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Storytelling Exercise: Make a Grand Story Based on a Series of Objects

Storytelling Exercise: Make a Grand Story Based on a Series of Objects


Purpose

Use this exercise on storytelling to encourage creative and spontaneous thinking. This exercise is ideal for courses such as presentation skills and public speaking as well as any course that can benefit from storytelling skills such as improving personal impact.

Objective

Tell a story based on an object that you pick from a hat while continuing the story that others have stated so far.

What You Need

  • A hat
  • A timer
  • Several objects. You need to place all the objects in the hat so that delegates can easily pick one at random. As a result the objects cannot be that big. The choice of objects allows you to control the direction of the story and the exercise so choose based on your training requirements.

Setup

  • Explain to delegates that in this exercise they need to make a story based on an object they pick from a hat. They should be as creative as possible while at the same time they should be consistent when extending the story. Ideally the story must make sense rather than being a combination of disjointed mini-stories.
  • Get the delegates to sit in a circle.
  • Present the hat including the objects that no one can see to a person at random.
  • Ask the person to pick one object from the hat without looking into the hat.
  • The person now has 30 seconds to tell a story based on that object.
  • Ask the person to pass the hat to the next person on the left so the hat rotates in a clockwise direction.
  • Upon receiving the hat each person should pick one object and extend the story told so far based on the object they have picked.
  • Continue until either:
    • Enough time has been spent for this exercise (you can allocate about 5 to 10 minutes)
    • Everyone has picked an object and told a story.
    • No objects are left in the hat.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 5 to 10 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes

Discussion

What did you think of your grand story? Was it easy to come up with your specific part? Was it difficult to make a story based on the object or was it more difficult to extend the current story? Would you do anything differently if you had a chance to go through this exercise again?