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Story Telling Energizers

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Here are ten of my favorite storytelling exercises. I use these any time I need to energize a group. These are intended to be short exercises. They provide people with a break from what they are doing while helping them to strengthen critical communication skills of extemporaneous creativity. If I am facilitating an all day workshop, afternoons are a perfect time to insert one of these exercises. People get an opportunity to exercise their storytelling skills while having some fun.

Text of Story Telling Energizers

  • STORY ENERGIZERS

    Quick Tools For Revving Up A Groups EnergyWhile Building Skills & Having Fun

    TERRENCE GARGIULO [email protected] phone: 415-948-8087

  • STORYENERGIZERSHerearetenofmyfavoritestorytellingexercises.IusetheseanytimeIneedtoenergizeagroup.Theseareintendedtobeshortexercises.Theyprovidepeoplewithabreakfromwhattheyaredoingwhilehelpingthemtostrengthencriticalcommunicationskillsofextemporaneouscreativity.IfIamfacilitatinganalldayworkshop,afternoonsareaperfecttimetoinsertoneoftheseexercises.Peoplegetanopportunitytoexercisetheirstorytellingskillswhilehavingsomefun.Manyoftheseexercisesdonotneedtohaveaclearend.Inotherwordsnoteveryoneinthegroupneedstodotheexerciseinorderforittobeeffectiveandreinvigorateagroup.Runanexerciselongenoughtogetpeoplerecharged.Youwillfindthatobservershavejustasmuchfunasparticipants.Ifyouarerunningamultidayeventorthegroupyouaredoingtheseexerciseswithmeetsonaregularbasisyoucanreturntoanexerciseandpickupwhereyouleftoffandgiveotherpeopleachancetoparticipate.Ilikethissortofcontinuitysinceitprovidesexcitementforpeople.Theylookforwardtotheexerciseandhaveagoodtimetryingtooutdoeachother.StoryEnergizer Objective1.GrabBag Userandomobjectstostimulateimpromptustorytelling.2.StartFinishStart Createanimprovisedstoryasagroup.3.StoneSoup Explorethestoriesconnectedtocommonobjects.4.IRememberWhen Usekeymomentsoflifeandfictitiouseventstotriggerstories.5.MusicalStory Useapieceofmusictostimulatepeopletotellastory.6.MatchMaker Transformpeoplesfunfactsintroastorytellinggame.7.IfIWas Placepeopleincontrivedsituationstopromptzanystories.8.GenieinaBottle Imaginetheconsequencesofafulfilledwishandtellastoryaboutit.9.StoryInterrupts Discoverhowstoriesarepresentinconversationsallthetime.10.ReversePlots Imaginealternativescenariostowellknownmovies.

  • 1.GrabBagUserandomobjectstostimulateimpromptustorytelling.TimeRequired3minutestosetuptheexercise,2minutesperperson Createabagfilledwithrandomobjects(anythingworkse.g.paperweight,

    pens,toys,etc).Bewackybutusegoodjudgment.Tospicethingsuptrythrowinginanobjectthatisrepresentativeoftheorganization.

    Havepeopleselectanobject.Ifitsasmallgrouphaveeveryoneselectan

    objectfromthebag,otherwisedeterminehowmuchtimeyouwanttheexercisetotakeandaskforanappropriatenumberofvolunteers.

    Instructpeopletheyhavetwominutestothinkofastoryabouttheirobject.It

    doesntmatterifitsarealstoryfromtheirexperienceoramadeupstory.Thereisnoneedtoprovidetoomuchguidanceletpeoplehavefunwithit.

    2.StartFinishStartCreateanimprovisedstoryasagroup.TimeRequired10minutes Ifpossiblehavepeoplesitinacircle.Informthemthattheywillbeworkingas

    agrouptomakeupastoryonthespotinrealtime.Thisexerciseworksequallywellwithasmallgroup(5personminimum)orwithlargegroups.Forlargegroupsaskforvolunteersandarrangeacircleofchairsinthefrontoftheroom,oriftheroomdoesnotpermitithavepeoplestaywheretheyare.

