The Blank Screen


The blank screen exercise is designed to give practice in verbally describing the pictures and experiences that are in the mind. Most people will get lost in the description and forget to be nervous.


Flexible, could be adjusted to every situation. This activity perfectly suits the needs of both groups and solo learners.


A movie screen (optional), a clicker or other device that makes a clicking noise.


The easiest way to explain this activity is to demonstrate it. As the leader, plan to describe a personal experience or a picture of your own to illustrate the technique. Suggested topics are: a vacation or trip, an embarrassing experience, a cherished memory, an experience as a brand new leader. It is important that you describe something that is REAL to you. DON’T FAKE IT.

Step up to the screen (a blank wall will do) and start with whatever is natural to you. Example - I want to tell you about the farm that I grew up on - click - This large, red barn was the center of my world. As you can see, it is in the center of a large, green pasture with a pond off to the left and our white, farmhouse in the distance. - click - This is a closer view of the front of the barn. That is me standing in the door of the hayloft with no shirt and my jeans rolled up. I was eleven years old and so skinny you can count my ribs in this picture. - click - Here I am pushing hay out of the loft to feed the cows - click - and here I am in mid-air halfway between the loft and the hay pile. That was great fun until I missed the pile one day. - click- Here you see me on crutches with a cast on my ankle. I still had to feed the cows though. (Stop after several slides.)

“Who wants to show us your slide set? Each of you have mind pictures that you could share. Some possibilities are: your home, your room, a pet, a vacation or trip, an embarrassing experience, your best friend, a scene from nature.”