a simple energiser for an enormous group – can work with over 100 people or even 500, including when participants are sitting in seat rows in a fixed lecture theatre.
The key to this activity is simplicity. There’s an almost archetypal thing that a lot of people do when they hear a rhythm that grabs them. They tap their feet. An similarly simple thing is to click their fingers to the beat.
So, from the front, set off a simple rhythm of a medium paced beat by clicking your fingers (it can also work by slapping your knees gently enough to make an audible beat). It works better this way than clapping which can create very variable levels of noise from person to person.
You can then slow down the beat or speed it up.
Then introduce two signs that you will make, and identify each row as a separate row who will respond to your signal as “conductor”. A nod of your head means, start, and a shake of your head means stop and be silent.
Then start up the beat again and bring different rows in and out.
Finally you can add different types of beat, led by you and brought in and out with a nod or a shake of the head.
If it feels right, a volunteer from the audience could take over your role.
Don’t overdo it – let it last for 5 minutes maximum.