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The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
The Activator Preview Copy
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The Activator Preview Copy


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A quick preview of our leadership games and activities book. Order your copy today from

A quick preview of our leadership games and activities book. Order your copy today from

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    $12.95 US
  • 2. Table of CONTENTS
    Meet the Authors…………………………. 3
    Increase Your Facilitation IQ……………. 4
    Authenticity Rules Blog Posts…………... 9
    PLI Overview……………………………….11
    Meet the Activities………………………... 12
    Activities Indexed by Essential…………. 63
    Activities Indexed by Time………………. 64
    PLI Curriculum……………………………. 65
    The Activator
    PLI, Inc.
    1210 Roosevelt Street, Suite 200, Edmond, OK 73034
  • 3. meet the
    Rhett is a Professional Communicator, Author, Presentations Coach, Personal Leadership Insight Expert and owner of YourNextSpeaker, LLC.  He has shared his leadership expertise for over 15 years, to over half a million audience members in more than 35 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas and Canada. Rhett is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received a degree in Agricultural Economics. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.
    Ryan has been dedicated to Making A Difference in the lives of students and educators, customers and citizens and enterprises of all sizes for more than a decade. He is a youth leadership expert, spokesperson, keynote speaker and speech writer. Ryan is the Chief Leadership Officer of TRI Leadership Resources, one of America’s leading providers of management, event and training services for nonprofit and student organizations.
    Kelly Barnes is an accomplished leader and inspirational story teller who is equipped with life experiences and lessons that can truly develop the leader within those around him. As a professional speaker, leadership coach, money wizard and associate speaker for YourNextSpeaker, LLC, Kelly's material draws from his numerous leadership roles and life experiences that have helped him turn his life into a true testimonial of leadership and life lessons.
  • 4. Increase your FACILITATION IQ!
    We believe leadership (and many other subjects) is best taught in a highly-interactive format. It actually demands, relies upon and comes alive with student-to-student, student-to-curriculum, student-to-world and student-to-instructor interaction. The following pages are meant to help you increase your “Facilitation IQ” and to give these activities a fighting chance to be great. Remember this phrase: great instruction techniques can make a sub-par activity shine and a great activity can crumble with them.
    Making an Optimal V.A.K. Environment
    Move my feet Get music going.
    Move my eyes Get visuals up.Move my ears Get me listening.Move my mouth Get me talking.
    Move my brain Get me learning, thinking, curious.Move me Get me physically moving on purpose.Move on Get to the point quickly. I am ready.
    credit: Kelly Barnes, YourNextSpeaker, LLC
  • 5. Small Group Success
    A small group ranges from 5 to 30 in size. With a ratio of 1 to 30 or less, you have the opportunity to connect personally with each student and set the stage for a powerful learning session.
    Energy. You have to bring the energy to the room. In large groups it is easy to generate energy out of thin air because of sheer numbers. However, in a small group it is not as easy. Your students feel as if they are being watched closely (by you and their peers) and this causes many of them to put up a wall. If you are not energetic and actively involved, then why should they be?
    Relevance. It is your job to bring relevance and “shine the light” on the situation. How does the content relate to their life, teams, family, problems, success, etc.? Relevance is particularly vital because of the opportunity to personalize the experience for each student. Making relevant connections is also a powerful tool for breaking through filters and helping your students understand how to apply the information.
    Application ideas…
    Sit in a tight circle with your class.
    Reward success genuinely.
    Make the content visual.
    All students participate.
    You participate.
    Make a real-life application quickly.
    Show them how to apply the learning.
    Model the energy level you desire.
    It is important to focus
    on two things…
    Satisfy their needs
  • 6. PREVIEWING your content
    Next level facilitators are phenomenal at preparing the environment, the content and the participants to reach a purposeful result.
    More than one novice facilitator tries to push a square peg through a round hole. They have a great activity or process ready to go, but they don’t get buy-in from their group and thus they don’t get them ready to go. They knew where they were going, but they forgot to set context for the journey. Participants are more willing to walk a mile if they know why they should walk. Next level facilitators also mix it up. They utilize multiple previewing methods to fulfill the program’s need for variety and to fulfill the participant’s different learning styles.
    This is why previewing is so
    vital to the lesson’s success.
    Students struggle with unlearning behavior; they
    must have the
    why-factor satisfied.
    Application ideas…
    Be clear on what the participants need to buy into.
    Begin with a genuine story that elicits a specific emotion.
