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My N.A.M.E.

This is… An activity in which participants introduce themselves by presenting their first names as acronyms.

The purpose is… Everyone knows everyone else’s name and some interesting things about each other. That information may prompt some small talk later. 

Use this when…

  • One or more of the individuals’ names are not known.
  • Individuals do not know each other very well.
  • You don’t have prep time and/or materials for anything more elaborate.


Materials you’ll need… No materials are necessary for this activity.


Here’s how… 1. Give the group 5 minutes to think of interesting facts about themselves that correspond to the letters of their first name. 2. Have each participant share his or her acronym.

For example… “Hi, I’m Logan. L for Led Zeppelin, one of my favorite rock groups. O is Ohio, which is where I live. G is for German, the only foreign language I know. A is for Aunt Wendee, my favorite relative. And N is for Nice, because I’m a nice guy!”

Ask these questions…

  • Why is it important for us to know each other beyond a purely work-related context?
  • How difficult (or easy) was it to share information about yourself with others?
  • How can we learn more about each other back on the job?

Tips for success…

  • If participants get stuck, tell them they do not have to follow the rules strictly. For example, “L” can be for Loving chocolate, Loving chess, Loving snow, and so forth.
  • Be prepared to share your own acronym as an example for the group.
  • You may use this activity to just get acquainted or get a meeting started without asking the Debrief questions afterwards.

Try these variations…

  • Instead of acronyms about themselves, have the participants make acronyms from their first names that correspond to the kind of work they do (customer service, research, etc.) or a current project they are working on or a problem they collectively face (you may be surprised at a few creative ideas for resolution!).

Date of publication: 2004

Publisher: AMACOM

Author: Brian Cole Miller

Source: Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers Brian Cole Miller AMACOM, 2004 0-8144-7201

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