Energisers for Large Groups

In just a few moments, you’ll learn some of my all-time favourite energisers for large groups.


Context First


Picture this.

You’re standing in front of a large group of people.

You’ve been presenting for a while now, and note that the number of signals you’re getting from your group to indicate their disengagement is rapidly rising.

What do you do?

Introduce an energiser, right?

Well, yes, but…


Not All Energisers are Created Equal


Much like icebreakers, just because you call a particular activity an “energiser” does not bestow upon it any magical powers to work as one.

In my experience, certain qualities make an energiser effective at resetting or increasing the energy of a group, especially when it is large. To be clear, we’re talking 50+ people in a room, but it could be as many as 100, 200 or 1,000 people.

As discussed in my book No Props No Problem, to be effective, energisers should feature:

  • Fun as a major component
  • Variety of physical and emotional challenges
  • Opportunities to stimulate energy & attention
  • Opportunities to interact
  • Focus on effort & trying rather than success or failure
  • 1 to 20 minutes of play.

Warning: If what you are planning does not tick most, if not all, of these characteristics, then stop and take a look at the list below.

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Top Ten Icebreakers & Group Games

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Energisers for Really Big Groups


The following list was compiled as part of a recent conversation with a playmeo member, who described their anxiety about leading a bunch of “energisers” for a group of 250+ people over three days.

They were also seeking advice about attention-getting techniques too, so if this interests you, click the link.

In no particular order, these activities sat towards the tippy-top of my favourites list:

  • Story of Your Name is one of my most successful and rewarding, energizing activities. Undoubtedly, it sits somewhere in my Top 80 activities 🙂
  • Copy Claps & The Clapping Game – when presented with enthusiasm, these two clapping exercises will not fail to raise the energy in the room, not to mention attract your group’s attention.
  • Kram Dralloc – a curious name-game, but so simple, and it always, always, always triggers bursts of laughter from my audience.
  • Your Add – ideal for two people or small groups, I learned this quick maths game from a group of 2nd Graders, and it’s enthralled many a large group since.
  • Mr & Mrs Wright – I do not hesitate to describe this as one of my fail-proof activities because, truly, it has never failed. Great if you’ve got no props, it’s quick and is guaranteed to generate lots of gentle movement and smiles.
  • Story Swap – this one needs a little prep, but it punches well above its weight in terms of impact. Expect people to want to keep on playing for longer than you expect.
  • Gotcha – I have been playing Gotcha for 40+ years, and I am yet to see it fail. If it’s new to you, then you MUST try it. If you think you know it, click the link to discover LOTS of fun variations you may never have seen before.
  • Ro Sham Bo – if your group is gathered on a flat space (ie not ideal for raked-seating areas,) you’ll love this somewhat competitive game. Start with a congo-line, and then try one of the variations if too much noise is not a problem.
  • Playing Card Mixers – all you need is a regular deck of cards and you’ll soon have a room filled with warmth and energy.


So, what are your favourite energisers for large groups or audiences?

Please share below in the Comments section and enlighten the world.


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Free eBook:
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