Ideas that match

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The more possibilities for development you consider, the more likely it is for your idea to loose clarity. Project managers also have to be aware that they should be able explain their ideas to other people or stakeholders. This method introduces the need for focus and for concentrating on a few aspects. We use wooden matchsticks as a way to make it interesting.

Time 45 minutes

Material safety matches

Group Size up to 20 people

Keywords presentation




Learning to focus on a few aspects, improving presentation skills, adjusting the presentation of a concept to a target audience.

How to do it

The participants stand in a circle. The trainer tells them:

“Present your project concept. You have as much time as it takes for a long match to burn.”

After a short pause the trainer gives the first person a package of matches. This person lights the first match and starts. When the flame goes out, he or she stops.

Keep in mind

Alternatively you can do an elevator speech – but under real conditions. Have small groups of 3-4 people go into an elevator: One is the donor, a second the project manager. The donor should be convinced to support the project during the time it takes the elevator to travel from ground floor to the top floor. Reflect on the experience and give feedback to the project manager.

Then repeat it, exchanging roles. The third person can work as an observer and give feedback as to how the situation appeared to him or her.

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Editor of Competendo. Coordinator of the project DIGIT-AL Digital Transformation in Adult Learning for Active Citizenship. Secretary of the DARE network. Topics: active citizenship, civil society, digital transformation, non-formal and lifelong learning, capacity building. Blogs here: Blog: Civil Resilience. Email: