Next we’ll be extending on this idea of using the idea of feedback, this time for telling stories. (continuing from the Ding! game.)

The basic version of this activity involves two players. The teller and the decider.

First the decider must be taught how to say ‘nope‘. The decider should adopt a pleasant ‘no hard feelings’ sort of ‘nope‘. This will help prevent the teller from getting too depressed.

Ok, here we go.

The teller will be telling a story about the decider. They will do this one sentence at a time. So they’ll start with something like ‘you open the front door’, or ‘you decide to take a shower‘.

The decider then…decides. They only have two choices, they can say ‘nope‘ or they can say ‘what happens next?

If they say nope, the teller will then make a new suggestion, and will keep doing so until they get a ‘what happens next?‘ At which point they suggest the next thing that will happen.

The decider should only agree to a suggestion that really floats their boat.

Repeat until the story finishes.

The teller has to focus on telling the kind of story the decider wants to hear.

Reminders: Decider, don’t be afraid to say ‘nope‘ 30 times in a row. Don’t say ‘what happens next?‘ just to be nice.

Teller: If you’re doing too well throw in a really weird offer, just to make sure the decider is actually listening.

As David Wahl said of the Ding! game. The only way to fail here is to do nothing. As long as the teller can come up with offers (no matter how dumb) things can keep ticking over.

Improved variation: Group version. The decider stays constant, but every time the teller gets ‘nope’d‘ another player must run up and take their place. This is great chance to work taking defeat in your stride (an underrated ability) .

This may well be my favorite exercise. It’s also the thing I will pull out if I’m talking to someone about improv and they want to get an idea of what it’s like.


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