The Eloquence Showdown

Many versions of this game exist.

Host vs. Guest

Pick two sides, randomly or let them self-organize. You want the sides to number roughly the same.

If no intrinsic Host/Guest role exists in your situation, flip a coin to determine which role goes to which side.

Pick a team name, corresponding to a natural element of creation…animals, weather, landscape, etc.

Guests knock on the imaginary door.

Hosts open it, and begin the harangue, starting Round 1.

Round 1
First Hosts speak, Guests listen. Then they trade.

Round 2
Same, raising the eloquence stakes.

Round 3
Hosts concede, Guests listen. Guests accept, Hosts listen.


Goal for Host: Play down the Host’s home, hospitality, wealth. Play up the Guest’s importance, fineness, and too-high of station for the Host’s home. Convince the Guests that they won’t feel satisfied with the Host’s home, only capitulating in Round 3 if the Guests persist.

Goal for Guest: Play down the Guest’s station, importance, fineness. Play up the Host’s. Convince the Host team that the Guest team will feel satisfied with the Host’s home, only capitulating in Round 3 if the Hosts won’t back down.

“Mentors” – Pick one Speaker and one Coach for each side. The Speaker only says what the Coach whispers into the Speaker’s ear.

Extra Rounds – Raise the stakes by adding rounds. Additional option; give each side its own secret round to “take a fall in”.

Styles – Pick a style for the sides to emulate. “Rhetorical”, “Musical”, “Rhyming”, etc.

Written by Willem