IAF Methods

Movie Posters

by for . Last edit was over 2 years ago
90 + 26 - 100

The closing of any session in which the group needs to do some thinking together about their shared story

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We see posters advertising new movies quite often in public places. They summarize with visual images, a dramatic title and a few critical phrases, an entire story and its characters. This method aims at letting the group create the poster for their "movie. It can be used for summarizing learnings, for reporting on team activities over the past period of time, for building a common story about something that has taken place in the organization.


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  • Flipchart
  • Pens & Markers



Number of participants: 26 -100, Although this method is designed for a very large group, it can be scaled down for smaller groups

Time needed: 90 minutes

Pre-Work Required: Set up an area you can use as the "poster gallery", with lots of space for people to walk around. Have on hand materials to hang the posters and perhaps some "viewing music" to play while the viewing takes place. If this is a very large group you may need as long as 30 minutes for the viewing so that everyone can see and reflect on the posters. It can be nice to combine with a snack break.

Types of participants: Willing to use a creative technique to support their factual analysis

Time needed: 2 hours, more if the group is larger

Ideal conditions: Space where the posters can be displayed and viewed by all


Introduction:In order to create today's reports, imagine that you are creating a movie. In one hour, please return with the poster for your movie (like the posters you see in public places advertising movies). Think, for example, of the posters for "Star Wars", for "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" for example. (Please refer to posters you yourself have seen recently and that fit in with the context of the culture.) The poster tells the story. Distribute flipchart paper and lots of colored markers.

Procedure for the teams:

1. First of all, review the elements of the story you want to communicate.
2. Secondly, decide what sort of story you would like to tell. For example, you could:
  • Make an epic, like "The little team that thought it could"
  • You could create a fable: "Once upon a time, in a humble IT department far away"
  • You could create a first person story: "looked terror in the face.."
  • You could be the International news bureau and interview team members about their achievements:  "An exclusive interview with.."
  • You could be one of the customers who explains how his problem was solved,: We thought we were doomed, until" 
  • etc...
3. Now create your poster. It should have four elements:
  • Title of your story
  • Subtitle that explains what the story is about
  • 3 scenes from the story
  • One critical line from your story: a supporting quotation, a line from one of your characters, etc.
Closing Reflection:
Have an art-gallery sort of area where teams can hang their posters and everyone (perhaps as a tea and coffee break) can visit and read what is posted.
Close with reports from each team and a reflection on what you have seen and heard:
What were some of the poster images that struck you?
What phrases are still ringing in your mind?
What were ways of telling our story that really "worked" for you?
What were some new insights you had into what we are doing here?
What would you say is our next step with this story?


Follow-Up Required: You can make a photo gallery out of the posters for future reference if you wish.


Source: Maureen Jenkins, Imaginal Training

Derived from: This is a simple modification of pecha kucha, which also works very well for team storytelling: www.pechakucha.org

History of Development: This method was designed for a very large (100 + participants) training event in which participants had a half-day to pull together their learnings. Since it was summer, we setup a dozen flipcharts like an outdoor art show, and participants strolled around at the break to appreciate one another's stories, returning afterwards for the closing reflection

Recognizable components: Using images to tell a story

References: Using images to tell a story

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