As a facilitator, one of the key tools in your facilitation box is the icebreaker. When used effectively, the icebreaker offers a number of opportunities for you to create the right atmosphere at your meeting or event. The icebreaker helps you to establish your role as the facilitator and can be utilized to achieve the following outcomes:
- Learning Names – When you’re facilitating a group, it’s important to learn the names of the audience and to help them connect with each other to build a familiar environment. An icebreaker serves as a great method and memory-jogger for building recognition among the group.
- Getting to Know – Use an icebreaker to help audience participants learn fun facts and trivia about each other.
- Energizer – If you’ve had a long session, are coming back together after lunch or it’s late in the day, you may need to re-energize your group. Icebreakers help stimulate, invigorate and excite groups or sessions that may be stale or need renewed energy.
- Setting the Tone – Often group attendees don’t know what to expect or need guidelines around how the session will look or proceed throughout the day. An icebreaker can offer an interesting and innovative way to set the tone for your group and the day ahead.
- Team-building – Icebreakers are often used to bring groups together in a cohesive way and create unison across decision making and problem solving.
For ideas for your next icebreaker, visit our resources page.