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.
Pick a story and report it by producing a video as if the story is delivered by a news anchor.
What You Need
- Three separate areas, including the training room. The aim is to create an environment so each group can work together without overhearing or seeing others.
- You will need to decide on a number of parameters based on your training needs before going through this exercise:
- Decide how much time you are going to give to groups to prepare their news stories. As a guide consider a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Decide on the length of each presentation. As a guide aim for about 3 minutes. The longer the presentation, the more time you need to give for the preparation stage.
- Decide how much time groups have to record their news. Allocate about 30 minutes for this as they are likely to need several attempts to get it right.
- Decide what materials are provided. Consider access to magazines and newspapers, computers, Internet, mobile phones or other devices during the exercise.
- A tablet device.
- A teleprompter app on a tablet computer.
- A copy of Score Sheet provided below for each delegate.
- Divide the delegates to three groups.
- Explain that in this exercise each group gets to prepare a news story and should present it. They should record their presentation on video. The video is then used for evaluation.
- Provide the materials and explain what resources are allowed. For example, can they access the internet during the exercise?
- Explain that they would have 30 minutes to prepare their story before moving to production.
- Send two groups to two different rooms while keeping one group in the current room.
- Groups should research their stories using the resources provided.
- Each group should write their story as it would be told during an evening news.
- Each group should then nominate the following:
- A newsreader.
- A cameraman. This person is responsible to record the performance on camera (such as a dedicated camera or a mobile phone). It is best if the camera can be placed on a tripod.
- A director. This person is responsible to manage the newsreader and the cameraman.
- A documentary maker. This person is responsible to record the production attempt and make a behind-the-scenes video.
- Ask each group to use a teleprompter app on a tablet computer and set it up with their specific story.
- After the allocated time for preparing the stories, ask each group to start production and record their presentations. The director should manage the production.
- Allocate 30 minutes for this production.
- Note that each group should record their stories separately from others.
- Strictly apply the timing for each stage to keep the competition fair. Make sure to provide 10 minutes and 5 minutes warnings before the deadline for each stage.
- Provide 30 minutes of post-production in case they want to edit their videos and create a final cut. This is supposed to be a quick edit—the kind they can do on their phones.
- Bring all teams back together.
- Transfer the story videos and behind-the-scene videos from each team to a central computer connected to the projector so you can show the videos to everyone.
- Distribute a copy of the Score Sheet to each delegate.
- Show the news video of one group. Ask for feedback and encourage discussions on the quality of the video, the story and the production.
- Show the behind-the-scenes video for the same group.
- Ask all delegates other than those involved in this story to score the performance.
- Allocate about 15 minutes of showing videos and evaluation for each group.
- Continue with the other two groups until all videos are shown and evaluated.
- Calculate the average score of each team based on the Score Sheets and decide the winning team.
- Bring back all together and follow with a discussion.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes
Activity: 30 min preparation + 30 min production + 30 min post-production + (15 min * 3) = 135 minutes for three groups
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
Which group’s performance has been the best? Why did they do well? How much of the end quality depended on creativity and how much on teamwork and group management? How did each group nominate various roles? Were people in each team happy with their roles? Were there any conflicts and how did they address it? Was each group happy with their performance? Having seen the behind-the-scenes of other groups, was there something to learn from other group’s approaches to the project?
If you had a chance to go through this exercise again, would you approach it differently?
Rate the following from 1 to 5 (poor to excellent).
Significance of the news story:
Writing quality of the story:
Overall team coordination, attention to detail and performance:
Quality of the behind-the-scene video:
Your overall subjective score:
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