Whispering Game


People who work together are communicating with each other. If they communicate effectively, this will enhance the performance of the group. If communication is poor, the quality of group work will suffer. The importance of a good communication is demonstrated in this “Whispering game” (also called “Message Relay”) by illustrating the breakdown of the communication. The exercise can be used as a starter for sessions on (effective) communication. Clubs will benefit if there is good communication between members.


  1. To illustrate the breakdown of communication.
  2. To demonstrate the importance of effective communication.


  • 30 minutes


  • None


  1. Ask all the participants to form a circle. The facilitator also takes a place in this circle.
  2. The facilitator then whispers a message to one neighboring person.
  3. The message will now be passed round the circle by whispering to the next person and the next, until it reaches the last person at the other end of the circle (just before the facilitator).
  4. Ask the last person to say the sentence aloud.
  5. Ask the first person who received the message from the facilitator if the message is correct.
  6. Ask several persons of the circle in order to trace the changes.
  7. Discuss the activity.

Some guidelines for discussion

  1. What did we learn from this exercise?
  2. Is good and clear communication an important factor in group work?
  3. In real life, what factors could hinder effective communication?
  4. How can we improve effective communication?
  5. How can we improve communication in a FFS or in a club?

Examples of messages that can be used in this exercise

  1. “If you want to get good yield in Boro rice you should use good quality seed at the rate of 40 kg per hectare and urea at 255 kg per hectare in 3 split. But in T.Aman the does of urea will be 175 kg per hectare.”
  2. “The cuckoo lay their eggs in the nest of the crow, but the wasps lay their eggs into the egg mass of the stemborer.”
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