Zoom into communication

Type of tool: 
60-90 min
Topics addressed: 
Adult education
Conflict management

The Zoom tool is a method based on Story cards that supports development of communication skills based on descriptive language. The tool is suitable for training activities aimed on communication, conflict resolution and cooperation.


The aim is to support understanding of concepts of descriptive communication and active listening in teamwork and conflict resolution.


The activity can take place both, indoors and outdoors. It happens in plenary open room. Participants are interacting together in the group, facilitator has the role of observer / listener.

Step by step process: 

At the beginning a group is being instructed:
In the following activity you will be given with 1 or more cards (depends on the size of the group), which you will be describing only by spoken language (words, sounds). The purpose of the activity is to place the cards down on the ground with a black side up(the side that other don`s see what is on the picture) in an order creating a story.
You cannot show what you have on the card to the other participants, you can describe it only by words. Drawing on the paper, on flipchart or in the air is not allowed.
When you are sure that you know the story, you place the cards on the ground. Once the card is being placed down, you cannot take it back, you can only move it on the ground (change position in the story line).
You will have 15 - 25 min to do the task (time depends on the size of the group).


Participants are holding the cards in hands, describing what they see on the cards to other participants. They can be sitting / standing / moving anywhere around the room, not showing the pictures, being sure other can hear them.
They are placing the cards on the ground once they are sure about the story. Once time is up, they turn the cards up and check the corectness of the story.

Once they check the story and the cards, they are given 10 minutes to re-think their strategy for the second round with different set of cards & different story.

The same as in the round 1 with different set of cards.

Facilitator can ask following questions:
How was the activity for you?
What was helping you in the process?
What was not helping you in the process?
How was your communicaton?
What language were you using?
How were you verifying the information communicated in the group?
How could you describe the cooperation in the group?

Theory input & Reflection about team-work, active listening and feedback in communication. Can be diverted into conflict resolution language.

Materials and resources: 

- 2 sets of Zoom cards (2 x 30 cards)
- timer.


Clear understanding of:
- importance of clear descriptive language in communication and in harmonization of the team within the communication process.
- importance of feedback and verification of information flow in the working teams.


- it can be used anywhere with a large scale of the group members (2 - 30 people)
- it is undemanding in terms of material needs & space
- very flexible in sense of review directions to lead (teamwork, active listening, feedback, communication styles, conflict prevention & resolution)

- the one set of the cards can be played only once by the same person
- available only two sets of cards (current state).

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DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

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