Why Do It?
The reasoning is simple, especially if you are holding a meeting for people who do not know each other too well. A fun icebreaker does that is says on the tin, relaxes people and puts a smile on people’s faces, especially those who are perhaps attending for the first time and are feeling nervous or a touch unenthusiastic about what lies ahead.
What are the top five icebreakers to use before a meeting?
1. Two from Three
This is always a fun way to introduce yourself to new people, get everyone to speak three “facts” about themselves, the caveat being that only two of them are true. It is then up to the rest of the group to work out which fact is actually the falsehood. This can be changed up if people know each other a bit better so they have to work out which fact is true, with two lies being thrown in instead.
2. Blank Sheet of Paper
Give people a blank sheet of paper and five minutes to either draw a sticker or a coat of arms that would represent them and their personality perfectly, before presenting back to the group. Quick, easy, and a great way to get to know people.
3. If You Had a Magic Wand
You may need a little imagination here, although if you can stretch to the expense of an actual magic wand this is always worth doing anyway. Try and avoid involving political views or anything too controversial, and perhaps specify a topic to do with work or the meeting itself. The point is a simple “If I had a magic wand I would…….”
4. Desert Island
Common yet still fun all the same, naming the three things or the person you would like to be with if you were stuck on a desert island always raises a laugh, and someone always lets their guard down and embarrasses themselves in some way, shape, or form.
5. Table Topics
Either have cards with a question written on that each person then has to answer to the rest of the group, or even just a word as a prompt. This is a great way to encourage discussion and involve everyone from the outset.
Avoid: Great Expectations
For some reason, the “expectations” icebreaker remains universally popular, however for me it is far too serious. This is the “I expect to get this from today, I am fearful of this” and often kills the mood of a meeting before it has begun. If you are looking for wide participation levels then this one is best left well alone.
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