I say Hi!” Improv Exercise

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I Say Hi!” Improv Exercise

This is a great exercise to help build personal connections and generate positive energy between team members. The group repeats a simple rhythmic pattern as each person introduces themselves and their “friend” standing next to them in the circle. “1...2,3,4,5. My name is (name) and I say Hi! 6…7, 8,9,10. This is (name) and s/he’s my friend.” Participants then share and create three fun facts about their new friend as the rhythmic pattern continues around the circle.

Skill sets

Teamwork, Listening/Awareness, Energy

Time to implement

8-12 minutes

Number of participants

8-12 per small group

Exercise flow

  1. Divide the larger group into smaller groups, using one of the strategies for making groups.

  2. Designate a section of the room for each group to gather and form a circle.

  3. Ask the participants to stand beside someone they don’t know very well.

  4. Have the group briefly introduce themselves to the person on either side. Depending upon the familiarity of the team members, give time for people to learn about their neighbors. (see Variations below)

  5. Explain that in the exercise one person will introduce themselves and their friend to the group. The full group will support through a simple rhythmic pattern.

  6. Introduce the rhythmic pattern to the group.

Group: One… two, three, four, five!

Focus Person: My name’s __________ and I say hi!

Group: Six… seven, eight, nine, ten!

Focus Person: This is __________ and she’s my friend!

  1. Have the group practice the first portion of the rhythmic pattern together. Use your own name and introduce the person standing to your side.

  2. Introduce the second part of the rhythmic pattern to the group. Explain that the person gives three descriptive phrases about their “friend”. The group will call for the phrases by counting together. Give an example…

Group: One!

Focus Person: She has brown hair!

Group: Two!

Focus Person: She likes to read!

Group: Three!

Focus Person: She’s on the red team!

Group: Four! Four! Four! Four! One…two, three, four, five!

  1. Have the group complete the entire pattern once together. Ask if anyone has any questions.

  2. Explain that the pattern repeats as the “friend’ becomes the next person to give an introduction. Continue around the circle until everyone has been introduced.

  3. Stop the exercise and quickly debrief. (If time allows try the Observation/conversation variation.)

Debrief questions

  1. Who learned something new about someone? What was one new thing that you learned about a team member?

  2. Who found they had something in common with someone else? What was it?

  3. What skills did you use to help you be successful?

  4. How could we use the skills in this exercise to help us better engage guests in conversations?


Encourage the group to stay in the rhythm of the song/chant while giving descriptive phrases. Emphasize that descriptive phrases can be anything and creativity is encouraged. Interesting facts are the most fun (stress the importance of remaining work-appropriate).


Small teams (5 or fewer): Use steps 6-9 as outlined in the Exercise Flow on the front of this page. Have participants select one person from the group to introduce first. Every participant in the group uses the rhythmic pattern to introduce the one person. (Person 1 is introduced by 2, 3, 4, and 5) Each time a person introduces the selected participant, the information must be unique and different from anything said before in the exercise. Once everyone in the group has introduced the selected participant, the group focuses on the next person in the group. (Person 2 is introduced by 3, 4, 5, and 1) This pattern is repeated until all participants have been introduced by everyone in the group.
Small teams (5-8 people): Use steps 6-9 as outlined in the Exercise Flow on the front of this page. Have participants randomly introduce different people around the circle. The participant introduced then has the task of introducing the next person. Each time a person is introduced the information must be unique and different from anything said before in the exercise.
New groups: Have the group first introduce themselves to the person on either side and share one or two interesting facts about themselves.
Observation/conversation: Conduct one round with no time to share facts. Have the participants stand next to someone else in the circle and give them time to have a short conversation about what they did yesterday. Play a second round of the exercise. Debrief on the difference of descriptive phrases used.
Two truths and a lie: Have each person give two real facts about their “friend” and a single false fact. The group can then guess which was the lie.

This project was supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Copyright 2012, Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago IL.

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