How Difficult is it to change
This exercise can and does work with groups ranging from 6 to 600 and is an excellent way of driving home the point that changing is difficult. It is used to encourage seminar participants to take action and make some changes that will affect their lives. Many speakers use words to say this point but this exercise proves the point with action.
Ask the group to pair off male to male and female to female and find some space around the floor. Once they are ready, and this can take some time, announce the instructions. With a very large audience, you may wish to put the instructions on a slide.
Ask them to choose 2 items of clothing or accessories and swap them with the other person. Initially people will be reticent but most will soon get into the spirit.
Once the noise dies down ask the group how difficult it was to change. Encourage feedback if you have a small enough group or announce the difficulties if you have a large group. People will all agree that changing is a challenge.
Make your point now that as a result of the seminar you have been learning many things and it’s important to take action and change the way you act or perform to ensure all the valuable things you’ve learnt are put into practise.
Now carefully ask them to take their seats again. You will notice that virtually everyone will re-exchange their items with the other person before they sit down.
When everyone is comfortable, ask them why they returned their items to the other person, since strictly speaking you didn’t ask them to do so. People will be a little embarrassed and now you should make the point that change can be done but it is very easy to go back to the way things always were. We must ensure that any change we make continues and becomes second nature, like wearing your own clothes.
A neat exercise that will take about 10 minutes depending on the size of your group.
Who wants the tenner
This is a very simple exercise that’ll last a few minutes, if that, but has an incredible effect.
Towards the end of your seminar, hand up a £10 note (or fiver if it’s close to pay-day). Ask the question carefully, “who wants this tenner?” Your audience will all put up their hands politely and occasionally someone will walk up towards you and take it.
Occasionally you have to encourage people to take it since it’s polite not to and most people are polite.
Once someone has taken the tenner, applaud this person as they have taken action. Sometimes we literally have to get off our bottoms and make the changes that will affect our lives. Nobody else will do it for you and results don’t come on a platter. Waiting and sitting doesn’t always get you results.
I have occasionally colour photocopied a ten pound note and this works really well as most people can’t see the detail. However the person who grabs it will be a little cheesed off. By the way it is illegal to photocopy money so be careful!