effect of being on your territory or theirs?
Who sits next to whom? Every dinner party host knows the importance of a seating plan.
Being attentive to what is likely to cause ripples means that we can be deliberate in our intentions.
You'll have more opportunities to practise the skills covered in day one.
Also, we may bring in specific techniques from other Impact Factory courses that could benefit delegates.
How Does it Work
A chance for everyone to visualise how they believe communication works... or doesn’t!
In sharing our visions we will also see how complicated it all is and justify why we need to spend so long unpicking how it works.
There's a good reason we believe that miscommunication is normal - It's complicated.
How does it help or hinder us?
When are the best and worst times for you?
What about for those you want to speak with?
We will have some fun looking at what happens when we don't consider if it's the right time to have that conversation.
Here we will recreate communications where you have been unsatisfied with the outcome.
Usually, these are accompanied by difficult feelings which inhibit our actions.
We will use the tools and techniques we have covered so far to change the outcome.
We look specifically for things you can still do while feeling uncomfortable.
Handling Difficult Styles
Everybody has styles of communication that they find difficult to deal with.
In fact, often we are somebody's difficult person and we may not even know it.
This section will be dedicated to practising tools and techniques to help in these situations.
Sometimes in our working lives, it can be difficult to say no.
Work pressures, on-going relationships, timing issues can all affect our ability to say no.
In this section, we will offer up the chance to practise the art of saying no without even saying it.
Our boundaries around how people treat us can vary from day to day and person to person.
It is important that we take responsibility for letting other people know our boundaries.
Practise letting others know when you are uncomfortable with what is going on.
Part of being a good communicator can often be the ability to present well to others.
We'll explore tools and techniques changing the impact you make when presenting formally, or informally.
Around a Table
Meetings are a part of our lives whether as a senior executive in a boardroom or as a parent in a cafe there are dynamics at work.
Here you'll re-create or practise a number of ‘table dynamics’ to help you become as effective as possible.
Working to Your Strengths
Everyone will give a brief description of what they already do that they know works about them.
They will then have the chance to reflect upon how others see them through the feedback of others.
Plan of Action
An individual Plan of Action identifying your personal take-outs, what you will practise and areas for development.
You will identify what will stop you putting this into practice and what support you need going forward.
We will give out Impact Factory documents to support the course.
You'll get copies relevant hand-outs to remind you of the Coursework.
Two weeks after the course one of your trainers will call to see how you are getting on.
You will have email and telephone access to both of your trainers.
You'll also have access to a course web page containing
- Handouts used during the course
- New supportive material
- Impact Factory PDF documents
- Recommended reading
- Links to our favourite videos
Trust the experts
As well as being an Impact Factory Trainer, Isabel has worked as a performer for more than 20 years and is passionate about developing and nurturing the confidence of every individual. This is true in the training room, on the stage and just about any job she undertakes. A rich career in the ...
Maria Peters is what you might call a creative idiot... In a good way. She comes to us with a background in radio broadcasting, comedy improvisation and education program design. The common thread woven throughout Maria’s working life is her intrinsic love of people. In particular, the psychol...
From political speech writing to stand-up comedy, from marketing to project management, from strategic planning to coaching, from a degree in Sociology to a diploma in public relations Sarah has packed a lot into her life already. Originally from Canada, Sarah has lived in the UK since 2009, ...
Dom is a born and bred North Londoner, and possibly the only actual Crouch Ender in Crouch End. After studying Politics in Manchester, he trained as an actor at LAMDA (the one that’s better than RADA) and worked for a few years as a TV and stage actor, as well as trying his hand at directing pla...
Katy has been at Impact Factory for seven years and brings a wealth of life experience to her work here. From performing in the West End and at the National Theatre, to teaching and directing drama students, to running a franchise of a national pre-school music programme, her ability to adapt to...
Since joining Impact Factory, Tom has worked with the British Library, Elekta, Subsea 7 and the General Medical Council. His background as a director means he works on Presentation Skills, Communication Skills and Storytelling workshops. His experience of temping around London combined with mana...
Communication Skills Course