Knowmium Learn

Terrible Presents

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10 - 202 - 5 Medium

A persuasive activity where participants "give" each other terrible presents.



Analyze and use persuasive skills involving listener analysis and persuasive communication.  Test what participants know about others in the group and what they assume.



1. Give instructions and expectations, then break pairs into breakout rooms. Triads or groups work if you’d like to have observers, but one-on-one is best for skill practice..

2. Ask Participant A to think of a present Participant B would want to receive, and vice versa. Be sure they don't tell the other person. The present could be for a birthday or holiday and something that would really help or benefit the person.

3. Now ask the participants to throw out that great gift and to think of a terrible present for the other person. It should be something they would not want to take, like something that would be a burden or a bad fit for their tastes.. Again, don't reveal the present yet.

4. Participants have 1 to 2 minutes each to convince their partner to accept the present. Ideally, they will use persuasive techniques and actually get commitment, not a forced "well, ok."

Continuation options

a) Between rounds or after the activity in the main room, ask participants to share their terrible presents and if their partner accepted or not. Participants love to hear others’ terrible presents. Discuss how they tried to get acceptance and discuss persuasive strategies like thinking from the listener’s point of view, asking questions, etc. If you choose to cover persuasive strategies, consider making new pairs and having another round.

b) Add art or digital drawings of the terrible presents for a longer activity.

c) Cover presentation factors such as voice and body language and/or use observers in small groups to give feedback.


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