The beginning of a training or a workshop sets the tone and direction of an event. If you want an engaged audience for the rest of the event, put the focus on the participants from the start and activate them with an ice-breaker. Ice-breakers do not have a great reputation in all corporate learning circles. Understandably so, if you choose your ice-breaker activities poorly or facilitate them half-heartedly. At best, ice-breakers can be both fun and productive, tuning minds to the same frequency.
To help you kick off your next workshop, we have collected here 8 quick and easy ice breaker games under 20 minutes. Check them out and pick a favorite!
#1: Powerpoint karaoke
Powerpoint Karaoke is a fun improv game where people present a slideshow to the audience without knowing the contents of the slides. A great way to break the ice of a training or workshop, Powerpoint Karaoke makes people laugh and keep them curious and engaged. The game doesn’t require massive setup: just some slides and a projector
#2: Doodling together
Do you like drawing? If yes, try Doodling together. The basic idea is that participants co-create drawings by building on one another’s ideas. With just paper and pens, you can effectively engage all participants and create a mutual trust and collaborative atmosphere before the main training activities start.
#3: Truth or Lie
Truth or Lie can easily be played without extra tools. Each participant makes 2 statements: 1 truth, 1 lie. One person starts and the others discuss and decide which statement is true. There are many versions of Truth of Lie but regardless of the form, the game always succeeds in engaging people.
#4: Human Checkers
In “Human Checkers”, participants will experience … communication and strategic thinking. Being the checkers themselves, participants must come up with their own strategy to reach the opposite side first while collecting the most “marbles” from other teams. The game can be played in 15 mins and with up to 16 people.
#5: Near or Far
With simple rules, Near or Far is a fun and engaging physical activity. Each person write down the names of two people on a note and then tries to be equidistant at all times to them. There is no time limit for this game but it’s a great ice breaker game to get people moving and energized.
#6: What’s my name
A great one-on-one ice breaker, What’s my name enables participants to mingle without awkward small talk. Write down the names of well-known public figures and stick them on the backs of the participants. Everyone goes around and asks questions to find out who he/she is.
#7: Four quadrants
Simple yet effective, Four quadrants can be used to break the ice in any training. To play the game, you need paper, markers, 4 questions and roughly 15 minutes. First, present the 4 questions related to the topic you’d like to discuss. Then participants answer the questions by sketching out their ideas. Finally, people take turns to share their insights.
#8: “What if” questions
A great conversation starts with a great question. In What-if game, participants use what-if questions to learn about one another i.e. what if you could speak all languages. Ask participants to write their question clearly on a post-it note and start mingling in small groups. As people ask their questions, exchange the question notes and carry your new question to the next conversation.
Eventually, whether corporate training is impactful or not can only be measured after the training. Nevertheless, the more engaging the training, the better the learning experience.
To get your learning experience started in the right direction, why not test one of these ice-breaker games for your next corporate training? Our Insight Cards are often used in this fashion as well. They work as a more contemplative ice-breaker, but can be utilised to get participants talking and thinking together.
Which ice breaker game would you try first?