Say my name is a stimulating fast moving and energetic name-game, for large groups.
Benefits of Say My Name Group Energizer and Ice-Breaker Activity
- Easy to play
- Great name-reminder
- Creates healthy competition
- Encourages communication
- No props needed
- Stop-watch or cellphone timer
How To Play Say My Name Group Ice-Breaker Activity
Get the group to stand or sit in the form of a circle, it is usually better if they can sit. Start off with a practice round by getting each person to shout out their name a couple of times. This must be done loud enough for all to hear.
Now, starting with the person sitting on your right, request that as soon as you say ‘1-2-3’ or ‘Go’, they must shout out their name as quickly as they can.
The one sitting on their right must then quickly shout out their name, and so on around the circle. The ‘Impulse’ must keep moving around the circle. So, the ‘Impulse’ ends with you shouting out your own name.
Now you are ready to go, but this time you will be timing the group’s response. You can call this first attempt, as the ‘A Team’, and the ‘Impulse’ will be moving around the group in a clockwise direction. Record all these attempts and then motivate the group to see if they can go faster and faster after each round. Soon the sound of the ‘Impulse’ or names moving around the circle will be like one long cry and will bring loads of laughter.
Next, you can encourage the group to do the same thing, but this time allow the ‘Impulse’ to move in an anticlockwise direction, and you can call it ‘B Team’.
Of course, the whole group is both the ‘A-Team’ and the ‘B-Team’, but as soon as you encourage competition things automatically change and the energy levels increase. You can always, after a few rounds in both directions, have a semi-final and then a final where you can announce a winner.
Contextual Framing Ideas for Say My Name Ice-Breaker Activity
Today there are all types of competitions, but here we will show you one of the more unique options. This activity is referred to as the ‘Name Impulse Ice-Breaker’ and we are going to try and set a brand-new world record…
Step-by-Step Instructions for facilitating Say My Name Ice-Breaker Activity
- Get the group to form a circle, they can either stand or sit down.
- Instruct the person immediately to your right to shout out their name. They can do this soon after you have given them a signal.
- Immediately after this, the person to their right must shout out their name and so on around the circle.
- This ‘Impulse’ moves around the circle and eventually ends up with you shouting out your name in the end.
- This was only an introduction, start again but know record the time the ‘Impulse’ takes to travel around the circle.
- After you have done this a number of times, encourage the group to do the same thing but this time in an anticlockwise direction.
- Record and announce the best time and of course the winner.
Facilitators and Leadership Tips
You will probably discover that the exercise did not really help members of the group remember all the names, but you will find everyone had fun.
It will come to your attention that after a number of rounds the names will begin to blur. Some members might call out their name before their neighbor has a chance to complete theirs. When this happens, you can make a comment but try not to deviate from the fun of this exercise.
If you find some of the group prefer to make use of their nicknames, as they are shorter and therefore quicker to say, let them go ahead. The activity is meant to be fun and not a deadly serious challenge.
Debriefing and Reflection Strategies
Here are a few questions to ask the group, which will help them to process their experience of playing the game ‘Say My Name’
- Were you under any pressure when it came to your turn to shout out your name? Did it mean anything to you?
- Were you on the winning team?
- Did you have a strategy, which helped your group to make the fastest time?
- During the exercise did the group always stick to the rules? Did it make a difference for you?
Variations of Say My Name Group Energizer and Ice-Breaker Activity
- Two-Way Traffic: Get the group to let the ‘Impulse’ travel around the circle in both directions at the same time. Record the Team with the fastest time.
- Neighbor Names: Get everyone to shout out the name of the group member to their immediate right or left.
- Yell Impulse: Get the group to shout out and scream as loud as possible, as they go around the circle. There is no need to time this ‘Impulse’. Just enjoy the sight of the faces of the group as they get ready to shout, some will be excited and yet others will show a sign of discomfort. So, be careful, this game is not so much an ‘Ice-Breaker’ as it is a ‘Trust Building’ exercise.
- Impulse by Another Name: Get the group to shout out something other than their name; it could be their favourite colour or some personal quality.