With the walk we meet

With the walk we meet

What are the most common places where people meet and get to know each other? Well, usually people interact with each other during the work or in the free time in pubs or in a cafeteria, for sure not in a forest, or by stopping random people on the street. How would a meeting go if people would start to meet in these contexts instead of the usual ones?

Name of the activity: With the walk we meet
Duration
: at least 30 minutes, so the participants have time to interact with each other.
Preferred location
: preferably, a forest but an open space is also good.
Working method
: focus on verbal and non-verbal communication, team building, self-presentation.
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): improving the communication skills of your participants, encouraging them to meet others, creating a connection in the group between participants, learning how to create a self-presentation.
Materials:
papers, pens, bell.
Instructions:
– each participant will receive a paper with a pen;
– each participant will write on the paper a self-presentation as detailed as possible (name, surname, nationality, age, hobbies, work/study, etc.) – you can also let them write whatever they find important about themselves, without guidelines;
– the presentation has to be 1 minute long (the time limit for preparation is 5 minutes);
– after 5 minutes, with the presentation ready, the participants will walk around and, when the bell rings, they will have to form couples with the first person they meet;
– after the first couples are made, the participants will exchange their self-presentations;
– after both members of the couples shared, the couples switch and there is a new round;
– after some rounds all participants will have to give you their papers with the written presentations and restart the rounds while switching couples every time.
Debriefing
: when the activity is over you can have a fast reflection to see if the group found it hard or easy to make a 1-minute presentation and to reflect on how different it was before and after putting the papers away. Also, if they noticed something in the other person when they were not reading and if the person who was listening could have a clear idea from the presentation.
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances
: you can give more specific topics for the speech, so instead of just being a game for self-presentation, it is also a training on how to create an effective and understandable speech. Furthermore, walking is an extremely simple outdoor activity that can be used for various purposes. You can send them for a walk in the forest or somewhere in nature where they can walk either alone (reflecting on something specific) or in groups; you can make this a session of a few hours or even days. While walking, many things can come to the surface, and the way you guide the activity will make all the difference.