    Emotions are 80,000 times quicker to respond than thoughts.
    Pose a question that is extreme – either very obtuse or very simple to answer.
    Have the participants discuss with one another.
    Introduce real-life scenarios.
    Have a reasonably sized gap between the context and application.
    Leave room for discovery – let them figure out the meaning.
    Strive for 100% attention through interestingness, fresh concepts and fun.
    Instead of telling them why something is important, create a curiosity in them to want to know why.
  • 7. DOING your content
    “Doing your content” is about giving directions effectively. Once the climate of participation has been evoked and the context has been set, it is time to start doing the process. When giving directions, you need to focus on clarity. You must be totally clear on every step of the activity and then transfer this clarity to the group. Chunking and modeling is a technique that accomplishes this goal. The directions must be chunked down into manageable pieces and the participants must have the opportunity to model (either physically, mentally, visually or verbally) each chunk.
    Get in their zone during the activities. You can’t feel the waves until you jump in the ocean.
    Application ideas…
    If it is not clear to you, it will not be clear to your students.
    Sometimes discovery is more valuable than instruction.
    Don’t rescue participants too early.
    Chunk directions down into manageable pieces.
    During an activity, be mindful of the crest of the wave. Know when they are ready to move on.
    Give ample time for questions.
    Use inclusive language (we/us instead of you/I).
    Being pleasant and cordial will reap better results.
    Emphasize the connection between activity success and listening to the directions.
    Always connect the activity’s learning lesson directly to the curriculum.
  • 8. REVIEWING your content
    Reviewing is the art of enabling the students to learn from their experience. It adds value to the process, develops awareness, encourages self-expression, provides learning support and empowers the group. The type of reviewing is determined by the participants’ needs and the general flow of the class. You will need to apply a tremendous amount of thought into this portion of your class because this is where the connection is made between experiencing the activity and application of learning.
    To maximize reviewing time, engage in a brainstorming session while preparing for class. Take the time to find as many “reviewing legs” as you can for each process and activity. Then choose the one that fits best for your class on that particular day. It is also important to choose the reviewing method that shortens the trip between experience and application.
    Application Ideas…
    Be creative and mix up reviewing techniques.
    Let the participants learn from one another.
    Review in a different location than where they learned.
    Utilize the S-P-G formula (Solo-Pair-Group) to allow participants time to develop an answer.
    Think of reviewing as another powerful learning activity.
    Give appropriate feedback.
    Not every activity demands a thorough review.
    Use personal stories to make strong connections.
    Students learn best by talking and thinking about what they did.
    10 Debriefing Questions…
    How did you (your team) approach the activity?
    What was the purpose of this activity? (Whatever the student response ask for more insight on it.)
    What was the key to making this activity work?
    Who took the lead in this activity?  Who generated ideas?   Who were the listeners?
    What was frustrating about this experience?
    What did you learn from this activity?
    If you were going to do this activity over, how would you do it differently?
    How does this activity/experience relate to being a leader?
    What will you do with this new knowledge and experience?
    If you were going to give someone else advice after doing this activity, what would it be?
  • 9. The AUTHENTICITY Rules Blog is our speaking, teaching, training skills blog with over 130 posts about how to bring out the best of yourself as an interactive, high-energy, high-impact presenter. Here are a few post dates you should check out to help you increase your Facilitation IQ.
