Balancing Plates

Balancing Plates

Some things might seem impossible, until you literally change perspective – then it makes sense. Try this out with a food plate and a simple challenge.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Ask someone if they’re willing to challenge you to some old-fashioned plate balancing.


Think you can balance the edge of a plate on your fingertip longer than me?
I say it’s impossible.

Lend me your ears

It’s preferable to use a plastic plate in case the person breaks it, but your call on type of plate. Have a cup or roll of tape nearby. (Optional)

Activate your video camera on your phone to confirm who can balance longest.

Get the other person to go first, and give them a few goes.


Not bad, about one second of balancing there, my turn…

Seal the Deal and Reveal

Pretend to size up the plate.

Get them to push record on the phone’s video recorder, then immediately lie down on the floor and place the plate on the roll of tape or cup on the floor. Then place your finger underneath the plate, giving he illusion of the plate hovering there in the video on the phone.


How’s that for a world record time? This plate isn’t budging.

Some extra lines you can try

  • I can do this all day, I must be a very balanced person.
  • Turns out you just need to change perspective.
  • I never take a challenge lying down, except this one.
Alternative ending

Change the stakes by using an expensive plate or changing it altogether to another difficult object to balance, like a vase or a bread knife.

Anticipated responses and retorts

Are you Greek?

They are not the only ones who break plates.

What else can you balance for more than a split second?

I can balance all kinds of objects – it is all about perspective.

Are you a well-balancing person?

Coolfidence has me thinking out of the box, and I see you are too.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to give people a different perspective.
  • When you want to demonstrate a point of a view.
  • When you want to stimulate some lateral thinking.
Where to use it
  • team building events
  • mentoring
  • socializing
Getting ready
Items required
  • A plate and your mobile phone
  • Make sure you phone’s got some battery juice and you are all good to go.
Training required
  • This is a balancing act – practice makes perfect.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • You could break a view plates, so perhaps consider a plastic one.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

a plate (perhaps consider a plastic one) and your mobile phone

size size

we are talking plates, and of course, your phone

durability durability

you could break a few plates, so consider the plastic ones

source source

the ether

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one works best

possible health risk possible health risk

could lead to a Greek wedding

reusable how many times you can use it

probably just once

training needed training needed

just keep a straight face and enjoy

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