    Startastory,OnceuponatimeFillinthefirstsentenceortwo.Itryto

    incorporatesubjectsanddetailsrelevanttothegroupbutitsnotnecessary.Letthestorygowhereitwill.Eachpersonaddstostorybyfillinginafewsentencesandthenhandingitofftothenextperson.Continuethiswayoneortwotimesaroundthecircle.Youcanbethedesignatedstoryenderorrandomlyinformaparticipantthattheymustfinishthestory.

  • 3.StoneSoupExplorethestoriesconnectedtocommonobjects.TimeRequired3minutesperobject,2minutedebriefattheend Callonaparticipanttopointtoanyobjectintheroom.Itcanbeanythingso

    dontworryabouthowmundanetheobjectmightbe.Thatspartofthebeautyofthisexercise.

    Askforthreevolunteerstoactasstorytellers.Onemustofferastory

    explainingwheretheobjectcamefrom,thesecondvolunteermustofferastoryofhowitcameintobeing,andthethirdmustofferastoryofhowtheobjectgotintotheroom.

    Afterthestoriesarefinishedseeifanyoneelseinthegrouphasanyother

    storytoadd. Conductaminidebriefattheendoftheexercise.Peoplearesurprisedathow

    manyinterconnecteddependenciesandstoriestherearebehindasimpledaytodayobjectthatwetendtotakeforgranted.Thisinsightcanbeappliedtolotsoforganizationalandinterpersonalsituations.

    4.IRememberWhenUsekeymomentsoflifeandfictitiouseventstotriggerstories.TimeRequired2minutesperperson Prepareastackofindexcardswith,Irememberwhenphrasesthat

    referencebothreallifeeventsandfictitiousones.Herearesomeexamplestogetyoustarted:

    RealEventsIrememberwhenItookmyfirsttriptoaforeigncountry.IrememberwhenIboughtmyfirstcar.

  • IrememberwhenIwentonmyfirstdate.IrememberwhenIhadmyfirstjobinterview.FictitiousEventsIrememberwhenIwonmyfirstgrandprixracingevent.IrememberwhenIwalkedonthemoon.IrememberwhenIhaddinnerwith(insertfamouspersonofyourchoice).IrememberwhenIstarredinmyfirstblockbustermovie.(Note:Sometimesitsfuntolettheparticipantscomeupwiththephrases).

    Ifeveryonewillnotbedoingtheexercise,askforvolunteers.Havepeopleselectanindexcardatrandom.Givethemaminutetopreparetheirstory.

    5. MusicalStoryUseapieceofmusictostimulatepeopletotellastory. TimeRequired4minutesperpieceofmusic Selectsomepiecesofmusictoplay.Itsbesttohavethemusicqueuedup

    aheadoftime. Playapieceofmusicfor12minutesandthenaskforvolunteerstosharea

    storyinvokedbythemusic.Itcaneitherbearealstory(e.g.maybeamemoryevokedbythemusic)oritcanbeastorytheymakeupbasedonhowthemusictouchesstirstheiremotionsandimaginations.

    6. MatchMakerTransformpeoplesfunfactsintroastorytellinggame.TimeRequired4minutesperfunfact Haveeveryonewritedownafunorinterestingpersonalfactthatnooneinthe

    groupknows.

  • Drawacardatrandomandreadthefactoutloud.Askthegrouptoguesswhotheythinkthisfunfactbelongsto.Getthreenominations.

    Havethreenomineesstandupandtaketurntellingastoryaboutthefunfact. Afterallofthenomineeshavetoldtheirstoriesaskthegrouptovoteon

    whethertheythinkthenomineeisthepersonornot.Tallythevotes. Whenthevotingiscompleteaskthepersonwhichthefunfactbelongsto

    revealthemselvestothegroup.Givethemachancetotelltheirstory. 7. IfIWasPlacepeopleincontrivedsituationstopromptzanystories.TimeRequired3minutesperphrase WritedownalistofIfIwasphrasesonindexcards.Hereareafewideasto

    getyoustarted:

    a. IfIwasKingforaday.b. IfIwastheocean.c. IfIwasthesmartestpersonintheworld.d. IfIwasacomputer.e. IfIwasaMartian.

