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Chapter 6. Learning to Listen, Listening... > Engagement with the Speaker (F.A.R.)

Stage 3:. Engagement with the Speaker (F.A.R.)

Now you are mentally and physically ready. In the third stage you will learn how to keep listening actively. To listen actively, you must take measures to ensure that you continue to follow the speaker’s train of thought.

Focus Concentrate on the content of the lecture, not the instructor’s appearance, accent, tone of voice, or personality. Many instructors or bosses are not skilled public speakers. Remember why you are in the class or meeting: to gain and refine your skills and knowledge. Increase your involvement by nodding when you understand, involving yourself in discussions, and picturing yourself applying the content of the lecture. Imagine yourself in a one-to-one conversation with the instructor and use the same kind of focused attention you would when listening to your best friend.

Abbreviate Take notes and don’t worry about spelling, correct grammar or neatness. As long as you can read and understand your notes at a later time, they will serve their purpose. Leave plenty of white space between topics and at the end of lines. This blank space will come in handy later when you fill in details and complete your thoughts. Leave a blank column on the left side of the page for markers, symbols, and important terms.

Revise Whenever possible, revise and refine your notes within 20 minutes after class. Make this a routine that you strictly follow. This revision session helps to capture new information before you forget it.


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