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    HOW TOCOMMUNICATEEFFECTIVELYHow can I present my views,effectively, to my organisation?

    This resource forms part of the Running Sport series

    If you would like to attend a workshop,organise a workshop for a group, orsimply purchase or download anotherresource from the Running Sportseries, visit the following website forfurther information:

    Sport England is an organisation committed to creatingopportunities for people to start in sport, stay in sportand succeed in sport.

    Sport England is the strategic lead for delivering theGovernment's sporting objectives in this country, and wedistribute both Lottery and Exchequer funds to sport.

    Our vision is to make England an active and successful sporting nation.

    SPE0070AW-CommunicationRH 15/8/05 1:28 pm Page 1

  • ContentsGetting your message across 02Communication 03Presenting your case 04Tips for a successful talk 06Writing reports 07Internal or extenal memorandum 09Success in meetings 10Difficult people 12Overcoming difficulties 14Using plain English 15Useful contacts 16

    Glossary of termsCommunication: Communication is a two wayprocess that sends and receives information.Communication comes in both written, verbal and non-verbal formats.

    Interpret: The process through which an individualunderstands correctly the information that they have received.

    Memorandum: Informal written message betweenclub/organisation members e.g. following aCommittee meeting. This should not be confused withminutes, which are a formal record of a meeting.

    Constitutional requirement: All sports clubs andorganisations should have a constitution. This is aset of rules, which govern the operation of such anorganisation. A constitutional requirement istherefore an action from within the constitution,which must be carried out.

    Influence: The process through which an individualor club/organisation can alter the view of another.


    WelcomeWelcome to this Running Sport resource. This forms part of Sport Englandseducation & training programme that provides recognition, information and learningresources aimed at supporting volunteers in relation to the administration andmanagement of their sporting organisation, club, group, team, or governing body.

    I hope that you find the information of use in your sporting role and that you willcontinue to contribute to helping people participate in sport in England. Throughyou, a valued resource, one of 5.8 million we know that we are on our way toachieving our goal of making England an active and successful sporting nation!

    Thank you for all your support and good luck for your volunteering future long may you continue!

    Roger DraperChief ExecutiveSport England

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    If you are involved in the organisation of sport inany way, you will need to communicate withmany people, including:

    Other members of your club or association

    Members of other clubs or teams

    Referees, umpires, judges and other technicalofficials

    Administrators of the sport, the league or theassociation

    Prospective new members

    The media and sponsors

    The general public

    Parents and local schools

    Local authority

    External partners

    Communication is a two way process. It is aboutsending messages and receiving them. If youwant to get your message across, you mustmake sure that not only do you send the rightmessage, but also that the message is correctlyreceived and understood.

    Communication can either be spoken orwritten. Common types of spokencommunication include:

    Telephone conversations or answer phonemessages

    Face to face conversations between twopeople

    Small, informal group discussions (e.g. aftertraining)

    Formal committee meetings (e.g. club management board)

    Large open meetings (e.g. annual general meeting)

    Speeches, lectures or presentations (e.g. to a potential sponsor)

    Video, DVD or filmed presentations

    Written communication can take variousforms including:

    Informal notes

    Internal memos

    Letters (typed or hand written)

    Short reports

    Formal reports


    Posters or other messages on notice boards

    Leaflets, fliers or hand outs


    Press releases

    Communication is at the heart of everything wedo; it is impossible not to communicate. We arecommunicating even when we are not actuallytalking. Non-verbal communication (such asbody posture, gestures and facial expressions)can be more powerful and more genuine thanactual words spoken. Think of the bodylanguage of athletes prior to an Olympic final, orthe look of resignation and dismay on the facesof a team after an own goal.

    Often you see the emotion being experienced bythe look in their eyes, their hand movements andtheir general body posture. Words may not benecessary!

    Communication is a two way process thatneeds good listening and presenting skills.

    Did you know:

    We hear half of what is said;

    We listen to half of that;

    We understand half of that;

    We believe half of that and

    We remember half of that

    This means people may only remember lessthan four per cent of what is actually said. Toooften we are good talkers but poor listeners,and, consequently, both the message sent outand the message received may be incomplete,inaccurate, inconsistent or misunderstood. Oftenwe express ideas, instructions and feelings lessclearly than we think and rarely check that ourmeaning has been understood.

    The importance of good communication skillscannot be under-estimated. If you give peoplegood, clear information they are better equippedto see your point of view, make the rightdecision and do the task ahead of them. This isjust as important in the committee room, or onthe notice board, as it is when teachingsomeone to swim, explaining tactics to a teamduring a time out or briefing the ground staff ofthe facilities needed for the coming weekend.

    Understanding how people interpret yourmessage.

    It is important to understand how the people youare interacting with may interpret your message.People obtain information through their senses.For example some people are highly visual,meaning actually looking at something helpsthem to remember. Other people are moreauditory, recalling voices and sounds to helpthem remember. Some people are kinaesthetic,meaning they can easily remember anexperience through sensations of touch orphysical movement e.g. having a go at doing atask or practising a skill over and over until theycan complete it without thinking. Therefore to be most effective, it is advisable to plan for alllearners including visual, auditory and kinaestheticaspects when presenting to a group.

    Getting your message across Communication

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    The organisation of sport relies very heavily onvoluntary help. Most decisions are taken bycommittees or at meetings. So if your goal is toobtain support for a decision, you will need toconvince the members that your proposalshould be approved.

    The skills that are needed to get the support of aperson/group of people can also be used whenmaking a presentation to a sponsor, or giving aspeech to an audience.

    You must be:

    Able to connect with the audience

    Clear and concise

    Easily understood

    Able to be seen and heard by everybody

    Knowledgeable about the subject

    Passionate about the subject

    Relaxed and confident

    Interesting to listen to so vary your pitch and tone

    Sympathetic to those with other viewpoints

    Able to present a strong, factual argument


    When making any form of speech orpresentation, use the most suitable andinteresting media aids available to you. It isimportant to use a variety of methods. You mightchoose a mixture of:

    Typed report or PowerPoint presentationcirculated in advance. People have time toabsorb the facts and then are more informedto ask questions on the day

    Typed report or PowerPoint presentation whichis given out at the beginning of the presentation

    Typed report or PowerPoint presentation whichis given out at the end of the presentation

    Flip charts which have been prepared inadvance

    Flip charts for group work that can be placedon the walls around the room

    PowerPoint presentation, includingphotographs

    Visual aids on the walls i.e.photographs/posters of the subject matter

    Video/CD Rom/DVD

    Remember people will absorb information in verydifferent ways so it is important to have a varietyof learning methods to suit your audience.

    As soon as you get the opportunity, look at theroom that is going to be used and check:

    Seating arrangements

    Depending on your meeting and what you wantto achieve, the layout of the room is important. Choose from the following options:

    Theatre / Conference Style Useful forpresentations to larger groups of people and asimple question and answer format. Not goodfor group work or discussions

    Circular around a large table Useful forsmall meetings up to 15 people as discussionscan take place and eye contact with all can bemaintained

    Small tables Useful for working in smallgroups to achieve ideas and solutions. Acentral focus to the front of the room forpresentations is essential

    Technical Issues

    Again there are many areas to consider toensure your presentation or meeting runssmoothly, depending on your needs. Considerthe following:

    Is the temperature of the room ok? Can youadjust the air conditioning or open windows?

    Viewing areas, ligh