Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Open with ice breakers for effective learning

Ice breakers can help you open a meeting or training session by lightening the mood and encouraging audience participation. If you have a team working together for the first time or are introducing new employees, they can also ease the discomfort that goes along with meeting strangers.

“Ice breakers and energizers heighten the effectiveness of learning sessions when targeted to the training, speaking, or facilitation topic and the needs of the learners or participants,” according to Scott McArthur at McArthur’s Rant.

Enhance audience retention and foster learning by opening up your next training session, meeting or seminar with a fun, new ice breaker activity.

Here’s one easy ice breaker idea, all you need is a pen and pad of sticky notes:

What’s my name?

As each person enters the room, have them write the name of a famous person on a sticky note. Have participants stand or sit in a circle. Keeping the names hidden, place sticky notes on the participants’ foreheads.

One by one, each person asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to determine the name of the famous person posted on their forehead. Depending on how much time you have, set a limit to how many questions each person can ask before they guess the name on their sticky note.

Go from person to person until everyone has guessed right or wrong. If you have a large group, break them down into manageable teams of 5 or 6.

When using a new ice breaker idea at work keep three things in mind:
  1. Carefully choose the right one, McArthur liked this list - Ice Breakers, Energizers, and Activities
  2. Follow the Do’s and Don’ts of ice breakers - keep it simple and don’t force people to participate.
  3. Make sure the activity you choose isn’t listed in the “Top Worst Corporate Icebreakers,” or you “can kiss your dreams of a professional first impression goodbye.”

No comments:

Brought to you by