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Giving a Short Introductory Talk about P.E.T. (adapt for B.Y.B. or T.E.T.)

Giving a Short Introductory Talk about P.E.T. (adapt for B.Y.B. or T.E.T.)

Written by Kathryn Tonges

The following notes are taken from a power point presentation by Kathryn Tonges for ETIA Instructors. Main points: A. the issues that need to be considered prior to preparing your talk; B. Outline of a short talk example; C. Summary of short talk; D. Roadblock exercise “The Reluctant Player”.

A. Issues to consider prior to preparing your talk.

Slide 1: Why give a talk?

  • Help market your upcoming courses
  • Gain new contacts – build a client base
  • Saves you time in the long run
  • Keeps momentum happening
  • Builds relationships in local community
  • Grows your public speaking skills.

Slide 2: What stops you and why?

  • Fear (False Evidence Appearing Real)
  • Judgement; imperfection; not being good enough; anxiety?

What will you do to overcome this and reframe your thinking?

Slide 3: Who will you contact?

  • Your course graduates – help spread the word
  • Friends, other parents, grandparents
  • Teachers, carers, support workers.
  • Organisations: schools, kindys, playgroups, ABA, medical centres, psychologists
  • Individuals, businesses, sports clubs, community centres
  • Networking or business groups
  • Media – local radio.

Start writing your list!

Slide 4: What will you say & how?
1. Background

  • What is the focus that the organisation wants – what are their needs eg resilience; growth mindset; dealing with defensive customers?
  • How much time have they allocated?
  • Do they have facility for Power Point?

Slide 5: What will you say & how?
2. Promoting your talk

  • AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
  • Decide on a title to capture interest for the organisation’s promotion eg identify a problem and how it can be solved.
  • Promote, promote, promote.

Slide 6: What will you say & how?
3. Content of your talk:

  • Be clear about the value for your audience?
  • Consider two to three main points  – don’t overwhelm with too much information. Participants need to leave wanting to know more and signing up for your course.
  • Make it interactive.
  • Allow time for Q & A at the end.
  • Prepare Expression of Interest forms to hand out prior to Q & A.
  • If you use Power Point – keep written points brief.

Slide 7: Content of your talk– AIDA

Attention: your topic needs to capture attention ; Interest: how will you arouse curiosity and interest; Desire: to want to learn more; Action: to sign up for your course.

Your audience’s needs: It is all about the value for the prospective client. Potentially your audience needs are:

1. Reassurance:

  • Credibility – P.E.T. and Yours.
  • P.E.T. skills bring out the best in their child, themselves and their relationship.
  • Investing time and money in a P.E.T. course.

2. Practical & helpful information:

  • Experiencing the difference between non-effective and effective methods and learning something new.

3. To learn more:

  • Sign up for your next course.


B. Overview of a short talk by Kathryn Tonges

The following is one example of a short talk that could be up to 30 minutes or shortened to 10 minutes if you exclude the role play. If you are asked to speak for 45 minutes then you could include a Going to Grandma’s role play from session 1.

Bold print indicates the wording on each slide. Non- bold print indicates the main points that I speak about or points to consider.

Slide 1: (A Title for your talk)

  • I decide on a name for the short talk depending on what the client (eg a school or playgroup) wants and that arouses curiosity in the potential audience eg Bring Out the Best in Your Child;
  • I include a photo of my family so that I can introduce myself and my background and why I am passionate about P.E.T. – I share how P.E.T. has benefitted me and my family.

Slide 2: Gordon Training International

  • 3 or 4 points about GTI and Dr Gordon (this helps build credibility and that it is a time-tested programme).
  • Photo of Dr Gordon and photos of P.E.T. book, T.E.T. book and BYB.

Slide 3: How do you decide which is the best parenting approach?

  • What characteristics would you like your child to have developed by the time they are 18 years?
  • Photo of older teenager.

Share that deciding how to parent can be confusing with so much diverse information available. This exercise will help them clarify what is important for them. Allow a few minutes for audience to think about this question, then write up their answers on a whiteboard or butcher’s paper to refer to later. Explain that these answers provide a benchmark for deciding how you parent – the best way to bring out these characteristics. Some parenting approaches bring out the opposite.

A P.E.T. course will bring out these characteristics in child and parent.

The course is interactive. Effective communication skills for any situation build layer upon layer with plenty of opportunity to practise and discuss.

Needs of child, parent and family are respected – neither authoritarian or permissive.

Slide 4: (Optional and only if you have 30 minutes to 45 minutes for your whole talk) How do you decide which is the best parenting approach?

  • What characteristics would you like to have as a parent?

Similar discussion as for slide 3.

Slide 5: Roadblocks: lead to defensiveness & fixed mindset

Name Calling
Being Sarcastic

Roadblock exercise: Read out scenario (see below) and ask audience to be the collective child and react to roadblocks as they think a child would. Speak to 12 individual audience members or double up if you need to. Have fun with it. Then discuss how each person felt and how they think children feel when spoken to this way. Answer the usual questions and concerns briefly about giving orders, praise and reassurance.

Slide 6: “When someone is drowning, it’s not the time to teach them to swim.”
– Haim Ginott

  • Photo of parent consoling a child
  • Explain the time to teach is when there is no problem
  • Refer to brainstormed list of ‘characteristics’ from earlier exercise and note that roadblocks do not bring out the characteristics that they want for their child. P.E.T. teaches skills that do!

Slide 7: Active Listening
(listening to verbal & non-verbal cues when your child has a problem or unmet needs)

A. L. = Facts + Feelings

BENEFITS for a Growth Mindset :

  • Assists child finding a solution
  • Discharges strong feelings and flooding
  • Clarity of thought
  • Warm, understanding relationships.

