Venn Diagrams (Sets)

Materials: Papers with Venn diagrams (sets)

Everyone receives a handout with as many Venn diagrams (three ellipses that intersect, see picture) as there are participants. Write the name of one person for each Venn diagram and, in each of its sets, write down a question eliciting piece of information about that person. For example:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. What do you enjoy doing?
  3. If you were president, what would be the first thing you would do?

Participants have to leave their seats and approach each person in the group and write down their answers to the given questions.

The Venn diagram handouts printable on A4 paper are available here.

Type of exercise:


15-60 min


This activity helps the participants remember each other’s names more easily. It is good for the start of the seminar/training because it enables everyone to talk to (break the ice with) everyone else. It is also good to have people move around the room as this helps create a much more relaxed atmosphere. Of course, everyone gets to keep their handout (participants will often use them to remind themselves of someone’s name). We seldom formulate the third question but ask the participants to come up with a question that can be posed to everyone. This variation of the exercise is more fun because the questions can be very diverse and even funny (e.g. “Do you love your president?” or “Tell me joke”). Keep in mind that the exercise could run over the planned time if people are having fun, so it can be useful to limit the time allotted for this exercise.

Possible difficulties:

Related Workshops: