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Creative Writing
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Spot the Fake News Exercise

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

Article Rating:::: 17 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:::: 11 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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Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique

Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique
Training Articles, Creativity, Problem Solving, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, March 25, 2019

In the 21st century world, we often need to be creative when solving problems especially with the constant need to stand out in today’s crowded markets. Being creative is therefore a very useful skill.

Much like any other skill, creativity is something you can get better at by following a proven structured approach and by practicing. The more systematic the method, the easier it is to practice and master it.

In the past few decades, there has been much progress on creative thinking. The researches on this topic has led to some great insights. It is now well known that resting the brain after intense periods of thinking and problem solving can significantly boost creativity. Many thinkers and experts such as Edison, Einstein and Salvador Dali have utilised this technique to great benefit. The question is how you should go about this to maximise the benefits.

The idea of resting the brain is about silencing your conscious thought (CT) in order to unleash the power of your unconscious thought (UT). That conscious thought, however, must get engaged enough at some point for this whole thing to work.

If you are a trainer or are in a position of teaching any subject, you will inevitably be giving your learners some problems to solve. Problem solving often requires creative thinking. You and your learners can use the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique described here to strengthen your creative thinking. It is designed to help our minds work at peak performance.

 

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Teamwork Exercise: Broadcast News

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

Article Rating:::: 452 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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Creative Writing Exercise: The Last Straw

Creative Writing Exercise: The Last Straw
Exercises, Creativity, Persuasion Skills, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 36 Ratings :::: Monday, November 24, 2014

In this creative writing exercise delegates change a given instruction to a funny statement that is deemed more effective. The humour helps to increase the likelihood of the instruction being followed and also make it more memorable. It is a good exercise for writing short instructions/signs to be used in public places.

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Icebreaker: This Reminds Me of…

Icebreaker: This Reminds Me of…
Public Speaking, Exercises, Icebreakers, Storytelling, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 56 Ratings :::: Monday, November 3, 2014

This exercise helps with creative storytelling and impromptu delivery. It can also be used as an icebreaker to help delegates learn about each other. The choice of objects dictates what kinds of areas would be covered. Choose the object based on the background of delegates as well as their age. You can also use it for an exercise on creative writing or public speaking.

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Google Ngram: Ever Wondered When a Given Word Became Popular?

Google Ngram: Ever Wondered When a Given Word Became Popular?
Exercises, Marketing, Storytelling, Branding, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 36 Ratings :::: Monday, September 15, 2014

Modern tools can provide a great insight on how certain terms have been used in the past. With the advent of search engines and in particular the ever more useful tools released by Google we can examine the index of millions of books and observe the popularity of certain terms in literature.

This exercise is meant to be an exploratory activity where delegates sit behind computers and use the tool to test out the use of various terms. The tool is known as Google Books Ngram Viewer which is the result of indexing thousands of books.

Initially, you will give delegates specific terms to research and later you can let them use the tool freely to see what insights they can come up with.

This exercise is useful for courses on marketing, branding, writing, languages and art.

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Story Design Exercise: The Alternative

Story Design Exercise: The Alternative
Exercises, Art, Storytelling, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 49 Ratings :::: Monday, September 8, 2014

In this exercise delegates practice designing a story. Story design can be quite challenging so this exercise helps to break it up to a simpler task by giving delegates a helpful starting point. You can use this exercise in conjunction with other story telling exercises to train delegates on various skills required to make a story from scratch.

This exercise may lead to spoiling a number of movies for some delegates who might not have seen the movies yet. Since this exercise works best if everyone has seen a given movie under consideration, and to avoid the spoiling issue, you can consider using a rule that any chosen movie must have been seen by everyone.

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Creative Writing Exercise: The Teacher Learns

Creative Writing Exercise: The Teacher Learns
Exercises, Giving Feedback, Storytelling, Learning, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 71 Ratings :::: Monday, July 21, 2014

In this creative writing exercise, delegates get to write a short piece about an interaction between a teacher and a student where the teacher learns something from the student. This is of course contrary to the role of a teacher but it is actually more common than one might think. It requires thinking beyond the direct lesson to see what a teacher can learn while teaching a student.

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