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listening

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Thanks to Dave A and Vicky C for the idea of Exercise 1 for this assembly. This could equally be used as an assembly on communicating well.

Introduction Talky Bit

Listening is very important. To be able to have a conversation, we need to be able to listen and need to be able to hear what the other person is actually saying. But do we do this? Most of the time, we like to talk. Many of us like the sound of our own voice and can't wait to say something.

(If there are 2 of you doing this assembly, maybe you could demonstrate how not to do things by constantly butting in and interrupting each other, maybe walking in front of the other while speaking etc. Especially if your focus for the assembly is on communication).

Exercise 1

For this you will need 3 people. So choose 1 or 2 volunteers, depending on how you want to play it. You will also need to bring a stereo with you, or an iPod with speakers etc. What you're going to do is give Person 1 a clipboard and move them to stage left. Person 2 is given some notes which they have to read out, and goes to stage right. On stage right, we also place the stereo. The point of the exercise is for Person 1 to hear what Person 2 is saying, while the stereo is blaring out loudly. Do this for around 10-15 seconds. Then stop the music and see what Person 1 heard from Person 2. Not a lot, if you've done it right!!

For the music for this exercise, why not play something amusing - like the Benny Hill music (Yakety Sax, by Boots Randolph). Do a google search for it. Or use something else similar.

Point

Communication is very important. To be able to hear, we need to listen. Sometimes this means that we need to focus on the other person and what they're saying. So it may mean stopping what you're doing, turning off the TV, turning down your music. Why is it important? Well, if what you say is important, then what other people have to say to you is also important. Amazingly, when we listen, people actually respect us and are more friendly with us than if we don't listen. Listening shows you care.

Exercise 2

Two volunteers up. They are both stood facing each other (side on, so the audience can see both of them). Then they're given a book each. Make the books random or not (up to you). You could choose the Bible, or you could choose a children's book. On the count of 3, they are told to start reading the books out loud. Once this has gone on for 15-20 seconds, stop them. Then ask them what the other person was reading and what they heard. Again, not a lot, if you've done it well!

Point

The Bible talks a lot about listening and not speaking out stupidly. Talking stupidly can cause relationships to break up, hurt people and cause anger and violence.

Proverbs 13:3 - Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.

Proverbs 29:20 - Observe the people who always talk before they think— even simpletons are better off than they are.

Proverbs 19:20 - Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

Today, before you speak, listen and listen carefully. Hear what people are saying and choose what you say! You may well save yourself a lot of trouble and gain a lot more friends.

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