Drowsy Delegates? 10 Effective Energisers to Wake Them Up!
All event producers & planners dread the afternoon sessions that hour mid-afternoon when all the delegates have eaten lunch and are feeling sluggish and more and more smart phones come out in the audience as they switch off to the speaker on stage. This is the time to shake them up and introduce a quick fire energiser to wake them up and get them focused on the content being presented.
In this article we will run through 5 energiser sessions for large conferences & 5 energiser sessions for smaller, intimate meetings that will get your delegates concentration back.
LARGE CONFERENCE ENERGISERS:
- Rock, paper, scissors tournament - (this one is great for having up your sleeve to fill a schedule gap if you have one - for example if a speaker is late as you don't need any pre-planning) each person turns to the person on their right and begins to play rock, paper, scissors, the winner of 3 matches goes on to play the winner of the partnership next to them on their right. The losers become the fan club of the winner they lost to, they have to cheer on their player. Until the final tournament when there will be just 2 players left and 2 groups of fans cheering on their players. The tournament doesn't take long to complete, it is loud and raucous and has the great benefit of waking everyone up!
- Postcard Game - You will need blank postcards the amount to match the number of rows of seats in the audience & pencils or pens (great opportunity to supply each delegate with a branded pencil - sustainable wood if possible!) walk down the aisle and hand each delegate on the end of the row a postcard and the pencils. Each delegate has a set time limit (work it to suit your timeframe - remembering that it is multiplied by the number of chairs in the row) for eg 30 seconds, to draw something or write something on the postcard, then they pass it along the row for each delegate to add something to the postcard. Each card is then collected at the end of the rows. They can be displayed at a breaktime for people to vote which is their favourite or they can be read out on stage. You could also ask them to theme the postcard with something relevant to the content of the event.
- 3 Question Mingle - This is perfect for those awkward drinks receptions when noone knows anyone. Give each person 3 small cards and ask them to write an interesting thoughtful question on each card that they want to ask other group members. People start to mingle & ask 1 question to 1 other person, they then hand over the card with that question, once they have received the answer, they exchange questions and answers until everyone has 3 different cards from those they started with.
- Spaghetti Tower - This is a corporate favourite and needs to be done in a room cleared of furniture and pre-prepared. Teams of between 3-6 people have to build the tallest free-standing structure in a set time limit - again you can set the time to suit your scheduling, but they should be able to complete the task in under 30 minutes. Each team has the following 'equipment':
- 20 dry spaghetti sticks
- 1 yard of tape
- 1 yard of string
- 1 marshmallow
- Anagram Game - Prepare by printing out a longish word (related to your content) with a letter per A4 sheet. jumble up the letters and then hand them out to the people in the front row, request the row of people to walk up on stage or stand at the front holding their letters up. Ask the audience to work out what word it is by shouting out instructions to the people for eg "will the person with letter T please move to the front of the word" until they have managed to unjumble the word and then get everyone to shout it out. It's a good idea to have a couple of words ready for this, incase the first one is guessed straight away and not everyone has completely woken up!
SMALL MEETING ENERGISERS:
Shake down - The group stands in a circle and performs the “shake down” all together, counting loudly together as they go.
First, 8 shakes of the right arm, 8 shakes of the left arm, 8 shakes of the right leg, and 8 shakes of the left leg. Each time, counting “1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8!”
Next, 4 shakes of each limb. Then 2 shakes of each. Then 1 shake of each.
The shake down ends with a loud cheer and a big ninja kick in the air.
Near & Far - Ask the group to form a circle and make eye contact with those in the circle. Ask each person to select one person to be near to (and keep their choice secret in their head) and to select one person to be far away from (again it must be kept secret). Once they have made their 2 selections get everyone up and ask them to walk around the room maintaining a close proximity to their near person, whilst keeping a distance from their far person, keep the movement up for 30-45 seconds. The exercise causes chaotic walking and wakes people up effectively. It also links back to team dynamics, factions and assumptions about others.
Go Bananas - Start the group in a circle - the whole group crouches down and begins to whisper "go bananas - b-a-n-a-n-a-s". This is repeated over and over again, each time a bit louder. Along with the increasing volume, the group slowly stands up until, in the end, everyone is jumping energetically and screaming: "GO BANANAS - B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"
Super Hero Snap - Begin this activity by asking each participant to decide on, and give a name to the unique superpower that they bring to the team (without telling anyone else). For e.g. they could identify as a super-speaker, a hero-helper or a wonder-writer. Now ask them to draw themselves as a superhero (don't forget their mask and cape!) acting out their specific skill. Next, everyone should submit their drawing and the name of their super-skill to the facilitator. The facilitator organises the superhero names, the name of each attendee, and the pictures onto an online whiteboard tool, and asks the participants to work together to match each drawing to the correct artist, and to the correct skill.
Unique Thing In Common - Choose someone you don't know that well. With your partner find the 3 most unlikely / weird / dramatic things you have in common, you can find a lot of things in common but keep deciding which ones are the most interesting & forget the less interesting ones. The goal is to come up with the most surprising things. This exercise can help smart & introverted types overcome the reluctance to engage because it taps into a bit of competitive spirit (to find the weirdest thing).
After everyone does this, ask each pair to choose one to share with the group (they don't need to share them all). Give them time to select which one they want to share.
If you would like a full and comprehensive list of energisers for your upcoming event or small meeting, please ping us an email or call us, we would be more than happy to share our list with you - we have hundreds!!!!!
Email us - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 1st January 1970