TRAINING GAME: Icebreakers for conferences

We all know how hard it can be to get a conference off to a good start. All the hard work and arrangements all seem to hang in the balance of those first few minutes of the opening! Ice breakers are particularly well suited for beginning a speech. As the name implies, they “break the ice,” help everyone relax, and generally set the tone for the day. Ice breakers can take various forms but those that seem the most popular and effective are those that promote interaction, sharing, and team building.

The most important thing to remember however that your icebreaker remains in line with the main theme or topic of the event/session. They also need to be content appropriate to the group as well as be appropriately timed. Knowing when to insert an ice breaker requires sensitivity and creativity.

Objective: Break big groups into smaller groups.

Resource: Comic Strips

Players: Small to large groups

Select a number of multiple-frame strip cartoons. Cut them into individual frames. Place the frames in a container. Each participant picks one comic frame from the container. After everyone has a frame, the participants begin to search for others with the same comic strip sequence. After the participants have found everyone in their group, they must arrange themselves so that the sequence of frames is in correct order. Upon completion of sequence, the newly formed group sits down together. Great game to break large group into smaller groups.

Objective: Assess what the participants have on their mind!

Resource: Magic Wand

Players: Small to medium groups

You can use almost any stick as a magic wand.even a toilet plunger! You can imbue the wand with any sort of power in which you might have an interest. For example, the wand can change any aspect of your work. The wand is passed around the room, and the participants explain what three things they would use the wand to change about their work, or whatever the facilitator wishes to stress. The wand can also be used to influence the behaviour of other people. A participant can point the wand at a person and the person has to follow the movement suggested by the wand.


SOURCE:The Institute of People Development – IPD

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