Your favourite ice-breakers

first_img Previous Article Next Article Your favourite ice-breakersOn 1 May 2004 in Personnel Today We asked readers to nominate the best ways to kickstart a course or meetingand were inundated with replies. Here is just a selection of our favouritesMemory game In my favourite icebreaker, each person is asked to stand in a circle. Aball is thrown to each participant in turn and as they catch the ball they areasked to say their name and their favourite thing. Once everyone in the circle has had a turn the ball is then thrown back tothe organiser. Then the ball must be thrown to someone and the thrower needs tosay the name and favourite things of the person he or she is throwing the ballto. This again continues until everyone has thrown the ball and recited thename and favourite thing of each participant. Why use it? This is a great memory game and ‘getting-to-know-you’exercise for all participants. Jackie Marsh, training officer, Robert Bosch Pass the postcards At the start of a workshop, even before introductions, split people intopairs or threes or more (with a minimum of four groupings and a maximum ofsix). Give out postcards. Ask delegates to write three questions they would want to ask of the tutorduring the course on three separate postcards. They then fold the postcards andplay ‘Pass’. When the tutor shouts ‘pass’, postcards are passed clockwise tothe next group which has to scan them in half a minute (you can vary thetiming) and delegates grade each question on a scale of one to five. They thenpass again and, if you wish, you give them a shorter time for evaluating thenext set of questions. Keep playing until the postcards get back to theirowners who total their score. At the end, the best questions are used as the focus for discussions. Why use it? The exercise is quick, it gets people talking freely toeach other, it makes them think about the course and they enjoy the pace andcompetitive element in this opener. Anne Hollier, management tutor Leading questions I use the following questionnaire during the first day of our induction programme. However, I cannot claim credit for its authorship as I saw it used on alittle- known TV programme called Inside the Actor’s Studio. The questions include: – What is your favourite word? – What is your least favourite? – What turns you on and off in life? – Which sounds do you love or hate? – If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive atthe pearly gates? Why use it? The questions encourage delegates to let down barriersgradually and by the conclusion of the exercise every delegate has had theopportunity to share their sense of humour with others. Darren Harris, learning and development executive, Arval PHH Favourite hat-tricks I put old copper coins into a hat and then ask each person to pick one out.They then have to tell the group what they were doing the year the coin wasmade. Why use it? I find that although these games are cheap and cheerful,they always work! Karen Stern, training adviser, Claire’s Accessories Sell! sell! sell!I have always believed that before you can enable people tolearn something, you need to engage them, and the best way to do that is byentertaining them.   If you entertainyour audience, you’ll also find that people remember what they have learned.  My personal favourite is a session starter featuring theMuppets called Sell! Sell! Sell! because it reminds us in a very rousing waythat every business is based on one thing – selling. Martin Addison, director, Video Arts Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more