Secret Story> Initiate communication
Each participant writes a story about something true that happened to them. Participants will then try to guess who experienced each of these stories, learning something unexpected about each person and breaking the ice so the meeting can start strong. This activity works well with a group of participants who’ve never met or who don’t know one another very well.
Prepare a Board activity. This is a short activity, so there won’t be a need to time it.
Make absolute sure the Anonymous setting is on!
Activity settings Board
- Activity format: Round by Round and Anonymous
- No voting session
- Category: Your Stories, Who’s Story Is This? and then one category per person
Introduce the activity and its purpose: start the meeting by learning something surprising about each of the participants.
Explain the sequence, which involves everyone posting a one-sentence story that has happened to them. The facilitator chooses which story is first and the group has to guess who wrote it. Continue on like this until you reaching the last sentence.
The participants each prepare their own true story. The more original it is, the more successful the activity will be! But caution participants not to make the story up, as that would kill the fun. They publish it in the ‘Your Stories’ category.
Give participants a few minutes.
After collecting all the stories, the facilitator reads the first one and encourages everyone (except the author) to guess who wrote it.
To send in their guesses, each participant posts the name of the person they think wrote the story in the ‘Who’s Story Is This?’ category. After everyone has voted, the facilitator asks the author to reveal themselves and tell their story; this is also an opportunity for them to introduce themselves if this is a group of strangers.
The facilitator then moves the first story into the right person’s category before moving on to the next story, preceding in the same way until the second to last one, when participants have a 50/50 chance. The two final authors can then tell their stories, ending the activity.
The participants discussed their stories and were able to introduce themselves, often in a funny way. They’re ready to follow up with a group activity.
Suggestions and variations
The facilitator can participate too, injecting some silliness into the activity with their example – while sticking to the truth of course – so the group can loosen up.