Tips for Better Bodystorming

9 Tips for Better Bodystorming
Last weekend at Overlap09, the fourth Overlap, we did a Bodystorming exercise. Dave Gray, the organizer of Overlap09 asked me to talk about my work on Bodystorming. Dave Gray characterized Bodystorming perfectly as sketching not with a pencil and paper, but with our bodies. As the Bodystorm teams (of super thinkers/doers) went through the exercise I realized it would have been better to have had a list of tips that you can use for better bodystorming. Here is that list and some observations/learnings as well.

  1. Bodystorm groups over five people are fine, even up to 8 people worked well.
  2. Everyone needs to have a role, even if it is a prop.
  3. Freely use large cards that label who the different people are playing (Barista, CNN news feed, Dr).
  4. Use thought-bubble cards to show what an actor is thinking versus what they are saying. "Good morning to you, How can I help you?" while someone holds a thought-bubble card above their head that shows they are really thinking "A--hole."
  5. Have a narrator, or color commentator that explains things to the crowd. That keeps the meta-talk to a minimum.
  6. The narrator can pretend it is like watching  TV and use a TV controller, to stop action, rewind, or fast forward.
  7. Your props can have feelings, thoughts, and they can talk.
  8. When your group is working through its presentation, try to approach it with the spirit of improv's "Yes, and . . . " rather than "No, but . . . "
  9. Bodystorm teams that did two skits showing a before and after were very effective.

Bodystorming References
Bodystorming Resources

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© Dennis Schleicher Jr 2021.



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