ResourcesGet talking!

Resources to support people with complex communication needs
to prepare and give a talk

We need to talk...

With some creativity, there are many ways people who have difficulty using their voice to communicate can be involved in presentations or give their own talk.

These resources were developed with the Merger of Minds peer group of adults who all have complex communication needs and use a communication book or iPad to communicate. They explore some of the ways each of those adults found a way to write and present their own talk.

To watch the talks which the Merger of Minds peer group members wrote, click on the page link below.


For some people, the process of writing and practising the first talk may take some months - remember there is no rush.

It’s ok to keep working towards it and taking opportunities to practice with family, friends and any groups which the person may already be part of.

The idea of giving a talk in front of a group of people is confronting for most of us and so its important that people with complex communication needs don’t feel pressure to perform before they are ready and that they can choose not to present if they don’t want to or that they can pre-record their talk so that there are fewer expectations of them on the day.

For more detailed information please read the report below first - "Supporting people with Complex Communication Needs to be public speakers".

What is a talk?

People with complex communication needs will have seen other people give talks before, for example at school, but may not have seen a wide range of talks given by others to understand what the purpose is. They also may never have thought of themselves as being able to give a talk and might need the chance to discuss and process this as a possibility. This is a reader to start that discussion.

Acknowledgement of Country

This is a reader to explore giving an Acknowledgement of Country.

Talking about why I like things

The reasons why you like things can make your talk more interesting and help people to get to know you better. This is a reader to explore ways to tell people about why you like certain things.

Saying hello

The first thing we do in a talk is to introduce ourselves. There are lots of different ways to say hello. How we say hello can tell people about us, how we feel about your talk or how we feel about our topic. This is a reader to start thinking about different ways to say hello.

Talking about things I like

A good starting point for a first talk is to tell people about things we like. This is a reader to start thinking about how to identify the things you like which could be part of your talk.

How to share a story

This is a reader about how to structure a story to include in a talk or presentation.

Being me, Being you - talking about communication

If you watch the Merger of Minds talks, each person spoke about how they want other people to be with them and what effective communication looks like. The Merger group used this reader to help them to think about and identify what they wanted other people to know about how to relate with them.

Click on the panel to view the corresponding document, if any.

Don't know where to start?
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