Communication is framework for all areas of life. It’s how people inform, educate and share thoughts and feelings. Improving communication is essential for every individual. Even the best communicators still need to challenge and strengthen their skills. Games are one of the best ways to put into practice communication skills. Combining a lecture with practical communication games will provide the participants with foundational information that can be put into practice in an enjoyable manner.
Improv games incorporate acting with the ability to think and communicate quickly. Ask for two volunteers to participate in an improv game. Set up a basic scenario for the two volunteer such as a dentist and patient. Inform the couple that every-so-often you will call out, “freeze.” When you call out freeze the couple stops in the position they are physically in. When you say, “go,” the volunteers have to change the scene completely and begin acting out a new scenario without having time to communicate with one another. This game will challenge the participant’s ability to read nonverbal cues and to effectively communicate on command.
Use objectives to teach a group of people to how to use group communication, listening skills and the ability to lead and follow. An objective is easily set up on the spot and can be modified and tweaked to fit your needs. Begin by communicating a simple task to be accomplished such as, “organize the group in order of shoe size.” Add an element to the objective that creates a challenge in completing the objective such as, “no one can talk and everyone has to keep their eyes closed.” Don’t give any further instruction. Allow the group to figure out how to accomplish the task using basic communication skills.
Role playing is an effective game to demonstrate communication principles. Take a certain communication theory or principle and ask two volunteers to act out the scenario with ineffective communication. After they complete the role playing, have the rest of the group assess the areas of poor communication. Have the volunteers perform the same situation again but this time using the advice from the group to demonstrate effective communication.
Puzzles and riddles are good ways to practice communication skills. A puzzle or riddle requires the people involved to communicate and use critical thinking together. The team will learn which members have certain strengths that can be used and the others who are best for support. A natural leader-follower scenario will pan out. Debrief after the puzzle or riddle is complete and discuss the communication lessons learned.