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Keywords

> Initiate communication

This involves sounding out the group’s mood at the start of the meeting, breaking the ice and connecting participants to the topic on the table. The facilitator can then adjust their presentation style based on the outcome of the activity. This means starting discussions with a focus on feelings (rather than intellectual notions like expectations), which lends the meeting a different tone.

Pre-requisites

Prepare a Word cloud activity in Beekast named after the subject of your meeting.

Depending on group size, you should restrict it to one word sent per participant, use the timer to control time and post the number of words sent.

If you want to keep participants from influencing one another, only post the results at the end of the activity.

Activity settings Word cloud

  • Activity format: your choice depending on group size
  • Results: At the end of the activity
  • Time management: Timer

Process

1

Presentation

The facilitator puts the keyword subject into words

For example: ‘How do you feel about X?’

The facilitator reminds everyone about the rules, if applicable:

  • limited number of words,

  • time limit,

  • kind language,

  • etc.

Sometimes it can be helpful for the facilitator to give an example

2

Taking turns

Each participant sends their keywords in relation to the subject

3

Summary

For a small group, the facilitator can ask each participant to present the word they chose. Make sure to specify that they have 20 to 30 seconds each to present and explain why, so they do their best to be brief.

For a substantial group, the facilitator makes the group aware of the keywords that emerged so everyone can keep them in mind for the rest of the discussions.

Suggestions and variations

For large groups, prepare multiple word clouds and carry out the activity in sub-groups. Ask each sub-group to present their summary to the others.

The traditional keyword activity expects adjectives in response to how participants feel about the subjects, but you can also show your creative side with some of the examples below:

  • The meeting’s #hashtag

  • If the project were a film, what would it be called?

You can ask for two keywords:

'How am I starting this meeting?/How do I want to walk out of it?’
This will help you identify how each person wants to come out of the meeting.

Activity Word cloud
5 to 30 min
2 to 30
Novice
Opening
Prepare for a meeting.
Reveal participants’ moods and adjust the meeting accordingly.