Video Transcript for Five Handshakes in Five Minutes
presented by Mark Collard
Could I ask you now, what’s the question, the question would be: What’s the number one way in which most people when they meet for the first time, you’ve already done it many times today? What do you often do when you meet somebody? You’ll do something to introduce yourself. What do you often do?
Hi, and do you ever accompany that with anything?
(How are you?)
How are you? Yup, what was that Tim?
And a handshake, often. So it’s like hi how are you, we often extend a handshake. Not for good or bad just that’s what we often do. This exercise celebrates that typically universal concept of introduction.
We are going to start very simply, here’s what it is. Actually could I ask for you to be a volunteer Pam?
Fantastic! It’s very simple because the first one you’re all going to know, and that is the typical High-Five. So basically that’s it, that’s basically your handshake.
I’m going to give you five handshakes in five minutes and that’s the first one, actually probably even quicker for this group. I might shut that door in just a few moments. So basically to high five everyone as you can in the next sort of twenty seconds. And GO!
(Group begins to High-Five.)
Feel free to add a little sound to it as well.
(Group continues to High-Five while saying whoo hoo.)
You got it. Excellent! Now the next one, now I will introduce this to you as well there was a group once that said “Oh do you know about this one?” It’s like okay so they come there and they did the High-Five, and they were a little more sensitive about this. They stuck there they placed their thumbs around the back of their partner, and this was the High-Five hug.
So pretty cool, but I’ll not ask you to do that though today. Just out of interest you might like to know that one day.
Alright so we now this come directly from the streets of New York. This is referred to as the New York Shuffle. Adam if you don’t mind being my partner? We’re going to face off with each other this time, and using your right hand first you’re going to basically just tap each other, and then do the left hand, and then do the right again, and then the left.
And then the final part of this introduction, this little New York shuffle handshake, is that you end up turning side to side with each other. As you jump up the object is to be able to touch shoulders, and when that happens you say ‘BING’ together. So it’s basically we’ll do this piece. You ready, here we go.
(Mark and Adam jump and bumps shoulders and say BING.)
Great, perfect! So let’s try that again. One, two, three, four, bing. And go!
(Group partners for the New York shuffle handshake.)
So now we move into the area of the woodlands. No matter where you are in the world, and this time you are actually going to again still involve two people. Could I ask for a volunteer to step forward? I’ll show you what this one looks like. I love this bit. You got it, I’ve forgotten your name.
Thank you David. So the first person starts by placing out their clenched fist with thumb placed up. So I’m going to take yours, and then you take your left hand place it on the top thumb up, and then I take it here. And from here we basically got one foot in front of the other and slowly move it backwards and forwards as if we’re holding a big saw like a lumberjack. Then we make the sound shh, shh, shh, shh three or four times, and then you move on. GO!
(Group partners for the Lumberjack handshake.)
The next one, actually this is a celebration it just occurred last week. Anyone happen to know the celebration in the United States particularly the last Thursday in November?
Thanksgiving, this is all about celebrating that. Clearly we’re not in the States here, but this is where I picked up the idea.
Again the first person will come up and you’ll have just a bit like a High-Five. You come up and you basically create this part which is the feathers, the back part of the turkey. So could you do that for me Jan? Great, and then I come up having seen that part of the introduction then take this hand and put it right here, this is like the front of the turkey, and together once we’ve connected we go “Gobble, gobble, gobble.” Like that, that’s all you need to do. So we’ll just try that again. Ready here we go.
(Mark and Jan try the Thanksgiving handshake.)
(Group partners for the Thanksgiving handshake.)
Final one, this time it’s a little gentler and has a bit more intimate impact for the group. Again could I ask for a volunteer, someone to step forward? Who would like to do that? Perfect Donna, great.
So we step in and it’s a standard handshake we come in here. I’d like you to imagine that this area of our hands is a cocoon and in the cocoon is like a caterpillar that’s metamorphosing.
Okay so it’s struggling to get out of it’s canon. So what happens is that it basically twists and turns three times and you say “Caterpillar, caterpillar, caterpillar.” Three times and then finally it breaks out of its cocoon. We then grab each other’s thumbs and with the wings of the butterfly it flies away and we say butterfly.