    Askavolunteertoselectacardatrandomandcompletethesentence.Then

    askthemtopickapersontotellastorythatillustratesthecompletedphrase.8. GenieinaBottleGetpeopletoimaginetheconsequencesofafulfilledwishandtellastoryaboutit.TimeRequired2minutesperwish+1minutetosetuptheexercise

  • Askforavolunteerwithouttellingthemwhattheywillbedoingbutassurethemitissafe,fun,andentertaining.

    Givetherestofthepeopleinthegroupanindexcard.Tellthemageniehas

    beenfreedfromhisbottleandwillgrantthemanywish. Collecttheindexcardsandputtheminabag.Letthevolunteerdrawacardat

    random.Instructhimthathemusttellastoryabouthislifeisdifferentasresultofthisfulfilledwish.Whenthevolunteerisdoneisdonelethimpickanotherpersonwhomustdrawacardandtellastory.Repeatthesequenceasmanytimesasyouwant.

    9. StoryInterruptsDiscoverhowstoriesarepresentinconversationsallthetime.TimeRequired57minutespertopic+3minutestosetuptheexercisethefirsttime Placefivechairsinacircleatthefrontoftheroom. Askforfourvolunteerstojoinyouforaconversation.Explainthatthiswillbe

    discussioncomposedcompletelyofstories.Brainstormsomediscussiontopicsfromthegroup.Steerthegrouptowardstopicsthatarelikelytotriggerlotsofpersonalstories.Forexample,Myhighschoolyears,mycollegeyears,timewithmybestfriends,etc

    Invitethevolunteerstositdowninthechairs.Informthemthatyouwillstart

    theconversationbysharingastory.Themomentanyoneinconversationremembersastorythatistriggeredbytheoneyouaretelling,askthemtoraisetheirhandandkeepitraiseduntilyouaredone.Whenyoufinishyourstory,ifthereismorethanonepersonwithhisorherhandraised,selectthemtotellhisorherstory.Continueuntilyourunoutofstoriesoruntilyoureachedyourdesiredtimelimitforthediscussion.

  • 10. ReversePlotsImaginealternativescenariostowellknownmovies.TimeRequired10minutespermovie Brainstormalistofwellknownmovieswiththegroup.Identifyamoviethat

    everyoneknows.Ifthereareoneortwopeopleunfamiliarwiththemovieasksomeonetogiveabriefsynopsisofthemovie.

    Asksomeonetosuggestamajorchangetothemoviesplot. Leadagroupdiscussionofhowthisproposedchangewouldalterthestoryand

    itscharacters.SUGGESTEDRESOURCESIfyouareinterestedintryingsomelongerstorybasedexperientialactivitiesherearefacilitatorguidesforthree:

    TheMagicThree ThreeChannel RelicThreeinterrelatedstoriesprovideastructuredactivitytoguidepeoplethroughanexperienceofreflection,practiceauthenticcommunication,andcreateaconnectionwithlisteners.

    Developstrongeractivelisteningskillsbycapturinganddecipheringthreechannelsofinformation.Synthesizeinformationfrommultiplechannelstodrawconclusionsandguidecommunicationswithothers.Connectwithothersonadeeperandmorefundamentallevel.

    Createasafeandfunvehicleforpeopletosharesomethingpersonal.Useanobjecttotriggerstories.Gaininsightintostoriesthathavehadaformativeimpactonus.

    CLICKHERE CLICKHERE CLICKHERE

  • Page | 2

    CONSIDER PURCHASING A FEW OF OUR COST EFFECTIVE ONLINE RESOURCES I am very proud and grateful for the crystallization of my story-based communication skills assessment. It was awarded the 2008 HR Leadership Award from the Asia Pacific Human Resource Management Congress CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE ASSESSMENT Are you looking for some easy ways to develop your story-based communication skills or help others on your staff or team? Try our eBook of self- development exercises CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE eBOOK Have you wanted a step-by-step guide to discovering and mining your rich treasure chest of stories so you can leverage them more effectively? Here just the guide to get you started CLICK HERE TO ORDER GUIDE Maybe you just want to work with us. Dont be bashful. Give me a call today. I promise to tell only a few stories but be careful you might yourself launching into a sea of stories !

    PHONE: 415-948-8087

    TerenzioRectangle

  • AUTHORBIO

    TerrenceL.Gargiulo,MMHSisaneighttimesauthor,internationalspeaker,organizationaldevelopmentconsultantandgroupprocessfacilitatorspecializingintheuseofstories.HeholdsaMasterofManagementinHumanServicesfromtheFlorenceHellerSchool,atBrandeisUniversity,andisarecipientofInc.Magazine'sMarketingMasterAward,the2008HRLeadershipAwardfromtheAsiaPacificHRMCongress,andisamemberofBrandeisUniversitysathleticHallofFame.HehasappearedonFoxTV,CN8,andonCNNradioamongothers.Highlightsofsomeofhispastandpresentclientsinclude,GM,HP,DTEEnergy,MicroStrategy,Citrix,Fidelity,FederalReserveBank,Ceridian,CountrywideFinancial,WashingtonMutual,DreyersIceCream,UNUM,USCoastGuard,BostonUniversity,Raytheon,CityofLowell,ArthurD.Little,KANACommunications,MerckMedco,CocaCola,HarvardBusinessSchool,andCambridgeSavingsBank.

    Web:http://www.makingstories.netVideo:http://www.vimeo.com/user2343092/videos

    Email:[email protected]

    INTERVENTIONSCONSULTINGRETREATSWORKSHOPS

    COACHINGSPEAKING

    RECOMMENDED

  • Two master class outlines &

    Facilitator guide for story-based experiential activity

    TERRENCE GARGIULO [email protected] phone: 415-948-8087

  • CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION -- MAKINGSTORIES.net 415-948-8087 [email protected] pg.1

    TITLE: Getting Results with Breakthrough Communication Skills 3 Day Foundational Course DESCRIPTION With the pace of work in todays organizations, are you using your communication skills to get the results you want? Breakthrough communication obliterates barriers and puts us in touch with ourselves and in connection with others. This foundational course looks at the key communication skills we all possess and can strengthen for thriving at work and in our personal relationships. Based on research with Fortune 500 companies, participants are introduced to nine key communication skills that will drive new results in their organization regardless of where they sit. YOURE A NATURAL COMMUNICATOR! Youre committed to becoming a better communicator. Do you know that you have a perfect set of skills for communicating effectively already? Youre trying to build stronger working relationships. Do you use your listening skills to connect more meaningful with others? Youre frustrated because people do not listen to you. Do you have a hard time getting your ideas heard or understood? Youre tired of endless misunderstandings and conflicts. Do you clash with others when you are faced with ideas and positions different from your own? Youre not recognized in your organization. Do you fail to get the feedback and recognition you deserve?

  • CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION -- MAKINGSTORIES.net 415-948-8087 [email protected] pg.2

    How You Will Benefit Discover your natural communication skills and start putting them to work Build stronger and quicker working relationships Convey your thoughts, ideas, and feelings with clarity, confidence, and sincerity Process verbal information with greater speed and accuracy Reduce confusion, frustrations, and misunderstandings when communicating with others Negotiate differences with poise and openness Work more collaboratively with others to achieve better results Increase your visibility and respect in the organization by strengthening your listening skills Reduce reactive and negative exchanges with others Maximize your awareness and sensitivity to others and your environment What You Will Cover Maximize the Communication Skills You Already Have Develop awareness of the nine communication skills we all possess Measure the degree to which you are currently using these skills Practice techniques for strengthening these skills Work with a large collection of self-development activities to keep your skills honed Strategies for Taking in Verbal Information Break verbal communications into three channels of information (content, emotion, intention) Increase powers of observation Engage people communicating with you to increase your understanding Techniques for Interpreting the Information You Hear Create a mental picture of what you hear Relate what you hear with your experiences Sort through the interpretations you generate from listening to others Draw more reliable conclusions to guide your response to others and interactions Communicate with Clarity, Confidence, and Sincerity Selecting the right words Finding good experiences and examples to share with others Hear what you will say before you say it Use compelling language and examples to paint a vivid picture of what you want to

    communicate Speak with your actions as well as your words

  • CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION -- MAKINGSTORIES.net 415-948-8087 [email protected] pg.3

    Developing Your Action Plan Make a commitment to try at least two new strategies in the work place Write a learning plan to continue developing your communication skills Select a goals partner from the course to check-in with on a regular basis for peer support and

    feedback

  • CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION -- MAKINGSTORIES.net 415-948-8087 [email protected] pg.4

    TITLE Return on Experience (ROE): Leveraging Your ROE for Results 2 Day Course DESECRIPTION Leave no experience unturned. This course will show you how to get a return on experiences (ROE).Our experiences are not just nice to have; nor is thinking about them a luxury. Our experiences motivate, drive, and guide all our behaviors and reactions. You will learn and practice research proven techniques for transforming your experiences, and the experiences of others into assets by making better decisions, avoiding past mistakes, and enter new situations with better knowledge and confidence. Participants work with concrete tools for developing the essential skills they need in order to get an ROE and achieve results. HOW YOU WILL BENEFIT Discover how to tap into your wealth of experiences Review your experiences with an open mind Conduct a critical analysis of your experiences Transform your experiences into nuggets of knowledge that will guide future actions Avoid making the same mistakes Leverage your instincts by increasing your awareness of how you form gut opinions Make better decisions more quickly and with less information Improve your working relationships by being more sensitive to eliciting the experiences of

    others and learning from them Become more proactive versus reactive in your relationships with others Implement easy to facilitate group practices for extracting lessons learned from projects WHAT YOU WILL COVER Get A Return on Your Experiences (ROE) Examine why your experiences are so important to achieving better results Discover the potential of tapping into your experiences Tap Into Your Experiences Work with new techniques for quickly remembering your experiences Replay these experiences in your mind to vividly relive them Review Your Experiences Examine your experiences with an open mind Look for the relationships between your past experiences and your current attitudes, values,

    biases, beliefs and assumptions

  • CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION -- MAKINGSTORIES.net 415-948-8087 [email protected] pg.5

    Extract Knowledge Transform your experiences into nuggets of knowledge Examine your experience for repeating patterns of behaviors Decide how you can use the information you extract from your experiences to guide future

    actions Communicate your opinions more effectively by sharing the experiences that have contributed

    to the development of your perspectives Use ROE Techniques to Increase Group Effectiveness Use three simple questions at the end of any meeting to maximize the groups effectiveness Conduct After Action Reviews that focus on peoples experiences to identify key lessons

    learned

  • ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    COMP VIDEOS & CONVERSATION STARTERS

    These are distinctive, stylized short nuggets of organizational poetry offered to clients and prospective clients to encourage people to dialog about themes prevalent in Organizational Development work. Recordings of webinars and keynotes round out this collection of videos. These offeran authentic and personal snapshots into me. Even transcational and bottom line work is first and foremost relational. I want you to know a little about who and how I am. For those that resonate with these I gaurantee we will have a mutually gratifying and productive engagement.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEOS

    AVAIL YOUR SELF OF OVER 30 FREE ARTICLES & WHITE PAPERS

    Are you looking for how the rubber meets the road? Need some practical tips and

    techniques for designing and implementing learning and communication interventions? Heres a repository of great resources sure to offer everyone something. Be sure to

    reach out to me with your questions. Im happy to offer up to 30 minutes of free consult to get people started.

    CLICK HERE FOR RESOURCES

    Story_Telling_Energizers_text.pdfStory_Workshops_Terrence_Gargiulo.pdfPages from Stories_All_Hands_Meeting_Best_Practices_v2.pdfOnce_Upon_Time_Magic_Three.pdf