Analysing of gestures


  • Duration
    Medium (about 30-60 minutes)
  • Complexity
  • Group size
    6 to 16 persons

This activity is not suitable online.

Description Long



Find a place where the exercises can be performed, unobserved by spectators. Create adequate space for the participants to move freely and engage with each other.


Warm up exercise: Participants walk through the room. At the word “stop” they must stop moving and hold their position. Now, all of the others must mimic the position of one participant. Please mimic the position exactly. Is the position of feet/fingers/legs/head identical?


Main exercise: Participants are divided into groups of two or three. They are given a word and must discuss its emotional characteristics, (e.g. avalanche). Facing one another, and without speaking, the group has one minute to find a gesture that represents the term. They must repeat the gesture until they are synchronised.


Afterwards, the group is asked to present their gesture. Now, everyone else is asked to copy the gesture until the entire group can perform it synchronously. The next step is to ask participants who were not in the group, to describe the gesture (e.g. rolling, swift, helpless, etc). The moderator takes notes. Afterwards, the members of the group are asked to explain what they actually meant with their gesture. This is noted as well.


Now a new term is chosen.

Hints from experience

No more than three terms, otherwise the exercise takes too long.


Ensure that the process is copied exactly and performed synchronously.

Tools list

  • Pencils, board markers
  • Flipchart or Whiteboard


This method was created for the Future Forum Lucerne 2017, by Anne Weidemann and Patricia Wolf.

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