Icebreakers aren’t an option. They are imperative at meetings, workshops, seminars or at any kind of event that involves a speech, a keynote address or several interactive sessions. Icebreakers help the audience to relax and they would be set in the mood to be more receptive to what would be discussed, talked about or imparted. When a speaker starts to address an audience, there would always be a disconnect and a part of or the entire audience may not be drawn into the speech, unless the speaker is a celebrity in a given niche and the entire audience is already in awe.
Icebreakers help to bridge the gap between the speaker or speakers and the audience. It makes the audience a part of the larger scheme of things and what the speaker would talk about. Not only should icebreakers be used at the very start to set things in motion but they should also be sprinkled here and there to keep things exciting and engaging. Without interaction, speeches or addresses are but a one way street.
Here are some of the best icebreakers at meetings.
- Entertaining revelations are good icebreakers. No matter what the topic is, what industry the people represent and what their average age is, there can always be some facts that would be unassuming and entertaining. Reveal such facts to make the audience wonder at the surprise and yet be certain that they must have known it the whole time. This kind of interaction allows the audience to accept the speaker as one of them and vice versa.
- Polls, opinions or rounds of questions and answers with the audience are always effective. Ask the audience to vote on some contentious topic, or to air their opinions about something that is significant given the scheme of things at the event or just shoot random yet relevant questions and get the audience to answer, all the while keeping things competitive or quick and testing the audience. This would set the ambience for the audience to be attentive.
- Funny anecdotes, a very short story with an amazing hook in the end, pitting one member in the audience with another in a brief activity and many such approaches work as effective icebreakers!
Remember, icebreakers need to be very short, with a specific purpose, well timed, entertaining or surprising and humorous in a way.