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18-Apr-2020 19:25

Whether you’re interviewing a potential employee, meeting a new client, or hosting the company’s annual retreat, your opening remarks and questions not only set the tone for the entire event but also help get a better sense of the people you hope to (or already) work with.

Good icebreaker questions can stimulate a thoughtful answer in even the shyest of people, put them at ease, and provide a window into their personality.

Then have the first player say “Great wind blows for someone who …” followed by a statement such as “has been to Russia.” And then all the players who have been to Russia need to stand up and find a new seat.

The one who is left standing gets to come up with a new statement.

The room needs to guess who might have done what is written on each card. Have each person in the group go up to someone and speak to them for two minutes, before ringing a bell and telling them to introduce themselves to someone different.

The only rule is you can’t speak to the same person twice!

Split the group into small teams, and give each a paperclip or other small object.

For a variation on the above (without winners and losers) instead have people stand on the side of the floor along an imaginary spectrum. It’s a quick way to get to know the tastes of the various people in the room! Each person thinks up three statements about themselves (the stranger the better), and one of those statements must be false.

Easy statements get one ‘base’, the hardest statements are a ‘Home Run’, and getting it wrong equals an ‘out.’ Three ‘outs’ and, just like real baseball, the teams change over.

Set up chairs like a game of musical chairs, one fewer chair than players.

Each individual needs to think of three clues that describe, but doesn’t give away, either the country that they’re from, or their favourite foreign place in the world.

The rest of the group needs to guess where they are describing.

For a variation on the above (without winners and losers) instead have people stand on the side of the floor along an imaginary spectrum. It’s a quick way to get to know the tastes of the various people in the room! Each person thinks up three statements about themselves (the stranger the better), and one of those statements must be false.

Easy statements get one ‘base’, the hardest statements are a ‘Home Run’, and getting it wrong equals an ‘out.’ Three ‘outs’ and, just like real baseball, the teams change over.

Set up chairs like a game of musical chairs, one fewer chair than players.

Each individual needs to think of three clues that describe, but doesn’t give away, either the country that they’re from, or their favourite foreign place in the world.

The rest of the group needs to guess where they are describing.

There are a lot of party tricks out there, and not all of them will work in more formal settings, so here are 15 examples of simple, but effective, ice breakers for an event that can be applied equally well across both formal and informal settings. Ask people “if you were marooned on a deserted island, which three people would you want there with you?