To achieve step 2, individuals will be able to speak clearly to others that they don’t know.
This moves beyond the previous steps where the focus was on speaking clearly to individuals and then groups who they already know. The shift, therefore, is mainly in confidence that they can apply the same approach to speaking clearly but in a context where they are less familiar with the individuals.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Most people find it more difficult to speak to people that they don’t know well, than to people they do already know.
There are several reasons for this:
However, many of the same things that help you speak clearly in front of individuals and groups who you already know will also help you to speak clearly in front of those you don’t know as well.
Many of the same principles that help you to speak clearly to people you already know – whether as individuals or in a group – will also help you with those you don’t already know.
As a reminder, these are:
The significant differences when you don’t know the people you are speaking to are:
With practice, it is possible to build the confidence to speak clearly in front of individuals and groups who you do not already know.
In school or college, as well as working with people we know well, we do sometimes have to work in pairs or groups with people we do not know well, perhaps a new seminar group or mixed class grouping. We may have to work together answering a question, discussing ideas, or explaining what we think about something. If we are to be involved in a meaningful way, it is essential that we are able to speak about a topic or ourselves in a clear manner. If others do not understand what we are saying then it is likely we will be ignored and our ideas will not be included. This can lead to a lack of engagement with the subject matter which in turn will have a negative impact on our learning.
Many roles include working with people we do not know well. For example, working in the same business but at a different location for a day, working as part of a different team on a project, or meeting with colleagues from different departments within the organisation. Some roles require meeting and supporting lots of different customers who you might not know beforehand.
When away from work or education, we may spend quite a bit of time with people we do not know well, perhaps as a member of a large club, spending time with friends of friends, or even volunteering. In each situation we are likely to need to ask questions and make suggestions. We may need to explain something to the others in the group. When working or spending time together for a common purpose, like a club or volunteering, everyone needs to understand what is being said to them so they can join in and take an active part.
To best practise this step of Speaking, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step is slightly more challenging to practice in the context of a classroom, because often learners and teachers become very familiar with one another. However, other opportunities include:
This step is best assessed through observation. For example:
This step is relevant to everyone who is working with others in the course of their work, whether colleagues, customers or partners.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill step in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through observation over an extended time period. For instance:
This step could also be assessed by observing the response to the individual’s talking. If there are signs the listener misunderstands them, this may suggest they have been unclear.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: