An Icebreaker is just what it says on the tin – it’s a method used for breaking the ice, putting everyone at ease and getting an event off to a good start. They can of course go wrong but hopefully these tips might help to ensure this doesn’t happen.
When to use an Icebreaker
As these exercises are intended to ‘break the ice’ they are best used when:
- delegates come from different backgrounds or offices
- the team has been newly formed
- you need to get to know your delegates or participants quickly
- the topic is new or unfamiliar
So what is the ice and how do you break it
Depending on the situation the ice can refer to a number of things. It can be as simple as participants just not knowing each other, or if you are bringing together people from different grades the ice can be the difference in status. It can refer to participants from different backgrounds or cultures. Bearing all this in mind the best option is to focus on the shared interest e.g. the event itself than the differences between delegate’s backgrounds or statuses.
A good icebreaker will help to introduce participants to each other and facilitate conversation. A few of the most common icebreakers are listed below:
Little known fact
Ask participants to reveal a fact that no-one else knows about them – you’ll be surprised about what some of them reveal.
True or False
Ask participants to introduce themselves by stating 3 or 4 statements, one of which is false. The remaining participants try and guess which statement is false.
Pair your group into twos and ask them to interview each other for a specified number of minutes, when you group reconvenes each member of the pair tells the rest of the group about their partner.
Although Icebreakers are intended to get an event or training session off to a good start you can sometimes find that energy or motivation starts to dip as the day goes on. This is when Energisers are a good idea – read our next blog to find out more.