Thursday, 25 February 2010


  1. 10% of our waking time is spent in communication and 45% of that time is spent listening but we only retain 25% of what we hear.
  2. Active listening is about listening for the purpose of understanding and interpreting the message the speaker is trying to convey.
  3. Concentrate carefully - don't get distracted.
  4. Listen for the explicit date (what is said) as well as the implicit data (what is not said)
  5. Refrain from immediate evaluation - attempt to see the other person's point of view.
  6. Check that you are really listening to the other person - not just waiting your turn to speak.
  7. Listen for the main ideas. Acknowledge what you have just heard and give an appropriate response.
  8. If you do not understand, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
  9. Read and listen to difficult materials just for the exercise. Jot down the main points you have noted and then check to see how you did.
  10. For a day, keep a record of the time you spent listening. Consider the specific differences improved listening could have made.

Monday, 15 February 2010


At POWERtalk Stirling Club’s meeting on Tuesday 9th February, the theme was “Imagination”, which is needed for our speech making, debating, topics and even evaluation.

First, members had to decide what connections could be made between pairs: Drum & Blue tooth, then between Wooden leg & Chile.

More imagination went into deciding how many uses could be found for a paper clip (17) and a business card case (11).
A workshop on speech planning on the subject of Roadworks (everyone’s bete noir!) first produced a plan to persuade listeners of the benefits but then we had to exercise even more imagination to plan an entertaining speech on the subject.

We needed no imagination to convince us that we’d had fun!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Depressed Internet Users - Try POWERtalk!

Photograph: Guttorm Flatabø
Today's newspapers quote a report by a team at Leeds University suggesting that there is a link between Internet addiction and depression. Forget the dark side of the web!

Who says that social networking is a poor substitute for face-to-face communication? No more so than than a telephone and like a telephone you can use it to make contact with people on the other side of the planet.  Something I often do as a member of POWERtalk International.

There's a twist though.  The POWERtalk social network isn't just about the Internet.  If Internet usage is making you depressed why not join a social network that allows you to meet up in person - Join one of our clubs and gain confidence in public speaking and meet friendly, welcoming people. Then expand your network to people from all over Great Britain Region and possibly, in time, from all over the world. Check the links to see if there is a club near you.