deep pictures in groups – spark creativity and associations

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The challenge: allow sharing but limit the use of seminar time

Working with groups and in workshops, we often find ourselves in situations where it can be useful to help participants to get creative – for example when facilitating a design thinking workshop or a public speaking training. Letting participants share their experience can be a very effective tool, however, in particular when working with large groups, it can be very time-consuming. This is why in the following paragraphs, we present a method for allowing for creativity and sharing while limiting the use of time.

The method: one picture, three words

For you as trainer or coach, it can be nice to kick off the exercise with some music and introducing words. A circle offers a good room setting, allowing for everyone seeing each other and communicating openly.

The cards can be spread on the ground with the image facing up, and all cards visible for everyone.

All participants are invited to search for a card. You can ‘frame’ the task with a question, depending on the goal and direction you’d like the group to go.

We have plenty of cards here, with very different motives. Please find one which appeals to you, following the question “What is my goal for today’s workshop?”

Alternative questions can be:

  • Who are you – here and today?
  • Where is your path leading?
  • Where do you come from?
  • What is the one thing you’d like to take home today?

Once all participants found and took one card, they’re asked to condense their thoughts into three words and write them on the back of the card.

Now that you found a card that suits your answer, try to boil your thoughts down into three words. Choose these words and write them on the backside of your card.

Finally, the participants are invited to share their thoughts by simply reading out their three words and show their card to the rest of the group. This can happen one-by-one or randomly. This enables everyone to share and exchange views without overusing the time budget of your workshop.

We would like to now invite you to share your thoughts. Who wants to show their card and read out their three words?

This method allows for a memorable kick-off or conclusion of your workshop without letting all participants wait a long time for everybody making their contribution.

Enjoy the exercise and have a successful workshop!

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