This exercise provides an opportunity to be agile and adaptive while communicating. The hand gestures presented by the partners force the story to take a different direction than it might have otherwise taken. Often, when we are leading change, outside forces may come along unexpectedly. Being able to adapt
in these situations will contribute to our success with whatever we are working on.
Download Activity Worksheet
What to do
- Ask participants to come up with hand gestures that signify the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). For example, pinching your nose may signify “smell.”
- Divide participants into pairs.
- Assign one member of each team to be the storyteller and another to deliver hand gestures to influence the direction of the story.
- Have the storyteller make up a story starting with “There once was a boy who was lost in the woods…”
- While the story is being told, the other team member will help direct the story by giving the storyteller different hand gestures.
- The storyteller must shift the description of the story according to the hand gestures being presented. For example, if their partner pinches their nose, they may say “but there was a strange smell in the woods.”
- As you work through the story, try to direct the story by using all the hand gestures.
- After one round, ask participants to switch roles and play again.
- What was difficult about this exercise? Did anyone stumble while telling their story?
- Who successfully told their story using the five senses?
- Who shifted their story according to the hand gesture delivered?