Exercises to try #4 Storycards
Once upon a time…
We’ve shared with you GROUPS; ABC; and Listen, Check, Summarise; all of which help enhance our communication skills and, more than anything, build connection, and help to make the start of any meeting a little more human. This is only a small selection of exercises that we use when running events and workshops, and we hope that you find them useful!
Our work is always about the human connection. Whether that’s human to human, human to brand, human to mission statement, human to company vision; it all starts and pretty much ends with us, the people. The humans.
The way we communicate is critical. And one of the best ways to share information is through stories. Stories have been the currency of communication since the beginning of time.
Each one of us would most certainly be able to name several people who are great storytellers and whom we admire. People who are skilled at grabbing your attention, drawing you in and sweeping you up onto the journey with them. There’s only one way to get better at storytelling and that’s to practise. So, here’s an exercise that easily helps us do just that.
This week we will share our exercise ‘STORYCARDS’. (Yep, it is another ingeniously named exercise!)
How to play
It’s a straightforward exercise done in pairs. Stretching your mind to think quickly about a random topic. Requiring you to be in the moment, flexible and, ideally, articulate!
To help you along with this exercise, we have a lovely free download for you of some of our favourite cards. Just click here to access it. Alternatively, you might want to create your own set.
Get into pairs. Decide who is A and who is B.
If you have taken advantage of our free download, you should now have two sets of cards- Storycards part one and Storycards part two.
Like any good story, we begin at the beginning; Part one. Person A turns over their first card and must immediately begin telling person B a story about the word that they read on their card. The idea here is to be quick and spontaneous- it doesn’t matter what comes into your head, just start talking! Give person A 30 seconds and then it is time to move on ot the next card- remember, just go with it!
This first round is simply a single word. so get ready, and off you go!
As each story is told, person A should begin relaxing into this ‘off the cuff’ storytelling and hopefully there should be plenty of laughter too! After person A has told a few stories (probably 3 or 4) person B takes the remainder of the part one cards and it is now their turn to be the storyteller.
We now move on to part two. Make sure person A now has the Storycards Part two deck. Similar to before, they are to turn the card over and begin telling the story that comes to mind immediately. The twist here is that the cards contain prompting sentences. This build from a single word to a sentence encourages our brain to think a bit bigger, but in the confines of our exercise, to retain the speed and impromptu thought.
Again, after person A has had a few tries at telling stories, hand the rest of the deck to Person B for their turn.
When everyone has had a few turns at part two of Storycards, it can be fun to get some of the stories out into the room. Do encourage people to share their friend’s best stories as there will almost certainly be either hilarity or just a collective wow’ moment which are always a nice human way to kick off any session.
Of course, we don’t expect anyone to share anything they are not comfortable with- Let people stay safe in their pairs and don’t expose anyone too publicly.
All in all, this is a great way for teams to get to know each other better. And a good starter exercise for anyone interested in improvisation. So if you fancy giving this a go at your next team meeting, download our free sample pack of Storycards and give it a whirl!
We would like to finish off our favourite quote on stories, the brilliant Brené Brown calls stories, ‘Data with soul’. We like that.
Download a pdf workshop sheet of our Storycards exercise.
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