Question Tag

by Bernie DeKoven on October 17, 2012

Here’s a little game for a large group – one that will get them talking, thinking, and connecting. I found it in a post by Paul Levy on the Applied Improvisation Network discussion board

The task is simply to state an important question you hope will be addressed during the conference. Once you have shared this with the whole group (It can also be flip charted as we go), you then look very directly at another member of the audience. It can take a little while to tune in to who is being chosen. It is then the turn of that person to stand up and state their important question to the whole group before passing the baton to another participant in the audience. There must be no pointing and verbally naming . It’s all done with focus and direction of gaze and eye contact. This is what gives it the energy.

No little speeches or preambles. Just state the question, then pass on to another.

As the activity progresses it get playful as people choose other people right across the room. If a chosen person doesn’t have a question, they have one of two choices. They can simply stare back at the person who then has to find another person, or they can “pass the buck” onto someone else by gazing at them, without having spoken.

So, it’s one person at a time, one question at a time, then pass on to the next person!

It gets quicker and we collectively travel down as learning curve as the group begins to cohere and resonate. The Resonance comes from starting to get a feel that we are in a shared space and that the intensity of our gaze – the “gesture” – is an act of giving to another person that also allows the whole group to hear each others’ questions.

Sweet. I like the gazing and gesturing and the sense of something almost magic happening as questions get asked, but not answered. I also like how you can choose not to respond (o, did you mean me?) or to respond anyway (sorry, I thought you meant me). Kinda cheating. Kinda not.

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