Workplace Communication

Journal Entries

About this document


At pertinent moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back as and when required.

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen. 

The full journal can be downloaded from our portal upon completion of the module, complete with relevant hyperlinks to online material, which cannot be accessed for practical reasons while in the VR simulation.  

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities.

Louder than words

Non verbal communication

Eye contact

Making appropriate eye contact can be harder than it looks. Feeling a bit uncomfortable at first is completely normal.

You don’t have to stare at the other person, but don’t avoid meeting their eye either. Aim to maintain eye contact about half the time.

Hand gestures

Think of hand gestures as a spectrum.

  • Too little movement, especially when combined with a closed posture, can look disinterested or nervous.

  • Natural hand movements add emphasis to what you say. Imagine a rectangle from your shoulders to your hips and about as wide as you can reach with your elbows. Keep your hands inside that box most of the time.

  • Excessive movement outside of that area can come across as aggressive.


There are three different voices that you can use:

  • Friendly and light: puts others in a positive frame of mind and encourages collaboration.

  • Authoritative and calm (downward inflection): maintains control of the conversation.

  • Questioning (rising  inflection): sounds uncertain and can make others doubt your understanding.

Say it like you mean it

Clarity, concision and confidence


Try to speak as clearly as you can using plain and professional language, so that your words will be easy to follow. Avoid using slang or jargon that your listeners might not understand.


Careful not to speak for too long, or your listeners might ‘zone out’. Usually, the fewer words you use to get your point across the easier it will be to understand.


Even if you don’t always feel confident, knowing how to appear confident is a valuable skill. 

Subtle non-verbal signals like avoiding eye contact or speaking in a monotone can make you sound nervous. Speaking at a steady pace and adopting a relaxed posture and natural hand gestures all help you come across as more confident.

Are you listening?

Active listening

Make them feel heard

Behaviours that suggest someone is listening actively include:

  • Using the other person’s name
  • Using questions and minimal encouragers (‘mm hmm’, ‘yes’, ‘I see’) to get them to continue
  • Acknowledge their emotion
  • Eye contact – give your full attention
  • Focus on their thoughts and ideas, not yours or anyone else’s
  • Withhold judgement
  • Paraphrase what they’ve said to demonstrate understanding
  • Keep an open posture

Go on, persuade me

The Claim, Evidence, Warrant method

How to structure a winning argument

  • Claim – say what you want to say

  • Evidence – support your claim with three facts that:
    • Establish your credibility
    • Use logical, well-reasoned evidence
    • Appeal to your audience’s emotions
  • Warrant – connect your claim to your evidence


Your claim should set out your main proposition, or what you want your audience to accept and know.

To have the greatest impact, your claim should be worded in a way that’s factual, opinionated and informative.


Aim to include three pieces of evidence that support or help prove your claim. 

If you want to be really convincing, try to use three facts that add credibility, demonstrate logic and appeal to emotions.

Evidence 1: Establish your credibility

Facts and statistics are powerful evidence because they are seen as objective. To be persuasive, they should be:

  • Credible
  • Timely
  • Verifiable

Evidence 2: Logic

Your next piece of evidence should demonstrate the rationale or logic of your argument.

Examples are useful for giving the audience an easy reference point. They should be:

  • Valid
  • Appropriate for your audience
  • Literal or metaphorical

Evidence 3: Appeal to your audience’s emotions

  • A personal tale about your own first-hand experience can help your audience connect with you.
  • A reported story or fact about relatable real people or public figures can help you form a connection too – as long as they can be verified.
  • A well-loved fictional story can be persuasive too, because shared experiences build connections. But beware of making up tall tales – your audience will see right through it!


Connect evidence and claim together. Remember – if the warrant is weak, the argument falls down and fails to be persuasive. A strong warrant should: 

Answer the question: “So what?"

Avoid hyperbole (over-exaggeration)

Clarify the take away of your speech