One of the most popular new party games out there is Telestrations (http://amzn.to/heVTUb).
Telestrations (as their tagline says) is the Telephone game skteched out. Everyone has their own random word or phrase that they start drawing out. Unlike Pictionary, everyone is drawing at the same time and no one is guessing during the drawing phase. When everyone is done (or 90 seconds has elapsed, if you are strict with the timer), you pass your pad to the right and everyone looks at the drawing and makes a single guess of what the drawing is. You pass the pads to the right again, and (without knowing if the answer was correct), you now have to draw the guess of the previous person. This pattern of Draw - Guess - Draw - Guess - Draw - Guess, continues until the pad gets back to the original person who started that word. The best part of the game is the open sharing at the end as we take turns showing off the progress of the drawings and guesses.
I think this is a great game for a project / team building event, either using the set game, or using the game idea with index cards and pencils. In fact, I think the game could be better for team bonding if you don't use the dry-erase pads, but do use Index cards, because the clues that come back as the best / funniest could be combined to make Memory Posters (along with team photos from that dinner, etc).
Instead of the cards that come with Telestrations, it would be more personal to use things from your office / organization - from objects (water cooler, office supplies, to your companies products), to processes (Procure to Pay, Order to Cash, Month-end Close), to people (CEO, secretary, particular name), to shared experiences (particular happy hour you attend, upcoming merger, etc).
Any one ever use Telestrations as a learning / shared experiences event before? Any suggestions before I pull this out at my next project?
This could make for a good reviewing tool - the words people will guess will be from a subset bounded by the events being reviewed and so every guess and draw is making people think about what has happened. Good for recall of a journey for example.
This does sound like a good team building exercise. However, how do you get a group of IT "Techies" to agree to give it a try? They are resistant to anything that hints to be a "game" (eventhough I never use that word - it is always an activity)
Would you conduct the activity in an informal environment, such as at dinner or a reception, or in a more formal environment, such as part of a workshop or seminar?
Have you been able to use this activity yet?
I've pull Telestrations out at 2 company banquets and our table was always the most fun that other tables wanted to go to. We ended up playing 3 times with different groups of people as there was so much laughter after the first play that others were asking to play.
Like any game, you just need to find 6 people to play the first round and this game invites laughter and loud noises so that others (who don't have a horrible attitude about games) join in as they want.
It is not a good idea to force activities on people who don't want to play, and some people feel self conscious about their drawings, or have other reasons to opt out. They can "work with someone who is playing" which works with this game, or just watch. The show at the end of a round is fun for participators and observers in this game.