Whilst VPE at Guildford Speakers I sprinkled some light-hearted activities into the meetings. Some of these are listed below. Like having themed evenings, this was intended to bring variety to the agenda. These activities became referred to by club members as 'Silly Games' - although I still maintain that they are all legitimate exercises in developing speaking skills, but doing so in a fun way.
JUST A MINUTE – Based on the BBC game whereby people speak without deviation, hesitation or repetition.
QUESTIONS – Prepared speakers hold Q and A session after their speeches.
CHANGE! – When someone in the audience shouts out “change!” the speaker has to change the direction of the speech whilst still being relevant to the subject.
HECKLING – Audience encouraged to be vocal during speeches.
CALL MY BLUFF - Based on the BBC programme whereby a team of 3 give definitions of a word (2 being false).
FOOTBALL SCORES – Football results are read out excluding the second team’s score; others have to guess (and shout out) the second score by listening to the voice inflection.
QUOTES – Speaker talks about a quotation from a selection laid out on slips of paper with only the names of people who made the quotations showing.
MEMORY – A list of words is read out and people are asked to write down all those they remember. Shows what is most memorable (eg first and last, repeated, linked, unusual, illustrated) in a speech.
NICE PAIR – Two piles of cards with a word on each card; a pile of adjectives and a pile of nouns. Subject is produced by selecting one card from each pile (e.g. ‘nice pair’).
IDEAS AUCTION – People have to bid increasingly extreme ideas.
TRIAL – defendant in dock subjected to cross examination then audience vote whether guilty. (Example: President accused of wearing offensive ties.)
STIRRED BY THE WORD – Give clues to a word without mentioning it. Audience guess what it is.
FAZED BY THE PHRASE – Give clues to a phrase without mentioning it.
PROBLEMS – Someone explains a problem they have, another person provides a solution to the problem then sets a problem for someone else and so on.
PRESS CONFERENCE – Given a scenario and have to field questions from the audience. (Example: someone who has just married a 90 year old millionaire.)
TWO HATS – Each person is given a subject and speaks about it first with the ‘hat of reason’ then, upon timekeeper’s signal, the ‘hat of emotion’.
SCOOP – Explain the story behind a newspaper headline.
ENDINGS – A list of final sentences is given out or displayed. The speaker has to choose one and give a speech with that final sentence. However, before actually saying the final sentence, the speaker asks the audience to guess which one it is.
PROVERB – Each speaker is given a proverb to talk about.
DING DONG – 2 speakers stand at the front and each pick a card with a subject on which they show to the audience without the other speaker seeing. First speaker starts talking about his/her subject and, at a bell, the second person tries smoothly to steer the speech to his/her different subject. At the next bell the fist speaker resumes by smoothly steering the speech back and so on.
VIDEO PITCH – describe yourself and your ideal partner as in a dating agency video.
TRUE OR FALSE – stapled down piece of paper is handed to each person containing the word TRUE or FALSE. Everyone opens up their paper and looks at the word without anyone else seeing what it is. They then have to think of a story that is either:
TRUE but might be false; or
FALSE but might be true.
People are then picked to tell their story. At the end the audience is asked to vote on whether they thought it was true or false. The speaker then holds up their piece of paper to reveal which it was.
NASTY AND NICE - One person wears a big sign saying "Nasty" and another a big sign saying "Nice". Each evaluates with Nasty concentrating on all the bad points and Nice all the good points. Nasty and Nice engage in dialogue (no doubt involving big disagreements) with each other and the audience, including the speaker who can offer defence/excuses. Please note that the "nasty" character should be performed with care and not cause offence.