These days we read a lot. As the content consumption has gone up, our attention span seems to be going down. We might pay less attention to what we read, get less of it in and forget it quickly. In other words, in comes from one side, out goes the other side.
Naturally, this is a waste of our valuable time. If you are reading something, you might as well absorb everything it has. Perhaps you want to explain it to others later, so it pays to know the details but also be able to deliver it quickly depending on how much you have. This exercise helps delegates to increase their concentration while reading articles, reports or any written content.
Make a concise summary of a report or article that you have read.
What You Need
- Sample articles, magazines or reports suitable for this exercise and your delegates.
- Place the articles and magazines as a stack for everyone to access.
- Explain that each delegate should randomly select an article from the pile.
- They should read the article.
- Once finished, without referring back to the article, they should summarise it in a concise and small number of words.
- THE RULES:
- Do not choose the article by reading several of them. Just randomly select one and start to do the exercise.
- You are allowed to read it only once. Do not go back and forward as you read the article.
- Focus and memorise the content as best as you can while reading it in one go.
- Your summary should capture the most important message the article provides. It should be complete but concise.
- For best results, write your summary on a piece of paper.
- After everyone has completed the task, ask one delegates one at a time to read their summary.
- Optionally, you can allow delegates to read the article again and see if they can improve their summary. The objective of this part is to see if they could have done a better job. If they could, it means that there was still more content in the article that they missed.
- Advice delegates to carry out further exercises at home and learn how to focus more when reading.
- Follow with a discussion.
Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes
Activity: 15 minutes
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
Was this exercise easy? Were you successful in making a concise summary? Did you feel you need to go back to the article to remember what it contained? Was it easy to reduce the number of words in your summary? What does this exercise teach you? What should you do to improve your concentration and results?