    Assessing Presentation Threats (April 26, 2009)
    Authenticity Rules #4 – Know Your Tools (April 20, 2009)
    Do They Get It? (December 2, 2008)
    Authenticity Rule #6 – Know Your Enemies (November 17, 2008)
    Establishing Credibility in a Small Group Environment (October 17, 2008)
    Workshop Planning (June 25, 2008)
    Concentrate Your Training Room (June 21, 2008)
    10 Tips for Next Level Facilitators (June 14, 2008)
    Finding Your Authentic Style (March 25, 2008)
    Tips for Putting Together a Powerful Slide Show (January 28, 2008)
  • 10. The AUTHENTICITY Rules Blog
    Who You Got in the Room? (December 4, 2007)
    Have Some Fun With the Serious Stuff (November 6, 2007)
    If You Need Music for Your Programs (November 3, 2007)
    The Characteristics of an Effective Leadership Exercise or Game (October 22, 2007)
    10 No-No’s for PowerPoint Use (October 15, 2007)
    Energy Gaps (October 4, 2007)
    Your Role Determines Your Effectiveness (July 24, 2007)
    Keeping an Audience’s Attention (June 29, 2007)
    Warm Them up Before You Start (May 10, 2007)
    Be a SMART Presenter (February 28, 2007)
    The Room Should Move With You (February 26, 2007)
  • 11. PLI
    Personal Leadership Insight
    Welcome to the world of . The PLI curriculum is a product of our combined 30 years of leadership teaching and training experience, our love for leadership development and our belief in the tremendous value of building students and adults of strong leaderly character. The curriculum was co-developed by Rhett Laubach and Ryan Underwood as a turn-key system for teaching and learning leadership. The activities contained within The Activator are each labeled by which of the ten PLI Essentials that particular activity can be best used to teach. These activities work perfectly well on their own and integrated within whatever curriculum or program of leadership you are using. However, they are most powerful when used within the context of the entire PLI structure. You can learn more about the PLI curriculum at
    Personal Leadership Insight
    The Ten PLI Essentials
    Wise Judgement
    Service Mindedness
    Goal Processing
    Skill Assessment
    Emotional Maturity
    Fostering Relationships
    Masterful Communication
    "Personal Leadership Insight is our understanding of how to positively influence people and situations to create value and growth."
  • 12. meet the
    To access the complete PLI curriculum….
  • 13. 1. Finger Joust
    PLI Essential – Emotional Maturity
    Objective – Touch your forefinger to the body of your opponent before they touch you
    Time Needed – 2-3 minutes
    Best Case Scenario – The more people the better, it is good if students pair up with someone their size
    Debrief Possible – Discuss with how they react/respond to victory or defeat.
    Step-by-Step Instructions
    Have students partner up with someone about their size.
    Each student grabs the hand of their partner (opponent) like they are shaking hands.
    Then they need to wrap their middle finger, ring finger and pinky finger around the opponents thumb and use their index finger to point at the opponent.
    On the count of three it is race to see who can touch the person the most without being touched. This can do a best out of three.
  • 14. 2. Clumps
    PLI Essential – Fostering Relationships
    Objective – To get into the right clump
    Time Needed – 10-20 minutes
    Best Case Scenario – An open area with 15 – 100 students
    Debrief Possible – It teaches how people are different in many regards and how we shouldn’t judge people on their differences. We should instead recognize and appreciate differences and find points of similarity to create mutual interests, points of conversation and friendship building blocks.
    Step-by-Step Instructions
    Everyone gets up in the open area.
    The point of the game is to get in a clump.
    A clump is a circle of people with their arms interlocked.
    Participants know how to clump up based on the “descriptor” the activity leader gives.
    Participants know which clump to get into based on communicating with others to find people that are like them.
    For example, when the activity leader yells out eye color, all the blue eyes get in a clump, all the green eyes, brown eyes, etc.
    There cannot be “split clumps.” For example, if shoe size is the descriptor, all the 10’s have to be together, all the 9’s, etc. There cannot be two clumps of 6’s or two clumps of 8’s, etc.
    Once all the clumps have been formed, the activity leader will give another descriptor.
    Numbers can also be used to form the clumps instead of descriptors. The activity leader can say 5 and everyone gets in clumps of 5 people.
    To take the game one step further, once the clumps are made, have everyone go around and briefly introduce themselves to the other people in their clump. The brief intros can be name, hometown, and favorite hobby.
    Once the leader feels like the game has gone long enough, a great way to end it is to have everyone get in one big clump (by using the descriptor of “who is here today”). Once they are in one big circle, the leader can stand in the middle and talk about how everyone is different, but there are certain points of similarity. Point out the fact that everyone in the room has what it takes to be a positive leader. This is also a good time to preview what will happen next, as the leader will have their attention.
    To add an element of competition to this game, have everyone get in a clump before the leader says Stop. All the people who are not in a clump or are in an illegal clump (like a split clump) have to sit down. So, the leader would say get in clumps by your age. Then say go, let them scramble, and then say stop. Everyone not in a clump has to sit down. Keep going until the group has been narrowed down to 3 or 4.
  • 15. Index by PLI Essential
    Vision – Back Snatching, Inspiration Circle, Tetrasodium Towers, Collages,
    Integrity – Leadership Circus, Super Shaper, Monkey in the Corner, Over the Top, Bear-Mosquito-Trout, Detective, One Duck,
    Innovativeness – Create-A-Game, Super Shaper, Table Topics, Charades, Charades (Group Version), Name That Tune, Talk Fest, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Word Association, Super Sundae, You Make the Movie, Tetrasodium Towers, Invention Convention, Collages, Movie Trailer, Silent Social Network
    Wise Judgement – Mattress Company, Balloon Toss, Over the Top, I am Famous Find, Leadership Anaconda, Isolate by the Numbers
    Service Mindedness – Back Snatching, Standing O, Inspiration Circle, Clothespin Tag
    Goal Processing – Mattress Company, Focus Ball, Lap Lolly, Balloon Toss, Super Shaper, Monkey in the Corner, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Super Sundae, Over the Top, Bear-Mosquito-Trout, Buddy Tag
    Skill Assessment – Create-A-Game, Challengers, Letters, Super Sundae, Over the Top, You Make the Movie, Tetrasodium Towers, Invention Convention, Movie Trailer
    Emotional Maturity – Captain is Coming, Lap Lolly, Fill the Circle, Talk Fest, Leadership Circus, Bear-Mosquito-Trout, I am Famous Find, Finger Joust
    Fostering Relationships – Clumps, Circle of Names, Captain is Coming, Mattress Company, Focus Ball, Fill the Circle, Balloon Toss, Create-A-Game, Thumbs Up, Charades, Charades (Group Version), Table Challengers, Name That Tune, Leadership Circus, Super Shaper, That’s Me, Letters, Tetrasodium Towers, Clothespin Tag, Nametag Swap, Isolate by the Numbers, No Hands Stand, Silent Social Network
    Masterful Communication – Circle of Names, Captain is Coming, Back Snatching, Fill the Circle, Thumbs Up, Table Topics, Table Challengers, Talk Fest, This Way/That Way, Word Association, Challengers, You Make the Movie, Grab It, Bear-Mosquito-Trout, One Duck, Nametag Swap, Movie Trailer, Silent Social Network
  • 16. Index by Time
    Short (15 minutes or less)
    Circle of Names, Lap Lolly, Back Snatching, Thumbs Up, Name That Tune, Rock-Paper-Scissors, This Way/That Way, That’s Me, SPG, Rocks All Day Long, Word Association, Inspiration Circle, Challengers, Grab It, Detective, Buddy Tag, Clothespin Tag, One Duck, Nametag Swap, I am Famous Find, Leadership Anaconda, Isolate by the Numbers, Finger Joust, No Hands Stand, Silent Social Network
    Medium (15 – 30 minutes)
    Clumps, Focus Ball, Fill the Circle, Table Topics, Standing O, Table Challengers, Leadership Circus, Super Shaper, Monkey in the Corner, Letters, Super Sundae, Over the Top, Invention Convention, Bear-Mosquito-Trout
    Long (30 minutes or more)
    Captain is Coming, Mattress Company, Balloon Toss, Create-A-Game, Charades, Charades (Group Version), Talk Fest, You Make the Movie, Tetrasodium Towers, Collages, Movie Trailer
  • 17. PLI
    The Leadership LocatorThis beautiful, interactive 120-page, spiral-bound student workbook is both visually pleasing and full of fresh leadership study material. It works for both personal leadership development study, as well as class study time. The Leadership Locator guides the students through the ten PLI Essentials and provides challenges and tools for developing their leadership potential. ($24.95 each. Classroom set of 30 - $600)
    The NavigatorThe teacher's guidebook to the Leadership Locator is much more than you would expect. It not only contains page by page explanations, tips and strategies for teaching every curriculum element of The Locator, it also contains over fifty (actually good) leadership exercises with step-by-step instructions and ten PLI Ventures (think 1-2 week long projects) that gives the students a chance to put their leadership to the test under your direction and guidance. This 200-page leadership training system comes three-hole drilled for ease of use and flexibility and has a copy of The Leadership Locator with it. ($74.95 each)
    The PLI PrimerA shorter version of The Leadership Locator, The PLI Primer is a great way to get your feet wet in the PLI world. It comes in booklet form (11 x17 folded in half, stapled spine) and contains the basic content necessary to learn about each of the PLI Essentials. A teacher armed with The Navigator can turn this 30-page booklet into a powerful leadership development tool. ($9.95 each)
    The PLI WebsiteWhether you teach the full PLI curriculum or not, the PLI website should be bookmarked as one of your “leadership material” favorites. It is not only the place to preview and purchase the PLI curriculum, but it is also the place to access literally hours upon hours of no-cost leadership teaching/training resources through The Warehouse and the PLI blog. (Absolutely Free)