How to Play the First Impressions Game

By Contributing Writer

This game is a way to get everyone in a group introduced to each other in a fast, memorable way. Emphasize that all players should remain positive if you are using this game in a competitive atmosphere. This game is a way to learn how others view you and get some positive feedback from new people, while you learn more about the people in the room.

Have everybody write their name at the top of a piece of paper with a marker. Instruct them to hold on to their markers as they will continue to use them throughout the game.

Tape the piece of paper with the person's name on it to her back. Make sure there is no way that she can see her paper.

Give everyone a set amount of time to meet every other person in the room. If there are a lot of people, allow as much as half an hour for this activity. For fewer people, allow less time.

Have each person write a one- or two-word first impression on the back of every other person's piece of paper. Before doing so they should introduce themselves to each other and converse briefly. When the game is finished, everyone should have as many items on their paper as there are other people in the room. Remind everyone to keep these descriptions positive, such as "bright smile" or "focused energy." People do not need to sign their comments, but they should avoid writing something that would make the other person uncomfortable.

Bring everyone back together to introduce themselves based on the first impressions on the paper. For example, a person might rise and say, "Hi, I am Susan and you all think I am energetic, bouncy and have a firm handshake." This will result in a positive atmosphere in the room and make everyone a little more familiar with each other than if you just did a round of introductions by name and native city or specialty.

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