My Top 21 Icebreakers and Meeting exercises

Workplace health & safety specialist, blogger and author um Working Well Solutions
14. May 2015

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My Top 21 Icebreakers and Meeting exercises

  1. 21Icebreakers & Meeting Exercises Working Well Solutions Ltd
  2. Have you ever been invited to a conference or meeting and cringed as the leader brings out the big ball and asks you stand in a circle or, even worse, brings out the coloured paper and scissors? No? Well you are lucky. Icebreakers can be brilliant. But if mishandled or applied at the wrong time to the wrong group cause a disaster and alienate the audience before you start on the day’s agenda. I have been to good and bad meetings and the icebreaker or the first exercise often sets the tone for the whole day. Icebreakers Here are 21 icebreakers. Use them as they stand or pick out some elements to make your meetings go with a swing.
  3. • Help relax team members making them ready to listening and contribute • Create a “team atmosphere” • Motivate attendees to work in a cooperative manner • The most popular and effective are those that promote interaction, sharing, and team building. Purpose
  4. Ability or disability • mobility • communications Race, gender and age • language • Different cultures Level of Understanding • Reasoning • Learning Equality & Diversity
  5. 1. Have a clear purpose 2. Simplicity is important. Explain and present easily 3. Time your ice breakers and exercises for the best effect 4. Make it humorous…nothing sets the tone better than laughter 6. Practice until it’s perfect 7. Link it to a point in your presentation. Design your own Let’sGo
  6. 1. True or False Have participants say three things about themselves - two true and one false. Other participants guess what the lie is. The correct guesser goes next. Point: Everyone enjoys the lie! Can be fun Introductions
  7. Choices 2. If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play? Introductions 3. If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why? 4. If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why? Point: Easy to do, most will have an opinion, no threat to participants, often funny answers
  8. 5. Exercise Ask audience to stand and say: Stretch one arm forward. Relax. Stretch the other arm forward. Relax. Now, bring both arms forward and parallel; and bring hands together quickly. Again, again, faster. The sound of applause is created, and say, “Thank you, but the applause isn’t necessary yet.” Then resume the stretching. Try reaching upward with one arm. Relax. Now the other. Relax. Now both. Reach to the sky. Now, bring your arms down, bend at the waste, arms out. Again, again, again….. Large Audience “Thank you, but the applause was enough.”
  9. 6. The Wave Let’s get rid of any tension in the room. On the count of three I want the people in the front to raise their arms straight up and with a throwing action, pass all of their tension in a wave to the row behind. The second row does the same thing and passes it to the third row. We continue the wave to the last row who hurls the collective tension, stress, or anxiety right out the door. Let’s hope nobody’s walking by when the wave washes out into the hallway! Large Audience
  10. 7. Communications Each participant has a sheet of identical plain paper. Explain everyone follow instructions precisely, no questions and eyes closed The instructions: 1. Fold the paper in half 2. Rip off a corner 3. Fold in half again 4. Rip off a corner 5. Fold again 6. Rip off a corner. Now open your eyes and compare each design with others or find a similar design in the group Point: One-way communication is never as effective as two-way; it gives different results. Large Audience
  11. 8. Perception Instruct your audience to count the number of “F’s” in a sentence. Place this sentence on the board or screen: FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS. Allow 15 seconds. On average, most people will only spot 3 or 4 of the F’s in the sentence. There are actually six. The brain tends to skip the word “of,” or perceive it as “versus.” Point: One’s perception may not always be correct. Large Audience
  12. 9. Order Please Ask all the members of the group to place themselves in line in alphabetical order. A variation on this is the order of the date (month and day only) when their birthday occurs Large Audience Give each participant a secret card with the name of an animal on it that makes a distinctive noise eg quack, woof, baa. Ask the members to go and find the other animals of the group but they are not allowed to talk – only make the noise of their animal. 10. Barking Mad
  13. 11. Getting to KnowYou Find ten things that you have in common with one stranger in the group (body parts not allowed.) Large Audience Each person (in couples or threes) takes a penny or other coin out of their pocket and looks at the date. On their turn they recall something spectacular that happened that year either to themselves or in the world and tell the others in the group about it 12. Lucky Penny
  14. 13. Name Game Participants introduce themselves positively with two adjectives beginning with the same letter as the initial of their first name. For example, Motivating, Moneybags Malcolm Short and Sweet Well folks, lets start with everyone saying the word, “Ha.” Now say it a little louder. Say it again, again, again. Now, that’s what I call a cheap laugh! 14. Ha Ha Game
  15. 15. One word Ask a newly formed group to share with their group the one word that describes X (for example, culture, leadership, health, safety, sales) Point: A way of introducing the topic of the meeting or training class and giving an understanding of current thinking of the group about the subject Break Out Sessions
  16. 16. Sales Participants are asked to select an object that they have on their persons. In a small group, everyone is asked to introduce themselves and sell the object to the group. In a large group, individuals are paired and try to sell the object to one another, or “volunteers” are brought to the front to sell the object to the audience. Some of the people will be enthusiastic and creative, others might be reluctant and shy. Point: How a person approaches a topic often determines how the topic is perceived. Break out Sessions
  17. 17. Desert Island You are marooned on a island. What five (you can use a different number, such as seven, depending upon the size of each team) items would you take with you Choose five items per team, not per person. Write the items on a flip chart and discuss and defend your choices with the larger group after. Point: Gives insight into other's values and problem solving styles and promotes teamwork. Break out Sessions
  18. “"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." Michael Jordan Discuss in Groups No 18
  19. 19. Breathing Give each participant a straw and instruct them to climb a flight of stairs whilst only being allowed to breathe through the straw. How difficult is this? Point: Demonstrates the effect on the lungs due to smoking or work related asthma or lung cancer Health
  20. 20. What’s Wrong With This Picture? Health and Safety
  21. 21. What’s Wrong With This Picture? Health and Safety
  22. Should be • An activity where the leader can be seen by everyone in attendance. • Sends participants away with critical information or reminders of upcoming activities. • Allows the leader to express appreciation to participants and others • End on a Positive Note The Finale
  23. Jane Coombs Follow me on Twitter - @WWSOccHealth Appreciate a ‘like’ on Facebook