Invest 10 minutes of your time in an ice breaker game at the beginning of a meeting and you'll be glad you made the investment, many times over. Ice breaker games ensure a sense of belonging and sharing. Starting a programme or meeting without any kind of introductions can lead to very formal and unfriendly one way communications, with little participation from the audience. If you want your participants to "buy into things" you need to get them taking part. I'm always aghast when I attend a meeting and people don't even get introduced leading to feels of unfriendliness and "wishing I wasn't here feelings" or "why did I bother"
Far better to introduce your participants to each other in a fun and light hearted way by use of a couple of well targeted ice breaker games. Once feeling more comfortable the exchange of ideas will flow, and generate a sense of team identity and coming together for a purpose. Simple ice breakers get participants to share commonalities and reveal information about themselves. There are lots of creative ways to do this. Brainstorming ideas in small teams on an issue everyone is facing is quite a good way to start or give a completely wacky problem to solve like ten things to take into space; ten things to take to a desert island or ten things you could never do without.
Here's a few ideas:
Make namebadges for each person and place them in a bowl. When people walk into the room, each person picks a namebadge (not their own). When everyone is present, participants are told to find the person whose namebadge they drew and introduce themselves. When everyone has their own namebadge, each person in the group will introduce the person whose namebadge they had originally and say something of interest about that person. This is a great little introduction ice breaker.
The Business Card Game
Get everyone to put their business cards into a pot. Mix them all up and each person to pull out a card of someone they don’t know. From the description on the card they must now go and try and find that person and find three interesting facts about that person and introduce them to the rest of the crowd.
Equipment needed: several small jigsaws
Group size: any
Time: 30 minutes
This is a great icebreaker for when you want to split the group into teams. If you want to end up with say 4 teams get 4 smallish jigsaws of around 20 to 30 pieces. If you have 20 people in the room and you want to split into 4 teams of 5 make 5 small piles of jigsaw pieces from each jigsaw and put them into an envelope. Don’t mix the jigsaws up, and don’t show the group the jigsaw picture. Give each person an envelope of jigsaw pieces and tell them to go and find the other people who make up their jigsaw and put the jigsaw together. When choosing jigsaws choose ones with a similar theme so as not to make it too easy. This works better when people are mixing informally over breakout tea/coffee sessions.
Never be without ice breaker games and ideas to get your events off to the best possible start. For great ice breaker games and ideas visit ice-breaker-ideas.com