Get your head free - Story

Story to "free" the participants' thoughts from the previous workshops. The story should only have a limited connection to the topic in order to distract the participants from the topic. Suddenly there should be a "shock moment" when the participants are forced to move from comfortable listening to active action. On an A4 paper, the assignment should be answered in key words in the plenary. The time should be kept as short as possible to provoke spontaneous answers. This method is suitable for the starting process and serves for uploading.





  • Duration
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity
  • Group size
    1 to 50 persons

This activity is not suitable online.

Description Long

The workshop participants should lose their closeness to already existing patterns of thinking and trust in the topic. In this way, a more objective approach is encouraged. To achieve this, an attention-grabbing and leading story is presented, which has only few points of contact with the original topic and the challenge. The story should be long enough to take the participants away from existing ways of thinking but not too long that the focus is lost and boredom is created. Ideally, it should be about three to five minutes. The story ends with a "shock moment" in which the participants are forced to improvise and act quickly. The transition from listening to active improvisation must be quick and unexpected. This is the only way to ensure that the participants do not start thinking too much and fall into already familiar thought patterns.  





Before the start of the workshop, it is imperative that A4 paper with a pencil is ready. In the best case, the participants should not even notice this paper and the pen. In addition it should also not be pointed out.


The storyteller tells the story. He is allowed to take his time so that the participants can devote themselves completely to the narrator and forget the previous workshops. The second facilitator fades in the pictures on the prepared power point at the right time. This is to help better illustration and allows the participants to digress even more and feel into the story. The shock moment should be a question/challenge to the participants that forces them to actively participate. The question should be read out or shown on the PowerPoint presentation.


The participants should work together in plenary to answer the question/challenge within e.g. 30 seconds (time can be determined variably). No more time is deliberately given in order not to give the participants too much time to think. The group that has written the most terms on the paper finally wins.




Hints from experience

It is very important for the further procedure in the workshop that the developed terms/key words are further used, for example for subsequent methods. The participants will write down a lot of valuable terms, which leads to an extreme diversity in the initial phase. It would be a great pity if these keywords were not taken into account in the further process. 

Sufficient time should be allocated for this. If the facilitators notice that the participants need more time for the "shock task", this can be extended uninformed.

Tools list

  • Paper


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