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Improving listening skills is a task that can work for any group of any age level. There are several ways to improve listening skills. However, the amount of children and adults with attention deficit disorder and the amount of distractors that have arisen as a result of the advent of technology has made us turn into a culture of blind-sided individuals.
Hence, as a teacher, the best way that I could advice to prolong your listener's attention span is as follows:
1. Build schema- You have to bring the listener into a familiar situation, so always begin with the example, and do not leave it until the end. Start your statement with a scenario rather than a fact, and you will engage your listening audience.
2. Paraphrase- Ask people to extrapolate in their own words what you just said.
3. Ask for opinions throughout the message you are trying to give- Have u noticed how people seem to always listen to their preacher in church? It is because they have a good speaking ability and always ask for feedback as they talk. That is an engaging technique. Be a preacher! (not)
4.If you are the listener and you have a hard time paying attention- it is NOT your fault. There are many of us who have given speeches and presentations and end up losing our audience because we cannot connect with them. Hence, if you are on the listening end just try to make connections to your life, as hard as it may seem. Pretend that the person is speaking only to you and that he or she is trying to give you advice on something. Write it down as they speak. That may help.
In all, the most important quality of listening is connecting to the message. This is a job that has to do with both the listener and the speaker. So, if a conversation or a speech goes wrong, it is to be blamed on one or the other, not on the message itself.
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