Can I get a witness? Listening skills exercise

This article is part of a series from Good Practice, offered to ICAS members as part of the ICAS mentoring programme.

Listening skills are a vital part of the communication process. In this simple exercise you will listen carefully to a description of a fictional witness statement in order to retain and recount as much information as possible. You will need an audio-enabled computer for this exercise.


  • Listen carefully to the full audio version of the witness statement without pausing it or taking any notes.
  • Once the statement has finished, open up the Question Sheet from Supplementary Resources - at the foot of this page and try to answer the questions in as much detail as possible.
  • Compare your answers with the text version of the witness statement (available in Supplementary Resources - at the foot of this page).
  • When you have finished, consider:
  • How much of the statement could you easily remember?
  • What kind of question was more difficult? For example, was it easier to remember the descriptions of the activities, or the factual details?
  • Did you include any information that wasn't part of the witness statement?
  • How did this impact on how many answers you got right?
  • What particular strategies (if any) did you use to help you remember what had been read out?

Think about ways you could improve your listening and retention skills in future. Some top tips are available in The Art of Listening


  • Career mentoring resources

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