Conversation Skills Activities for Adults (7 Key Tricks)
This blog will describe seven conversation skills activities for adults. First, we will discuss what conversations skills help adults communicate better. Then, we will explore some fun games and exercises that help inculcate these conversation skills.
Whare are Conversation Skills Activities for Adults?
Conversation skills activities for adults are exercises and games that help people speak and listen more effectively. A few examples of these are:
- Reflective Listening
- Making Small Talk
- Listen & Draw
- Emotions Pantomime
- Conversation Tennis
What Conversation Skills do Adults Need?
Adults are expected to have healthy and mature conversations that allow comprehension and focus on solutions. This is only possible with sufficient development in social skills and self-awareness.
Expressing oneself is not as easy as you’d think. Listening to others express themselves is even harder than that. That’s why people often struggle to maintain dialogues that focus on solutions and growth.
Several conversation skills play a role in making such interactions possible. These conversation skills include:
- Good attention span
- Listening skills
- Non-verbal communication
- Solution-focussed orientation
7 Conversation Skills Activities for Adults
In this section, we will elaborate on seven activities meant to help adults with conversation skills. A couple of these are exercises but the rest are fun games. For the best results, execute these activities in a group setting.
Reflective listening is a communication tool, which allows the speaker to feel heard and understood. This is especially helpful when you hear someone talk about an issue that they’re facing.
Typically, it’s very easy to jump in and start giving solutions to the problem. But that method skips some important steps that make a conversation mutually satisfying. Instead, try to listen carefully and with attunement.
Don’t interrupt or get distracted. Once they’re done talking, repeat what they said in your own words. It helps to reflect on the emotion they must have been feeling. Then, check if you got it right.
Making Small Talk
Small talk refers to informal chats that do not involve any orders of business, any functional topics of conversation, or any transactions that need to be addressed. Instead, it’s just polite conversation about unimportant things.
That’s why a lot of people feel uncomfortable or annoyed while making small talk. However, small talk is a very important part of conversations, even if it may not seem like it. Small talk gives you an opportunity to network, familiarise, and establish rapport with the people you talk to.
If you find talking about the weather inane, make your small talk a little more personalised. Try to bring up the topic of children, beloved relatives, or hobbies and interests. It may seem like a lot of effort to be polite and remember details about acquaintances, but the more small talk you do, the better you get at making conversation.
Remember to show a genuine interest for this to actually work. Start small and practice with just the people you see on a daily basis. Gradually progress to people you meet more seldom till you feel comfortable enough to talk to strangers.
Listen & Draw
Listen & Draw is a fun game that requires you to team up in pairs. You need to gather a few items that you can play with. Take anything that can be used to create or build something.
It can be a piece of paper and a marker, building blocks, modelling clay, or other articles for craft or imaginative play. Once you gather your items, sit with your backs to each other. Split the items between each other so that each partner gets the same parts.
One partner will make something out of the material provided and when done, they need to instruct the other one on how to build a replica, without mentioning what the final product is. It’s not as easy as it sounds because you’ll need to communicate precisely.
But even if you’re not able to replicate the original, it’s still a fun way to realise how your communication needs to be improved.
Guess The Emotion
Here is another popular game that helps people improve their conversation skills. It mainly focuses on empathy and non-verbal communication. In slips of paper, write down the names of various emotions. For examples, confused, delighted, surprised, worried, bored etc.
Then, pass around a basket with the slips so each participant can randomly choose an emotion. They must not show their slip to anyone else. Going one by one, all participants have to act out their emotion using facial expressions and gestures (no words!)
The rest of the players must guess what emotion they are acting out. This activity helps people practice their facial expressions and body language, which will lead to more effective conversations.
Telephone is a very old game played to help people improve their communication. The rules are simple:
- Everyone is asked to sit in a circle or a chain
- One person is revealed a slip of paper containing the piece of information that has to be passed along
- This has to be a rather long and nonsensical sentence, like, “Patty bought a piece of cake and then threw it in a lake because she forgot how to bake”
- Now, the person has to whisper it to the person on their left and so on till the last person in the group has received the message
Often, people tend to lose bits of information along the way, or might even add irrelevant words, due to gaps in communication. This funny game helps lighten the atmosphere while encouraging effective listening.
A good conversation looks a lot like a tennis match in the sense that it has to be a balanced dialogue. One person cannot simply keep serving the ball. It has to be a back and forth interaction.
Conversation Tennis can be played as a team activity to help practice better communication. To start the game, split up into pairs. One player must ask a question or speak about something. Whatever they say, it should elicit a response from the partner.
This process continues till one person fails to elicit a reply from the other. If that happens, the other player gets a point. The player with the most points wins. Playing this game helps in real life because you start noticing more when people are just nodding or smiling while you talk.
The last conversations skills activity on our list is the game of Taboo. The aim of Taboo is to get people thinking about uncommon ways to describe something. Taboo requires a set of cards.
Each card has a word on it which needs to be guessed by everyone else. The card also has a list of relevant words, which are forbidden. You’re not supposed to used them to describe the word or you lose a point. You can purchase the cards online or make them on your own.
Playing Taboo encourages you to think out of teh box and find multiple ways to explain what you’re trying to say. That way, in real life conversations, instead of repeating your point over and over, you can find other words to express the same thing.
This blog described seven conversation skills activities for adults. First, we discussed what conversations skills help adults communicate better. Then, we explored some fun games and exercises that help inculcate these conversation skills.
The conversation skills activities mentioned here were Reflective Listening, Making Small Talk, Listen & Draw, Emotions Pantomime, Telephone, Conversation Tennis, and Taboo.
FAQs (Conversation Skills Activities for Adults)
Which are the activities used to develop communication skills?
Communication skills are techniques to make any social interaction more successful, whether it is in a formal or informal context. Here is a list of some important communication skills that you need to acquire:
- Active Listening
- Reflective Listening
- Assertive Communication
- Reading Body Language
- Avoiding Unsolicited Advice
- Clarity and Precision
How can adults improve their communication skills?
Here are some tips to keep in mind for adults to improve their communication skills:
- Listen with attunement
- Avoid distractions
- Ask relevant questions to elicit more information
- Practice in front of a mirror
- Write your thoughts down before sharing them
- Show empathy in words and actions
- Keep statements brief and clear
- Always be polite
- Make sure your body language matches
What are the 8 types of communication?
The eight types of communication are listed below:
- Formal Communication
- Informal Communication
- Verbal Communication
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Upward Communication
- Horizontal Communication
- Diagonal Communication
- Downward Communication