Okay so here let’s try that again. Caterpillar, caterpillar, caterpillar, butterfly. Go!
(Group partners for the caterpillar butterfly handshake.)
This exercise is a glimpse of just five (of forty) highly innovative handshakes which were shared as part of Project Adventure‘s 40th-anniversary celebrations.
Start with your group assembled before you, or perhaps in a circle, and describe one of the most common forms of popular handshake/greetings, the High-Five.
That is, by demonstration, invite a volunteer to mimic your action of raising an open hand above your heads and then bring both open palms together rapidly until they meet in a celebratory clap of sorts.
The demonstration now over, invite everyone to mingle and greet as many people in the group with a ‘High-Five.’ After 10 to 20 seconds of action, bring everyone’s attention back to you to introduce the next handshake/greeting.
There are dozens of novel and fun ways to greet another person. By all means, make up your own, or solicit ideas from your group, but here’s four more to get you going:
Take a look at What Is An Ice-Breaker? article to help you present successful ice-breaking experiences every time.
This exercise grew out of an idea to celebrate Project Adventure‘s 40th anniversary – the theme of which was forty years of innovation. The training staff set themselves the goal of capturing forty different types of fun handshakes on video. These were duly recorded, and published on its Facebook page in October 2011.
Move quickly between the greetings. If you dwell too long on any one of them, you’ll quickly lose the energy to present the full complement.
As always, the success of this exercise will be significantly influenced by the level of energy and enthusiasm you bring to it. Yep, there’s some pretty crazy interactions here, but they’re playful, and it’s all about inviting your group to have fun, share and build some trust.
No matter the source of your ‘greetings,’ always start with the least challenging or most familiar, and build up to more novel types.
Volunteers – sometimes there are none, other times many. Be prepared for both. If no-one volunteers invite a co-facilitator or explore the hesitation. If many volunteer, don’t turn them away – support their eagerness by pairing them up and demonstrate together.
Be prepared for inspired participants who desire to share a handshake of their own.
Haven’t got much time? Simply introduce two or three handshakes in two or three minutes!
You could integrate Five Handshakes In Five Minutes as part of a well-designed SEL program to establish and promote healthy and supportive relationships in your group and to effectively navigate settings with diverse people.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s well-being of enjoying a short burst of physical activity and a good laugh.
In a small way, you could argue that the focus required to successfully (and safely) interact with others may reflect the behavioural norms of your group. For example, you could invite your group to reflect on the following questions to explore the significance of their behaviours:
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Five Handshakes In Five Minutes could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Rapid & highly interactive greeting exercise for groups.
Innovative tool that inspires valuable sharing & fun.
One of the most common forms of physical greetings is the handshake. In most circumstances, this is a relatively safe interaction between two people, especially if they are meeting for the first time. This exercise celebrates the extraordinary variety of handshakes and greetings that have evolved over time. Perhaps you know a few favourites of your own? Here’s a sample of just five I’ve come across…
We have all seen the amazing array of fascinating handshakes and greetings that many ‘cool’ groups demonstrate when they meet one of their own. Deep down, some of us wish that we could be a part of their group, if not only for the sheer pleasure of looking cool ourselves when engaged in one of these greetings. Well folks, this is your lucky day…
Do you often get bored with the traditional handshake greeting? Are you game to try something new?…
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this highly interactive greeting game:
What You Need:
8+ people, 20 mins, UBUNTU cards
What You Need:
8+ people, 10 mins
The best-selling book featuring 150+ outrageously fun group games & activities. Scan QR codes to access exclusive digital content including video tutorials.
Ten of the best no-prop, interactive ‘get-to-know-you’ games & activities. 100% fun, your group will love ’em. Our most successful giveaway, 10,000+ downloads so far…
Share this with friends and colleagues.
We offer a range of membership plans with no surprises.
Click an option below & discover our simple pricing.
Click here if you’re a:
Click here if you represent a:
Explore plans for
10, 50, 200 or more
Check out playmeo's new COMMUNITY tab.
Exclusive to playmeo members, this space is designed to help you share, learn & connect with others.