Activity 24 213
Activity 24
It’s Me You Want!
This activity opens with a trainer-led group discussion on the do’s and don’ts of
answering the telephone. Then, working in pairs, participants take turns being the
caller and the receiver. The callers use prepared call guidelines. Calls will be
reviewed by the whole group and learning points will be analyzed. If time allows, the
calls can be made again to practice the acquired learning points.
The group draws up a list of “telephone etiquette points” to close the activity.
Target Group
Support staff who answer the telephone beyond the switchboard or point of entry to
the organization and could benefit from professional telephone skills training
To increase participants’ confidence and therefore inspire greater respect from
all callers
To provide an insight into how each person’s voice and approach sounds to
To develop the ability to take ownership of all calls answered
To improve message-taking ability
Number of Participants
Up to 8
Between 90 minutes and 3 hours, depending on how many practice calls are made
Flipchart and markers
Overhead projector and screen
Several blank overhead transparencies, one with the heading “Telephone
Etiquette Points”
Transparency 24-1
Handout 24-1
214 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial, and Support Staff
Activity 24 (continued)
1. Make an overhead transparency of the objectives for this activity using Trans-
parency 24-1 or write them on the flipchart.
2. Make a copy of Handout 24-1 for each participant.
3. Make sure that you know exactly how the tape recording equipment works.
1. Display and discuss the objectives for this activity.
2. Conduct a discussion of the do’s and don’ts of answering the telephone. Write
the points volunteered by the group on the flipchart under the corresponding
headings “Do” and “Don’t.” Make sure the points listed in Notes for the Trainer
on pages 215 to 216 are included.
3. Organize the participants into pairs, give a tape recorder to each pair, and show
them how it works.
4. Distribute Handout 24-1 to all the participants. Allow them to read it and make
sure they all understand what they have to do. Assign at least two situations to
each pair. Tell them that they have five minutes to prepare their thoughts and
then should hold a telephone conversation that lasts for at least three minutes.
They must record this on the equipment provided.
5. When all the calls have been made, reconvene the whole group and ask for
their opinions on the exercise. Encourage the participants to say what they
thought went well and what they found difficult. Discuss how their difficulties
could be overcome in the future.
6. Play each tape in turn, stopping at the end of each telephone call and discuss-
ing what was good and what could be improved. Ask for the group’s views
before adding your own.
7. If you have time, ask the pairs to make their telephone calls again. Then review
them together again.
8. Put up the overhead transparency with the heading “Telephone Etiquette
Points” and ask the participants to suggest what should be included in this list.
Many of the points will be the same as the list of do’s and don’ts made earlier,
and it is a good idea to write them under the headings “Do” and “Don’t.” Include
additional points that come up as a result of the exercise. Write all the points on
the overhead transparency as they are volunteered.

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