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Speaking & Listening

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Improving your speaking and listening skills

We have gathered five activities to boost your speaking and listening skills.

Plan what you would like to say

Planning presentations or for meetings is important at work. Before an opportunity to speak you should prepare and plan what you would like to contribute.

  • Who is the audience?
  • Do you need to use formal or informal language?
  • Bullet point what you would like to say

You can do this in meetings too. Also have a notebook so that you can make notes and use that as a prompt to share you ideas. You can write down scripts that you can use when speaking on the phone too.

Start small

Being a good public speaking is about confidence. This can be a challenge for everyone.

Encourage yourself to take smaller speaking opportunities, like sharing an idea in a staff meeting.

Use opportunities that you have outside of work too by speaking to family friends, shop workers or the barista in your local coffee shop. Seek out opportunities when you can practise your speaking and listening skills.

Listen to a podcast

Listen to podcasts that interest you and write down three things that you've learnt. Why not explore our career-related audiobook recommendations or our Inside Stories audiobook list chosen by young people in custody?

Listen to TV programmes and films

When you are watching TV, challenge yourself to really listen and make notes.

  • Tell someone three things that happened to you favourite character
  • Write down your favourite part and why
  • Write down or speak with someone about what you want to happen in the next episode or sequel to the film

Show that you are actively listening

Follow our five tips to show that you are actively listening.

  1. Be attentive
  2. Ask questions
  3. Ask for clarity if you do not understand
  4. Paraphrase what someone has said to you
  5. Think about your body language

Further speaking and listening advice

Check out our activities designed to support your speaking and listening skills. We've covered a variety of topics from building your confidence in speaking, through to delivering presentations.

Activities vary in length. Whilst some will only take five minutes, others will take slightly longer.