Paperclip Partnership

Paperclip Partnership

Connecting with someone is always great, and sometimes that connection can become permanent. To demonstrate this in a colourful way, use a bank note and two paperclips.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Show someone the bank note and a couple of paperclips.


Do you like cash? I prefer paperclips, I connect better with them than money. Want to see?

Lend me your ears

Fold the paper bank note into thirds so it looks like a flattened "z". You should have a top layer, a middle layer, and a bottom layer. Using one of the paperclips, clip the top layer and the middle layer together from the side, as shown.


Once I've set up the cash, I can get these two paperclips to stick together without touching them. Possible?

Now clip the middle and bottom layer of the money together with the other paperclip. Put the paperclip towards the loose end.

Seal the Deal and Reveal

Pull the ends of the paper apart. If you've clipped the paperclips together correctly, they will move towards each other.


These two paperclips are about to form a bond like no other, with just a little help…

Keep pulling the sides of the bank note apart. The paperclips will join and pop off the paper.

Some extra lines you can try

  • Money can really connect people.
  • Forget money, paperclips make the world go round.
  • Well done, I won the cash, but you go home with two classy paperclips.
Alternative ending

Change the story to your own, make it about bonding or connecting. Or offer the money as an incentive to put the trick to the test.

Anticipated responses and retorts

Is this what they mean when they say that money talks?

Hey, we are doing the talking here. The money is just part of the story.

Does money bring people together?

Money can buy paperclips, and that brings, well, paperclips together. And people too.

Do you always put your money where your paperclips are?

Funny! Only when my mouth is talking.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to get people connecting.
  • When you need to make an on-the-fly point about people coming together.
  • When you want to get the imagination firing.
Where to use it
  • informal meetings
  • mentoring
  • team building events
  • leadership forums
Getting ready
Items required
  • A bank note and some paperclips
  • Think of the story you want to share, about people connecting, and get stuck in.
Training required
  • Try this a couple of times on your own and you will get the hang of it.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • Don't "shoot" the paperclips into someone's eye.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

paper money and a couple of paperclips

size size

should all fit in your pocket

durability durability

don't spend all your money and you should always be ready to go

source source

a friend

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one or a small group

possible health risk possible health risk

don't flash too much cash

reusable how many times you can use it

once or twice

training needed training needed

try it a couple of times to get the feel of things

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