In this exercise you’ll challenge your participants to follow…Instructions! In a competitive environment, we tend to bend rules and instructions in order to complete tasks faster and more efficient. It doesn’t always work however…


This is a fun little energizer which demonstrates how many of us work really hard to be as efficient as possible, but in that sometimes miss little details which would have made the entire process a lot faster.



Setting it up:

Distribute the handout “Instructions” which you can download in the props section on the right. Have the group complete the tasks on the handout and see how many are actually capable of following these real simple instructions. Most won’t be able to!

Hand out a copy of the test below face down, then take your stopwatch and explain to your group that they’re about to take a small test. They’ll have 3 minutes to complete the assignment, but obviously completing it and being in the top three to complete it is two very different things. We all want to win right? Once the time is up, they’re to put down their pen.

Start the time and let them have a go at it.

You can print out and try to take this test yourself if you haven’t already done it. Get out your watch and time yourself and see how far you’ll get.

NOTE: If you want to try this yourself, just for fun, now is the time to stop reading and do the above – try it! You’ll find the next part fun and likely slightly annoying…

The Kicker:

The point of this test is to see how well your group takes directions. If directions are followed to the point, this test is very easy and spares you the embarrassment of shouting “I DID IT!” among other things. Sentence 20 states, that you should ignore the previous and simply do sentence one and two. 


Often, we’re in such a hurry to complete the task at hand, that we don’t realize what the task actually is until it’s too late. This energizer is a fun and entertaining way of showing this and can be used to emphasize on that fact if you’re facing a challenge, task or process which requires everyone to understand the assignment completely before giving solutions.

Talk to the group about times where this has happened to them, what happened, how it could have been avoided.

Talk about upcoming tasks where the result is dependent on understanding the assignment before executing on it. What are the consequences of not understanding the assignment completely? What should we look out for? Be aware of?

Facilitation notes:

This energizer is of course just fun in itself. You don’t have to put a business spin on it. You can simply use it as an opener on the day to emphasize that people should pay attention to the tasks you give them during the day, and not just jump into them without fully understanding them first.

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After years of experience with thousands of participants at conferences, meetings, sales training, kick-offs and much more, we’ve decided to share some of our experiences and tools on the internet, to help battle boring meetings and help presenters, speakers, trainers, teachers, managers and more, to deliver more powerful and engaging sessions and meetings.

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