The Missing Key

I came up with this interactive lecture format at a recent workshop in Paris. My colleague Bruno Hourst gave a 10-minute presentation in French. I don't understand spoken French but this did not prevent me from attaching an interactive extension to Bruno's lecture.


To summarize the key points in a lecture.


Minimum: 2

Maximum: Any number

Best: 12 to 30


In addition to the time required for the lecture presentation, you need 5 minutes for each team.


Make your presentation. Clearly identify different topics. The best length for your presentation is 15 to 20 minutes.

Organize the participants into two or more teams. Each team should have at least one member and up to seven.

Identify four key points. Ask each team to come up with four key points that summarize your presentation. Ask the participants to make sure that these key points don't duplicate or overlap with each other. Announce a suitable time limit for this activity. Set the timer.

Ask a team to read three of its sentences. At the end of the time period, blow the whistle. Randomly select one of the teams to be the first team and ask it to read three of its key items, in a random order. Ask the other teams to listen carefully and to think about the key point that was left out.

Conduct the guessing game. Ask the other teams to figure out which key point was left out. Ask the teams to write a sentence about this key point. After a suitable pause, ask the teams to take turns to read the missing item they came up with.

Score the guesses. Ask the first team to listen to the various guesses and read the fourth item they left out. Then ask this team to figure out how closely each of the other team's guesses resembled to missing item. Ask the first team to award zero to three points to each of the other team's guesses reflecting how close it was to the original item.

Repeat the procedure. Choose another team and ask one of its members to read three sentences in a random order. Ask the other teams to write their guesses of the missing item. As before, ask the teams to read their guesses and the original team to score these guesses.