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How to Practice Paying Attention to Detail

How to Practice Paying Attention to Detail
Exercises, Creativity, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus, Memory, Learning

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, June 5, 2017

One of the biggest and perhaps saddest trends in our era is that attention spans are shrinking. It is primarily fuelled by the explosion of online content, rise of social media and the ever-increasing range of things to obtain and experience. It is great to be living is such a rich world, the like of which we have never had in the entire history of mankind. However, there is a price to pay for anything good and in this case, it seems to be our shrinking attention spans, increased stress and the feeling that there is so much to do in so little time.

To learn how to manage attention, there are several exercises you can go through to reverse the trend and gain more control. In this article, you will be introduced to a series of attention management and concentration exercises that will help you achieve this.

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What Are the Basic Principles of Memory

What Are the Basic Principles of Memory
Public Speaking, Exercises, Decision Making, Attention and Focus, Memory

Article Rating:::: 9 Ratings :::: Monday, June 20, 2016

This is a fantastic exercise in teaching a number of important topics related to memory and retention. The exercise is actually rather simple—going through a list of words and recalling what has been stated. However, the way the list is structured helps to cover various interesting topics in relation with memory such as the following:

  • Effect of primacy on memory
  • Effect of recency on memory
  • Repetition
  • Element of surprise
  • False-memory
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Train the Trainer Exercise: Review Learning

Train the Trainer Exercise: Review Learning
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Memory, Learning

Article Rating:::: 55 Ratings :::: Monday, August 11, 2014

Use this exercise to help the delegates review what they have learned in the course. The aim is to make the review process entertaining and memorable. It is also designed to be competitive so that the delegates work a bit harder to review the content. Ideally, you should go through this exercise at the end of the course.

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Art Exercise: The Lost Artworks

Art Exercise: The Lost Artworks
Exercises, Attention and Focus, Memory, Art

Article Rating:::: 15 Ratings :::: Monday, January 20, 2014

This is an elaborate memory exercise that can be used for several purposes.

  • You can use it to teach specific memory techniques in memorising pictures, names and words.
  • You can use it to teach the associations of images with words.
  • You can use it to help delegates memorise the characteristics of famous paintings in history. This is ideal for art students.
  • You can use it to test delegates on memory recall.

You can easily adjust the difficulty level of this exercise by manipulating the timing and the amount of memorisation the delegates need to go through. You should decide this upfront based on your training needs and the capability of your delegates.

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Answer Correctly or Get Eliminated

Answer Correctly or Get Eliminated
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Exercises for Kids, Large Group, Memory, Learning

Article Rating:::: 19 Ratings :::: Monday, October 14, 2013

At the end of each training session, it is ideal to test delegate’s knowledge about the topics covered during the session. You can make the process more entertaining by making the test feel like a game. You can apply the questioning format presented here to test delegates’ knowledge about a given topic. The only requirement is that you need to prepare a number of questions before the course.

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Icebreaker: What Is Under My Thumb

Icebreaker: What Is Under My Thumb
Exercises, Icebreakers, Exercises for Kids, Memory

Article Rating:::: 12 Ratings :::: Monday, September 16, 2013

This fun activity is suitable as an ice breaker. This is a simple randomisation exercise that you can use to get a group of people answer a number of random questions. You will need to write these questions on a football before the course. As each delegate receives the ball he should randomly answer a question based on the setup described here.

Since you have total control over the questions, you can bias the exercise based on your needs. You can use it as an icebreaker with generic questions about delegates. You can also use this for recap to cover what has been discussed in a particular session by asking delegates to answer related questions. You can also use this method as a test.

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Communication Skills Exercise: Build an Identical Sculpture

Communication Skills Exercise: Build an Identical Sculpture
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Giving Feedback, Memory, Art

Article Rating:::: 86 Ratings :::: Monday, August 12, 2013

This exercise helps delegates to practice communication skills. In particular it focuses on observation skills, how to describe something in simple yet meaningful ways and how to provide feedback. It is an ideal exercise for team building as it helps to improve inter-team communication. 

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Active Listening Exercise: As Mark Just Said

Active Listening Exercise: As Mark Just Said
Exercises, Communication Skills, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills, Memory

Article Rating:::: 47 Ratings :::: Monday, July 22, 2013

Most people are not good listeners. This is even more pronounced when people get excited about sharing their own views or thoughts and like to express them and share them with others quickly. The problem is that in their excitement they miss what has just been said. Over time this can develop into a bad habit leading to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

This exercise is designed to help delegates practice listening to others and avoid jumping in before they have shown that they have understood what is shared. After a few tries, participants will quickly learn to listen carefully and will significantly improve their communication skills by understanding other people’s positions and avoid repeating what has already been stated.

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Recap Exercise: Visualise What You Learned Today

Recap Exercise: Visualise What You Learned Today
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Creativity, Memory, Art, Learning

Article Rating:::: 28 Ratings :::: Monday, May 13, 2013

Research has long shown that visualisation can lead to better recall and learning. As a trainer, you can exploit visualisation to your advantage. One area where visualisation is useful is when recapping on content already covered or at the end of a course. This exercise helps you to take advantage of the power of visualisation.

The visualisation produced in this exercise can also act as a reminder for the delegates and will help to reinforce associations and memory.

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5 Useful Methods to Increase Attention and Focus

5 Useful Methods to Increase Attention and Focus
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Large Group, Attention and Focus, Memory

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Humans have evolved to focus their attention on what matters most. To navigate a complex environment, we have ended up with a kind of brain that vigorously filters out unnecessary information. This filtering mechanism is always active and is essential in managing information overload.

For example, after entering a new environment, you start to pay attention to different things to find what is interesting. You notice the unusual architecture, the odd furniture, the people, the smell and the feel of being in this new place.

If you come back to this environment the second time, you may not scan it as intensely as the first time since your brain “thinks” it already knows about it. Instead, your brain tries to focus on other things, freeing up the processing resources for whatever else you need to do with your brain.

This filtering has its great advantages as it allows us to navigate complex environments without feeling overwhelmed by them. Once we get used to a complex environment, we can start to concentrate on something more focused and demanding.

There is however a downside to this filtering. We are susceptible to miss the obvious even if it is right in front of us. Once familiar, the brain can become lazy in processing new information and attention is simply lost.

To remain focused it is essential to practice paying attention and consciously reverse the filtering process. Several methods are presented here that allow you as a trainer to increase the attention of your delegates especially if they are attending a multi-day course where they are returning to the same training environment.

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