Developing communications skills can be an amusing process. Whether you are a child or an adult, we often try out new words that turn out to be made-up, use unhelpful hand gestures or mumble so much that nobody can understand what we are saying. Playing games that promote communication skills is a very effective way to avoid these sometimes embarrassing moments.
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Charades is an age-old party game. Players are sorted into three or four teams of two players. Each team draws a card with a word or phrase on it. Alternatively, you could think of your own phrases on the spot. The player tries to get his teammate to say the word or phrase by only using gestures. No speaking is allowed. As speaking is our most common way of communicating, this encourages you to think outside the box and communicate in new and creative ways.
Pictionary is a commercial game similar to charades. Players are divided into pairs and must take turns trying to get their teammates to say a word or phrase. This time, however, they must do so by drawing on an easel, white board or blackboard. Like charades, no speaking is allowed. This game encourages an understanding of graphical information. You will also see some silly shapes and structures, especially if the players are not artistically inclined.
This game is suitable for children and adults. Players sit in a circle. One person makes up a phrase. The most complicated the phrase, the funnier the result will be. The player who made up the phrase whispers it to the person to his left. That person then passes the message on to the next player in the circle. Players may only be allowed to say the phrase once or twice, so speak clearly and listen. By the time the message travels around the entire circle, the message is usually very distorted -- and hilarious.
This funny game is effective at getting people to give clear and precise instructions. Name some players "agents" and give them a relatively simple task such as making a sandwich. The other players must take turns providing direction to the agents. They are to follow the directions precisely, but if any crucial information is left out, they must act accordingly. For example, if a director says "grab the knife", the agent may grab it by its blade -- carefully, of course. The correct direction is "Grab the knife by the handle with your dominant hand."
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