Here are some fun improv games to jazz up your next meeting.
Walk, Freeze. Name, Clap.
- Begin by giving the following commands to the group:WALK (the walk around the space) and FREEZE (they freeze in place).
- Go back and forth a few times. Sometimes duplicating a command to trip them up.
- NEXT, tell them that the meanings are now reversed. So when you say WALK,they must FREEZE and when you say FREEZE, they must WALK.
- THEN, add NAME (call out their first name) and CLAP (clap one time). Remind them that the first two are still reversed. Use all the commands so far: the reversed WALK/FREEZE and the new ones NAME/CLAP.
- FINALLY, reverse NAME and CLAP. Give all the commands faster and faster to trip them up! After about 6-8 commands, have them all give themselves around of applause.
- Alternative Version: Use Stand, Sit. Name, Clap if you have limited space with chairs.
Why we do it? The focus of Walk, Freeze. Name, Clap is to break the ice, listening more intently then we usually do, and have a shared sense of success and failure.
Build a Handshake
- Have every pair up with someone they don’t know or know the least.
- Each pair creates a 3 move handshake (high fives, fist bumps, foot taps, anything, but only three moves).
- Tell them to practice it so if called on, they could teach it to anyone.
- Then everyone switches to a new partner and teaches each other the 3 moves they made up.
- By putting them together, the new pair has 6 moves.
- Next they get a third partner combining 6 and 6 for 12 moves
- Finally have a couple pairs show off the 12 move handshake!
Why we do it? The focus of Build a Handshake is to break the ice, communication of new information, and being silly with each other.
Build a Thing
- A group of people (up to 10) stand in a line facing the rest of the group.
- They are given the suggestion of known real or fictitious thing.
- Without talking and quickly, one participant steps forward and uses their body to create a piece of the “thing.”
- Everyone else just fills in the blanks without speaking to each other.
- Note: No one should be a human interacting with the object (or animal), just be a part of the “thing.”
- Example: Dragon. One person steps forward and opens their hand the like the jaw of the dragon. Everyone else fills in the body, wings and tail of the dragon.
Why we do it? The focus of Build a Thing is commit physically to our own and our partner’s ideas, letting go of the fear of getting it right or wrong, and just saying “Yes And” with our whole physicality as quickly as possible.
Hope you have fun playing these games! Here are some other resources to check out:
Love, Your pals at Steel City Improv Corporate Training!