Ice breakers are an essential tool in any trainer’s toolkit. They’re short, structured activities that are used to ‘break the ice’ in meetings or facilitation groups. Well-designed ice breakers are great for:
• Reducing tension
• Energising and motivating a group
• Helping people become more engaged in the proceedings
• Getting to know the other participants
• Creating a relaxed learning environment
• Generating conversations
• Creating a climate of participation
By the same token a badly designed ice breaker can go down like a lead balloon.
So what makes an ice breaker work? The activity must be thoughtfully selected, appropriate for the group, tailored to the audience and the duration of the ice breaker should be proportionate to the length of the session.
Over the coming weeks, I will be featuring some unique ice breakers that have worked well for me in different settings. Do you have any tried and tested ice breakers to share? If so, I’d love to hear from you.