Blindfolding Strangers

Finding Participants: An exercise in sales. 

  1. Excitement is everything, get excited. You are about to blindfold and introduce two strangers, your energy must be up! If you are not excited about it, how can you expect participants to be. You are selling blindfolded introductions, if you are not excited about sharing the benefits, people with consciously and subconsciously sense that. 
  2. Go to a location where there is a lot of foot traffic. Colleges, malls, coffee shops, airports, places where people are not in a rush and potentially have time to spare.
  3. Identify someone you would like to be the first participant.
  4. Approach the person with engaging “must answer” questions like, “are you ready?”
  5. When they ask “for what?” respond, “to meet someone you have never met!”
  6. Quickly explain in 5 seconds and ask them a second question, the goal is to get as many “yes” answers as possible before asking them the final and most challenging request; to allow you to blindfold them.
    • Ask questions to get the answer “yes” like;
    • “Do you want to meet someone you have never met for five minutes?”- yes
    • “To promote open communication and shatter stereotypes, this person will be blindfolded as they meet you, is that ok?”- yes
    •  At this point explain that you are doing this for a social experiment project called “Pick Your New Opportunities” and possibly show them the website to build credibility. We have had over 4,500 participants around the world and small groups and classrooms alike. We introduce classrooms with blindfolded round robin icebreakers on the first day of class before the students have even seen or met the teacher. Students open up and share more freely without judgmental glances and listen more actively without visual distractions. 
    • “Is it ok if you have to wait for 1-2 minutes while I go find the other person and blindfold them? trust me, many times it is even soon” – yes
    • “Now here is the catch, you have to be blindfolded as well, are you down?”
    • It helps to make a dumb joke to ease the last question “trust me, my windowless van is at least a block away. Im kidding, your going to have a blast, trust me. People like you who are open to this sort of experience are always interesting.” or “don’t worry, I’ll only steal your wallet AFTER you meet the person. Im kidding, this is going to be fun, trust me.”- yes!

The Basics

  1. Blindfold a person, fold the paper on one side so it’s a little less wide and tape it to their temples.
    Make sure they do not trip or run into things.
  2. Once the person is seated, tell them you will return in a few minutes with someone else.
    Assure them that they must be patient but it will be worth it. Comfort the person! Tell them you will return in a few minutes. If it is taking too long to find the second person, check in and assure the first participant to be patient, you are going to find someone soon, you can feel it. It helps to stand next to the first participant and let them know when you see someone you are going to approach and that you will be right back. 
  3. Once the second person is seated next to the first person, break the ice by asking participants three general questions.
    Name, area of study, favorite animal, recent music band/genre listened to, recent movie watched, recent television show watched (choose three or make three up, these are supposed to be easy quick questions.)
  4. Next, give participants time to converse after providing them with some thought provoking questions. (even controversial ones!:] Let them talk for the agreed upon time, if the conversations sizzles, ask another question.
  5. Ask participants to vividly imagine the other person’s appearance, and then have them remove the blindfold. They are always surprised.

Sightless Conversation Benefits:

  1. Encourage conscientious expression and active listening.
  2. Are consistently different. New experiences = Growth
  3. Introduce new people into our lives, NEW OPPORTUNITIES
  4. Shatter stereotypes about how people look based on personality and vice versa.

Staying in touch is crucial!!! Write this information on the top of a sheet of paper and draw horizontal lines beneath.
Name | Facebook Email address | Enjoyable? y/n | Would you try it again? y/n