Sometimes the most important part of a meeting or event is making contacts, networking. This activity uses the format of a personals ad to have people introduce themselves and quickly identify people they wish to get to know.

The format is simple. On an index card, people write:

  • Name:
  • Attributes:*
  • Turn-ons: **
  • Turn-offs: **
  • Seeking:***

    *This means relevant information about you for the purposes of this event, e.g., in a meeting of labor activists, your union affiliation or other organization, etc. People should feel free to play with this, though.

How was class?

A "quick and dirty" evaluation activity.

In groups of three, people prepare a short (2 minute) role play based on this scenario:

It's the day after class. One person meets his/her two friends who attended class. S/he asks them, "How was class last night?", pressing them for details. The role play ends when the friend asks, "will you go to the class next week?" and the person replies.

Like in any role play, it helps to choose a specific place and time of day, so people can imagine a context for their meeting.

The Bad Interpreter

In this game, three people have a conversation with one person playing the role of interpreter. In fact all three are speaking the same language, but two pretend they do not understand each other, so they need the interpreter.

The interpreter's role in this game is to misinterpret everything the speakers say, producing the maximum of confusion and misunderstanding.


Person 1: I am very pleased to meet you.

Interpreter: He says, "what took you so long?"

Person 2: I am not late; I think our meeting was for 4pm and it is 4pm now?

"Well, why didn't you say so?"

A playful communication exercise.

Participants each write a sentence on a sheet of paper: e.g. "I am hungry" "It looks like rain." "Obama wants to bomb Syria."

When all are done, they pass the paper to the next person, who writes another sentence that says the same thing as the first: e.g., "I want to eat something" "It's going to rain." "The president is talking about attacking Syria." Pass again, and so on, until there are ten sentences, or the paper gets back to the original writer.

Instant Playback

Idea for an activity:

Like the mirror game, where you mimic the other person's movements in real time, in this game one person speaks, one sentence at a time, and the listener repeats verbatim what the speaker said, as close to simultaneously as possible.

Maybe start with the mirror game, as a warm-up, then introduce speech. (One might also show the great mirror sequence in Duck Soup.)

The idea is to make the speaker, listener, and referee more attentive to the exact way they are expressing themselves.