Encourage everyone to sit next to someone who they haven’t met before (or don’t know very well). Challenge them to find out the most interesting thing they had done in their lives that they have in common. Then share with the rest of the group. E.g. Both could have bungee jumped off a bridge while travelling or broke their arms falling out of bed as children.
Are you meeting some clients for the first time or need to bring a quiet group out of their shell? This guide will provide tips and tricks to start off your business meetings to ensure creative juices are flowing, whether you’re in Manchester or London, Birmingham or Cardiff (or somewhere else).
Here are our top ten icebreaker ideas:
Before attendees enter the meeting room, let them choose from a selection of chocolate bars. If you want to split the group into teams (or tables) have the right number of chocolate bars per team. E.g. Four Snickers, four Mars and four Boosts if you want three teams of four.
If there are fifteen or fewer people in the meeting, this icebreaker works well. Each person takes it in turn to say their name and the names of those who have already introduced themselves. The more people in the room, the trickier it becomes for those at the end. This can be lots of fun and ultimately helps people remember each other’s names.
This can be a hilarious icebreaker but tends to work best with people who are creative. Ask everyone to draw a quick sketch of another person in the room, it doesn’t matter how good or bad it is. Everyone can then take turns trying to guess who is who.
Get participants to come up with two true statements and a lie about themselves. The rest of the group has to guess which is the lie.
Split the group into teams and get them to come up with top five lists. This could lead to some interesting debates as they discuss top five fruits, top five cities, top five desserts, top five films, top five attributes they want in a boss.
Have a box with lots of questions inside. Participants have to take it in turns to pick out a question and answer it. Some of the questions can be business related but try to have some random questions which will result in interesting responses. You could ask ‘If you could choose to go for dinner with anyone in the world, who would you pick and why?’ or ‘If you could be in any film, which would you pick and what character would you play?’
Ask the participants to choose something from their pockets, wallets or handbags that is important to them. They can then take it in turns to share why with the rest of the group. It could be a cinema ticket, a receipt or a baby’s sock!
If you have time to prepare the icebreaker in advance, you could create a quiz, for the participants to fill out. The quiz will be a list of statements, with one statement corresponding to a different person in the group. The participants have to mingle and try to find out which statement responds to which person. For instance, one statement might read ‘Played rugby for Lancashire’ or ‘Cliff Richard superfan.’
Have an assortment of paper available on the table. Everyone has to have a go at making a paper aeroplane. They should write their name and what they wanted to be when they were ten years old. See whose paper aeroplane flies the best and have fun reading what everyone has put. Perhaps there will be a budding astronaut or Prime Minister in your session?
Some of the ice breakers we’ve suggested might sound silly, but they could be a big hit with your participants. Go on, you won’t know until you try.