Activity 5 25
Activity 5
The VIP
Description
This activity takes the form of a card game in which players are asked to speak
about themselves in a positive way in order to score points and win a competition. It
is a useful ice-breaker and is especially effective in building a motivational atmos-
phere.
Target Group
All support staff
Objectives
To break the ice at the beginning of a meeting or training session
To put participants at ease
To encourage individuals to talk about themselves in a positive manner
To motivate participants and build a positive atmosphere
Number of Participants
A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 is recommended
Time
20 to 30 minutes, depending on group size
Materials
Pages 29 and 31 of this manual
6 sheets of card stock
Stopwatch
Flipchart and markers, or pen and paper for scoring
Preparation
1. Make a deck of playing cards by photocopying pages 29 and 31 onto card stock
as thick as your photocopier can handle. Copy each page two or three times.
2. Cut out the cards along the lines to give you a deck of 32 or 48 cards.
3. Shuffle the cards.
26 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial, and Support Staff
Activity 5 (continued)
Method
1. Assemble the group around a table on which you place the deck of playing
cards.
2. Explain the purpose of the activity as follows:
Most of us have an inner voice that talks to us extensively, and most of
what it says (some psychologists say up to 80 percent) is critical and judg-
mental.
Most of us have been told by our parents or teachers “not to blow our own
horn”—in other words, that boasting is neither pleasant nor tasteful, even if
the facts are true!
To balance out the negative, we must sometimes give ourselves permission
to say something positive about ourselves.
This is one of those occasions!
3. Tell the group that, in a few moments, they will be asked to talk positively about
themselves: what they are good at, what their strengths are, why they are such
wonderful people. They must speak convincingly, without hesitation and without
embarrassment. Allow them three to four minutes to make a few notes.
4. Explain the rules:
Each person, in turn, takes the top card from the pile and talks on the topic
given for the amount of time stated.
Take the top card and show it as an example.
Explain that one point will be scored for talking on the subject and one point
for speaking for the entire amount of time allotted. One point will be lost
each time a participant hesitates before beginning—says, “ummm” or “uh”;
sounds unconvincing or unconvinced; digresses from the stated topic; or
looks embarrassed about having to talk positively about themselves. (Feel
free to invent any other additional ways of losing points.)
Warn the group that it is very easy to lose points and end up with a negative
score if they don’t talk in a positive, enthusiastic manner about how won-
derful they are!
Invite the listening participants to clap and cheer when the speaker has
been successful and to call out words of encouragement, such as “Go on,
you can do it,” “Come on,” or “You’re doing great,” when they are wavering.
5. Choose a method for selecting who will start the activity, for example, the per-
son with the longest hair, the person who has the most pets, or the person who
has the longest commute to work.
Activity 5 27
Activity 5 (concluded)
6. The first person takes a card and follows the instructions. Award points (loosely)
based on the rules (don’t take the game too seriously—enjoyment is more
important than accuracy!).
7. When the first participant has finished, the others follow, starting with the per-
son on the original speaker’s left.
8. When everyone has spoken, conclude by talking about the importance of feel-
ing good about ourselves, reminding ourselves of our skills and talents, and
becoming more aware of our critical inner voices so that we can counter their
effects.
9. Remind everyone that a VIP is a very important person and that we are all
VIPs.

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