Start by approaching a random person and ask them to say their name.
Lead this person to another random person in the group, and ask this person to say their name.
Using each of their names, introduce the first person to the second person, eg “Simon this is Vijay, Vijay meet Simon.”
All three of you now seek a new person to meet, or submit to another person’s invitation to be a part of their introduction.
Allow several minutes of mingling and greeting one another.
Video Transcript for Let Me Introduce
presented by Mark Collard
Talking about awkward makes me think of this exercise. I don’t know about you but maybe it’s even occurred today, but this is not a particularly large group, but the concept is still the same.
Is that you go to a conference like there’s hundreds and hundreds of people and stuff and you don’t know anybody, and there’s that really awkward point where you go you know what I need to find out you know maybe introduce myself, I’m supposed to network that’s why I’m here, ugh ugh.
Well there’s that awkward thing about how do you make that first piece. Well here’s an exercise that might cut through that.
Now a part of today given that we’re only nine strong is you have to extrapolate a lot of what we’re doing to what would this look like with a large group. The principles are the same the energy will be a little different.
So here’s what I invite you to do, for example, I might come up to I don’t know your name, so I come up to you and go Hi what’s your name?
Amy, pleased to meet you. Amy come with me for a second. What’s your name?
Erin I’d like you to meet Amy. Amy this is Erin.
(Hi nice to meet you.)
Notice how I didn’t introduce myself.
All I needed to do was be the instrument, the vehicle, which would invite one person to greet with another. So often the awkwardness is around actually introducing yourself. So I’m inviting you now to take on that role.
Find one person, find out who they are, invite that person to meet somebody else when you’ve found out who they are, they greet each other. The game continues because one of them will either choose to break off find somebody else or they could indeed ask me what my name is and invite me to share my name with somebody else.
Got the idea? And Go.
(Group goes around to each other with introductions as part of Let Me Introduce)
Hey Teck Kwang pleased to meet you. Teck Kwang come with me I’d like you to meet somebody.
Excuse me what’s your name?
Erin this is Teck Kwang.
Imagine a conference room full of five hundred people doing that. It’s a ridiculous amount of energy, and what I love about it is the fact that you don’t even have to say your name if you’re really good at avoiding other people. All you do is become the facilitator of other people’s introductions.
(group continues to play Let Me Introduce…)
How To Play Narrative
I’ve found this simple re-working of the traditional form of introductions a brilliant way to rid my group of a lot of that tension that most new people experience when they first get together.
It won’t evaporate all of the awkward feelings, but it is fun, features lots of choices, and is guaranteed to create a ton of useful energy.
With your group milling about, ask them to casually approach any other person in the group – whether they know their name or not – greet them, and ask for their name.
Embodied with a lively demonstration, it may sound something like this:
“HI, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” The doe-eyed person you have just approached says “SIMON,” and you reply with “HI SIMON, COME WITH ME, I’D LIKE TO YOU TO MEET SOMEBODY.”
At which point you lead Simon to another unsuspecting group member, and say “HI, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” and it might be Vijay this time. “HI VIJAY. I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET SIMON. SIMON THIS IS VIJAY.”
Having done the job of the Introducer, explain all three of you now moves on to seek a new person to greet to restart the process, or submit to another person’s invitation to be part of their introduction.
In principle, the person arranging the introductions need not say their name at all, but as we are so accustomed to doing so in our culture, it often happens anyway! Either way, the ice is broken.
A confident, enthusiastic demonstration, coupled with the fact that you acknowledge meeting someone new for the first time can be rather awkward, is critical to the introduction of this exercise. In my experience, these two factors alone will cut through a lot of the ‘ice’ which is often present at the start of your program.
Regardless of how many introductions an individual may or may not participate in, this exercise will always raise the energy of your group sufficient to build momentum for the next phase of your program.
You could integrate Let Me Introduce as part of a well-designed SEL program to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships 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.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s wellbeing of enjoying lots of positive social interaction.
In a small way, you could argue that the ability to interact in a pro-social manner, not to mention, the ability to take initiative and assume leadership, may speak to the benefits of having developed a set of supportive and healthy behavioural norms in advance, but these could be considered minor attributes belonging to this particular activity. For example, you could invite your group to reflect on what helped or hindered people’s willingness to interact socially, especially with people that they didn’t know.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Let Me Introduce could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Reverse Roles: Invite one of the two people who have just been introduced to each other to lead the other to a new person. Continuing the example above, Simon could lead Vijay to meet and greet with Rachel.
Time Trial: To give the exercise a little vivacity, announce that your group has two minutes to introduce everyone to everybody else. It won’t happen, but that’s not the point.
It’s You Not Me: Take a look at Partner Introductions to enjoy another classic ice-breaker in which each individual does not introduce themselves.
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Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this fun, highly interactive name-game:
How did you feel when the exercise was first introduced? Did that feeling change?
Did you ever feel the urge to introduce yourself? Why?
What did you notice as the activity progressed?
How did you feel at the end of the exercise? Is this beneficial?
Introductory ‘Ice-Breaker’ Session
What You Need:
8+ people, 10 mins
Copy Claps – brilliant, non-verbal opener to any program, conference or gathering