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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 32

Cocktail Party

The Cocktail Party is an informal technique meant to loosen people up and get them to think about a question in a new way. It often amuses and even astonishes people who aren't expecting it. So if you want to startle people into processing a question differently, this could be the right tool.

Purposes

  • To infuse new enthusiasm into discussion through a diverting, unorthodox, and yet familiar form of interaction
  • To gather a wide variety of views about a question or topic
  • To shake up thinking and provoke creative responses to a question or topic

How It Works

  • Facilitators prepare hors d'oeuvres and nonalcoholic drinks before the class, meeting, or training. On 3' × 5' cards they write conversation prompts meant ...

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