Conducting indoor team building activities is not a simple task.
It requires preparing relevant, updated and training material that can be delivered in the stipulated time.
However, even the best material can become ineffective if it fails to engage the trainees.
Engaging the trainees may become difficult due to a variety of reasons, hence, it is necessary to prepare them mentally for the exercise.
Just like the warm-up is required before the physical workout, the brain also needs some kind of warm-up for training called icebreakers.
There are many icebreaker exercises available and many new keeps popping up. Trainers may find one exercise more creative or interesting than the other. But can any icebreaker work for any training?
After all, they are just meant for fun, isn’t it? Well, just like the warm-up for each physical exercise is different to target particular muscle group, icebreakers can also be different for a different audience.
To find out best ice breaker for training or creating new ice breaker idea, it is necessary to understand the purpose of ice breaker.
A big misunderstanding about ice breaker is that it’s just a game or activity to make the session interesting. While, ice breaker needs to be interesting, it should be something that can contribute to the learning of the session.
Another misconception is that icebreaker is only for soft skill training. Even for technical training, ice breaker can energise the audience, increase focus and make the session more interactive.
Choosing a good ice breaker depends on knowing the ice to be broken which in turn depends on the audience.
In a technical training, the audience is usually homogeneous and individuals are familiar with each other. The ice is usually fatigue or office work running in the mind.
In this case, icebreaker must be something that can energise the audience and make them forget their job. Possible ice breaking activities can be ‘telling name with a rhyming adjective’ or ‘telling little-known facts’.
In soft-skill team building activities, the audience is usually diverse and can be unfamiliar with each other. Thus, ice breaker should be something that can make people open to each other and share their own experiences.
Possible activities can be ‘divide group in pairs and ask to introduce each other’ or ‘speed meeting (just like speed dating)’.
In a team building exercise, the ice is usually cliques; the activities should be to create new groups and give them a small task to perform. Possible action may be group coordination tasks like creating the longest chain by joining hands and accessories like belts, jackets, etc.
Icebreaker is an activity that can lift boredom from training and make people more responsive to knowledge shared. It can act as a break in long training sessions.
Icebreaker should be chosen to suit the audience and meet training purpose. A good training is one where people learn new things. A better training is the one where people have fun learning new things.
Ice Breaker Questions
Icebreaker Questions is simply a list of 20 great questions that you can ask people to help them feel more part of a group or team. These questions are fun and non-threatening.
You can use them as an icebreaker for meetings or classrooms, written on note cards and adapted for other games, or simply as a fun activity to help people get to know each other better.
Instructions for Icebreaker Questions
An excellent way to help people open up is to ask them fun questions that allow them to express their personality or interesting things about them. Here is a list of twenty safe, useful icebreaker questions to help break the ice:
1. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
2. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
3. What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
4. When you were little, who was your favorite superhero and why?
5. Who is your hero? (a parent, a celebrity, an influential person in one’s life)
6. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?
7. If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you?
8. If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be and why?
9. What’s your favorite cartoon character, and why?
10. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why
11. What’s the ideal dream job for you?
12. Are you a morning or night person?
13. What are your favorite hobbies?
14. What are your pet peeves or interesting things about you that you dislike?
15. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
16. Name one of your favorite things about someone in your family.
17. Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
18. If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
19. If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic comedy, action film, or science fiction?
20. If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be…