Icebreakers for Various Groups
Monday, July 22, 2019 written by LLPA Events Team and photographed by Mika Miller
Whether it’s a company party or new employee training, everyone needs a good icebreaker! Before you can warm up your crowd, you need to evaluate what kind of icebreaker will work best for your audience. Think about the purpose of the ice breaker while considering what activity would most likely get your group talking, smiling, laughing, and connecting. Need some help? Find your group type in our list below for the kinds of icebreakers that work best.
1. Formal Meeting with a Small Group
Go around the group giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves. Give them specific related-to-the-topic questions to answer: name, something you’ve accomplished in the last year, and something you hope to accomplish in this meeting. If your group already knows these basics; each person can talk about their first job, what they are currently reading, or where they grew up. For groups that have worked together closely, you can have each person call out a team member’s recent “win.”
2. Informal Party with a Small Group
Icebreaker questions can stretch a little when the situation is less formal: What do you consider your strangest family tradition? Who was your childhood actor/actress crush? If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be? Bring these questions to the next level by having each person answer a question or write something they’ve done that they think no one else has on an index card. Mix up the cards, read one at a time, and guess who’s done what.
3. Formal Presentation/Training with a Large group
A large group often presents challenges with everyone being able to hear or see. Use a screen or projector to tell a joke or start with a short, inspirational quote. Or, ask a question and provide a roving microphone as a few members of the audience answer. Don’t forget that a large group can be many small groups. Plan ahead how you will divide, such as by table or row. Ask each small group to solve a problem, find 10 things they all have in common, or come up with a single word to describe company culture. The winning group can be rewarded with a small prize such as candy.
4. Informal Party with a Large group
Bring the party spirit into your large event with activities that can last the whole night. Have everyone participate in “find someone who” bingo. Each square lists a trait like “lived in Asia,” “speaks German,” or “knows how to water ski.” As guests mingle and get to know one another, they look for people to sign a square that applies to them. If you need your groups to remain seated, have them work together to complete a scavenger hunt of items they carry: lipstick, tie clip, brown shoes, child photos, etc. Don’t forget to award prizes!
Having a successful and engaging icebreaker is all about finding the right activity for your type of gathering and your group size. There’s plenty of fun icebreakers out there, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg!