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One-Line Opener


Only 7% of our communication is verbal. The remainder is voice and tone (38%) and body language (55%). How can we better understand how our tone and physical expressions impact our communication?

Level of Difficulty:



Pairs of Two


This exercise is conducted as a series of two-person scenes. Two individuals should ask for a location that fits on the space provided to perform (e.g. a kitchen, a subway car, a bus shelter)

Each person opens the scene with a single line of dialogue. Don’t worry about making sense, or building a story. Say each line naturally. For instance, in a scene that takes place in a kitchen.

Person A: I can’t believe it.

Person B: We’re moving to Alaska

Try to avoid question statements, but this is not a requirement.

Now, create a two-minute scene using only the dialogue provided in the first two lines of the show. You don’t have to say the full line (e.g. Believe it! from Person A’s line). And you can borrow the other person’s line. Explore repetition. Explore tone of voice. Explore body language. A scene might unfold:

Person A: I can’t believe it. (grounded tone)

Person B: We’re moving to Alaska (grounded tone)

A: We’re, moving? To Alaska? (surprised, with pauses)

B: We’re moving to Alaska! I can’t believe it! (excited)

A: Alaska? (sounded a little sad)

B: Believe it! (excited)

Continue until a 2-minute timer concludes or another team member calls scene, usually 90-120 seconds.

Practical Application:

How does our tone communicate our feelings? How can we listen to this with our stakeholders and partners? How can we say more, with less, by repeating key words or phrases? How might this impact research, brainstorming, and critique sessions?

See More Emotion & Body Language Games

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