Discuss how you could active listen the child from previous role play. What were they feeling, what was the fact?  How does this feel? What benefit would this be to the child? and the relationship?

Slide 8: Parent Effectiveness Training teaches effective communication skills so that:

  • Your kids learn to ‘own’ their problems and to solve them (growth mindset)
  • Relationships grow and problems are prevented
  • Needs of child, parent and family are respected.

Summing up of how skills are taught to suit who owns a problem or has an unmet need in the family and also when there is no problem how to grow relationships and connection.

Slide 9: What do parents say?

Include a few short testimonials from parents and your contact details.

Perhaps include quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Explain and hand out the expression of interest forms for parents to complete and hand in. I have a number of rows so that a number of parents can write their names on the one sheet.

Ask for any questions while the expression of interest forms are completed and passed to other parents. If any questions require detailed explanation active listen the concern and speak with parent later – you could also add that the course requires time to learn skills that will help.

Thank audience for attending and that you look forward to supporting them in their parenting journey.


C. Summary: An Overview of a Short Talk about P.E.T.

1.Background about P.E.T. and Thomas Gordon.

Your personal introduction and how you got involved. (Why you are teaching the course).

2. How to decide to be an effective parent? Can be confusing.

Characteristics you want your child to have by adult age. Brainstorm and list. Use as a benchmark to decide whether what you are doing is bringing this about.

3.  P.E.T. course overview:

P.E.T. skills will bring out these characteristics in child and parent.

Course is interactive, and skills for any communication situation build layer upon layer.

Needs of child, parent and family are respected – neither authoritarian or permissive.

4. Roadblock activity: child wants to stay inside during recess. Have fun with this and discuss. You want participants to feel and understand the effects and want to learn another way.

5. P.E.T. skill: Outline how they could listen instead to child’s feelings – discuss & define listening.

6. Hand out Expression of Interest forms. Q & A. Thank you for opportunity.


D. “The Reluctant Player” – Roadblock exercise (modified from 1995 GTI P.E.T. Instructor Guide)

Instructor will play the parent who uses roadblocks. The participants will play a collective 11 year old child in the 5th grade. Lately the child has been staying in the classroom during the lunchbreak, doing things for the teacher, rather than going out to the playground with the other kids, The child does not want to play with the other kids because s/he does not think s/he is good enough basketball player. Lately, all the other kids have been playing only basketball.

Tell the participants that they the child have just told you the parent: “I’ve been staying in the classroom during the lunchbreak instead of going out on the stupid playground to play basketball. I’m no good at basketball.”

Instructor responds to each of the comments of the child by using one of the 12 Roadblocks (a different roadblock for each person – double up if less than 12 people). Ask ‘the child’ to respond as a child might respond and if they don’t feel comfortable then they can pass.


“I don’t want you to stay in the classroom. Tomorrow you go outside and play basketball with the other children.”


“If you don’t get out there and play, you’ll never learn and then you’ll regret it the rest of your life.”


“Well, you really shouldn’t act that way. All children ought to learn how to play basketball.”


“Why don’t you practise more here at home in the evening and then you won’t want to stay inside.”


“Staying inside at lunchbreak is not the way to learn. The only way you’ll ever learn is to just go out and do it.”


“I think you’re just too lazy to go out and play.”


“Well you’re always such a good kid. I’m sure you know what you’re doing.”


“You’re just a spoiled brat. If you can’t be the star then you’re just a quitter.”


“It’s my opinion that you’re doing this to get more of the teacher’s attention, and maybe you’re not getting enough sleep and so you’re tired.”


“Don’t worry about it. It’s probably just a phase you’re going through. In a couple of weeks you’ll be over this.”


“Who else stays in the room with you? How do you feel when the lunch bell rings? What does the teacher say?”


“Let’s just forget about it right now. We’ll talk about it later. Right now, tell me about the nice things that you’re doing at school.”

Stop the role play. Ask ‘the collective child’ how they are feeling. Active Listen to bring out the details of these feelings.

Kathryn Tonges

Kathryn Tonges

Online Australia & NZ, QLD

I have been deeply rewarded seeing positive transformations in families by teaching P.E.T. effective communication skills since 1978. My two sons are now parents, and I am witness to their natural use of P.E.T. skills in all their interactions with children and people. My passion is to share these skills with others through these options: 1. Parent Effectiveness Training - for parents, grandparents, carers. 2. Be Your Best – personal empowerment skills for self, relationships, and the workplace. 3. Teacher Effectiveness Training – increases the quality of interactions between student and teacher with more teaching-learning time. 4. Instructor Training - I am a Master Trainer of P.E.T., B.Y.B., T.E.T. and Y.E.T. for ETIA Ltd. In my teaching career I taught from early childhood to tertiary level focusing on Child Development and Communication Skills. I lived in Beijing for seven years and conducted P.E.T. and B.Y.B. courses for expatriates as well as training expatriates to become P.E.T. instructors. I have written for parenting magazines in Beijing and Australia and blog for my website The Parent Within ( Whilst in Beijing I co-authored a book with P.E.T. Instructors I had trained, to help expatriate children cope with the changes in their life. In the last couple of years I have taken on the position of President of ETIA Ltd. Children, parenting, and effective communications continues to be my passion as I share these courses both online (Australia and NZ) or face to face in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast as well as coaching parents individually.

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About ETIA

The Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA) Ltd is a not-for-profit, community based organisation that is dedicated to making courses in communication and conflict resolution skills available and accessible to all people in Australia.

ETIA’s mission is to provide individuals with effective communication and conflict resolution skills to build connected, harmonious relationships.

Our inspiration and programs come from the late Dr Thomas Gordon who is the author and founder of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program and Gordon Training International (GTI).

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