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Ice Breakers: Getting Everyone to Contribute at the Start of a Successful Event

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https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_76.htm

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Ice Breakers: Getting Everyone to Contribute at the Start of a Successful Event
Easing Group Contribution Ice breakers can be an effective way of starting a training session or team-building event. As interactive and often fun sessions run before the main proceedings, they help people get to know each other and buy into the purpose of the event.

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When to Use Icebreakers

Consider using an ice breaker when:

  • Participants come from different backgrounds.
  • People need to bond quickly so as to work towards a common goal.
  • Your team ...

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The "ice" that needs to be broken

When designing your ice breaker, think about the "ice" that needs to be broken.

  • If you are bringing together like-minded people, the "ice" may simply reflect the fact that...

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Designing Your Ice Breaker

  • Make sure that the activity is specifically focused on meeting your objectives and appropriate to the group of people invol...

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Introductory Ice Breakers

  • The Little Known Fact: ask participants to share their name, department or role in the organization, length of service, and one little known fact about themselves.

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The Human Web Ice Breaker

The facilitator begins with a ball of yarn. Keeping one end, pass the ball to one of the participants, and the person to introduce himself and his role in the organization. ...

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Ball Challenge

The facilitator arranges the group in a circle and asks each person to throw the ball across the circle, first announcing her own name, and then announcing the name of the person to whom th...

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Hope, Fears, and Expectations

Group people into twos or threes, and ask people to discuss their expectations for the event or work ahead, including their fears and their hopes. Gather the group's response by collating three ...

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Word association

This helps people explore the breadth of the area under discussion. 

Generate a list of words related to the topic of your event or training. 

You can use this opportun...

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Burning questions

This gives each person the opportunity to ask key questions they hope to cover in the event or training.

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Brainstorm

Used to break the ice or as a re-energizer during an event.

If people are getting bogged down in the detail during problem-solving, for example, you can change pace easily by...

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Paper Airplane Game

  1. Pass out different colored sheets of paper to each person attending the meeting.
  2. Ask everyone to write an interesting fact about themselves on the piece of paper and fold it into a paper airplane.
  3. Everyone launches their paper airplane to somewhere around the room.
  4. Everyone retrieves one of the paper airplanes, reads the fact, and guesses whose paper airplane they got.

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