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Storytelling
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Spot the Fake News Exercise

Spot the Fake News Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Storytelling, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The advent of “Fake News” means that we are currently going through a major phase in history. Fake news has come to dominate the news, literally. It is sometimes amusing, but most often frightening. Social media is the prime vehicle of distribution and it is very easy to be deceived by a combination of fake news, misleading ads and filter bubbles as you go through your feed.

As such, this topic deserves a lot more attention. Even though through various political earthquakes in recent years, we have been aware of the detrimental effects of this new phenomenon, not a lot has been done to mitigate it. We are still very susceptible to deception. There has been some pressure on technology companies to conform and do something about the prevalence of fake news, which is good, but if we follow the money, we cannot expect much change anytime soon. The other way to approach this is to train ourselves to become more resistant in accepting and believing everything we read online. We must harden ourselves to manipulation.  

The ability to question anything and everything, and develop independent thinking is fundamental in saving us from fake news, fake science, pseudo-science, religious preaching, desire-inducing marketing in things we don’t need, cult hysteria or belief in instantaneous combustion! We need to harden ourselves and our minds against random bits of unconfirmed news, unchecked sources, persuasive rants and unverified claims. This requires training.

This exercise is an opportunity to help us question everything by having an attempt in creating fake news in a controlled environment and see how others react to it.  

You can also use the exercise presented here for creative writing and team building. There is a certain amount of humour involved in everything fake and this exercise can help bring people together through humour. It can also be educational in that people can learn about some really weird stuff they had no idea about, so long as they can be convinced of them with valid references; this is the whole point of the exercise after all—to question everything.

This exercise is also ideal for younger people who are susceptible to manipulation due to lack of knowledge. See the Variations at the end on how to adjust the exercise to suit your specific training needs.

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Fortunately - Unfortunately

Fortunately - Unfortunately
Exercises, Communication Skills, Motivation, Decision Making, Storytelling, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 8 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

This classic game was popularised in 80s. It is fun to play and helps to generate a lot of positives and negatives for a given topic. Delegates go through a series of statements that start with ‘fortunately’ or ‘unfortunately’ while alternating between them.

Use this exercise for creativity, building narrative and storytelling. It is a great exercise to highlight that there is always a flipside to a negative or positive.

This exercise is also useful for analysing the development of a project over time, especially one that is troubled. The beauty of this exercise is that positive and negative statements are always balanced against each other; you can never say too many good things or bad things about a topic and hence it encourages participants to focus on improving it or creating a balanced narrative.

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Converged Words

Converged Words
Exercises, Icebreakers, Large Group, Attention and Focus, Storytelling, Learning, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 5 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 23, 2019

This is a fun exercise focusing on word play where the delegates need to converge on a common word based on previously suggested words. When convergence happens, it is immensely enjoyable. The pair feel as if they read each other’s minds. As such, this is a great exercise to bring people closer together. You can also use this exercise as an icebreaker though make sure you don’t run it for longer than 15 minutes.

Consider using this exercise for team building, enhancing vocabulary, creativity and memory. It is also a fantastic exercise for practicing a foreign language as delegates must constantly think of new words in a systematic way and since they get to work in teams, they can learn from each other too. You can also run this easily explained exercise for a large group as teams work in parallel without much impact on timing.

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Medieval vs. Modern Roleplay

Medieval vs. Modern Roleplay
Exercises, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

In this exercise delegates put themselves in the medieval era and try to look at the world from a new point of view. Their view is then compared to modern times. In the medieval era, people didn’t know what laser or a computer or a humble can opener was. When a modern person mentions them, a medieval person should get confused. As you can imagine, this is a very fun exercise.

Through this contrast of era many topics can be explored and scrutinised. This exercise helps us, the modern people, to appreciate what the medieval people didn’t have. Here are some examples for comparison:

  • Technologies
  • Discoveries
  • Philosophical understanding
  • Social issues
  • Attitudes towards religion such as believing without questioning
  • Attitudes towards justice
  • Racial, gender and equality issues
  • Political correctness
  • Meritocracy versus class-based society
  • Attitude towards the ruling class

This can be a fun way to explore some very serious topics, though the main benefit of this exercise is to practice listening skills. The exercise is designed to make people focus on what the other person is saying. It is also great for roleplaying, acting, storytelling and learning history.

 

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Storytelling Exercise: Form a Line

Storytelling Exercise: Form a Line
Exercises, Team Building, Acting, Marketing, Storytelling, Branding

Article Rating:::: 104 Ratings :::: Monday, July 31, 2017

This is a creativity exercise that encourages delegates to create a story together as a group. It is ideal for team building, acting and creativity. You can also modify the exercise to limit its scope to match specific training needs. For example, the nature of the story can be limited to current affairs so that the focus is on journalism. Alternatively, you can limit it for marketing, branding or creative story telling.

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Teamwork Exercise: Broadcast News

Teamwork Exercise: Broadcast News
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Presentation Skills, Storytelling, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 424 Ratings :::: Monday, July 20, 2015

This is an entertaining and educational activity designed to test a group of people on their creativity as well as teamwork. The task involves producing a video. However, the video production is only an excuse to see how a team goes about a common task where several distinct roles are involved. There is a strict deadline, limited resources and a sense of competition with other teams.

The activity can be used to explore many subjects on interpersonal skills such as leadership, resource management, conflict management, coordination, teamwork, reaching deadlines, accepting limited resources and a focused approach to producing results. It is also ideal for courses on public speaking and presentation skills.

 

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Free Speaking: Avoiding Speaker’s Block

Free Speaking: Avoiding Speaker’s Block
Public Speaking, Exercises, Personal Impact, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 32 Ratings :::: Sunday, April 5, 2015

This is a technical activity to help avoiding speaker’s block while presenting. The aim is to follow a systematic approach in practicing over and over again until delegates are confident enough that they can deliver a speech without getting stuck. This a great activity in handling stage fright.

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Public Speaking Exercises

Public Speaking Exercises
Exercises, Presentation Skills, Personal Impact, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 142 Ratings :::: Monday, February 2, 2015

This is a series of exercises to practice public speaking and presentation skills. The key to mastering the art is practicing. The exercises here provide a template that you can adapt in various training courses. Consider using these exercises in courses such as:

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Personal Impact Exercise: Just a Minute

Personal Impact Exercise: Just a Minute
Public Speaking, Exercises, Personal Impact, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 72 Ratings :::: Monday, January 5, 2015

This is technical exercise to practice public speaking. It is designed to focus a presenter’s mind on a specific goal when giving a speech so it is delivered without pause. The exercise also helps to avoid mental blocks or the dreadful feeling of suddenly not knowing what to say or how to continue.

The exercise is loosely based on “Just a Minute”, a BBC Radio 4 radio comedy and television panel game.

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Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story with Three Images

Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story with Three Images
Exercises, Creativity, Acting, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Monday, November 17, 2014

This exercise helps to test the creativity of delegates on their ability to make stories based on a series of images. Each delegate sees a series of images and needs to make an interesting story that will connects them all together.

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