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Episode 04: How To Break The Ice

This week’s Facilitator Tips episode shares the five essential attributes of how to break the ice successfully, and why so many ice-breaker activities fail.

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Useful Links & Resources

What is an Ice-Breaker? – short article about what distinguishes an ice-breaker from an ice-maker, and how to break the ice successfully, every time.

Get-To-Know-You Games & Ice-Breakers – short article which describes the value of get-to-know-you activities, with examples.

Ice-Breakers & Team-Building Games – short article which discusses the value and benefits of introducing a series of group games to break the ice and develop team skills.

List of Fun Ice-Breakers – dozens of simple, highly-interactive and outrageously fun activities that will help you break the ice.

Episode 5: How To Start A Program (published 6 Mar 2018)

Video Transcript

Hi and welcome to Episode 4 of the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard. I’m an experiential trainer and an author and the founder of playmeo.com, and today I want to talk to you about how to break the ice.

Now we’ve all heard the term, we’ve all been a participant of icebreakers, and often what actually gets done doesn’t necessarily break the ice. Icebreakers sometimes are actually ice-makers. So I want to share with you what I have discovered in all of my years’ experience working with tens of thousands of people over the last thirty years that has worked really well for any experience to break the ice.

And look, it should be no surprise that the first piece is it has to be fun. It’s got to fun for everybody, not necessarily a ha-ha-ha laughing fun but it’s just got to feel like it nourishes the soul. So a good icebreaker will always be fun.

It will also be nonthreatening. We all know that standing up in front of a group of people particularly that we don’t know saying who we are, where we’re from, and how bored we are is like public speaking and that threatens us. So a good icebreaker will not be threatening.

It’s got to be highly interactive. This is the basis in which people connect with each other. They build trust and then of course strengthen relationships. If there’s no sharing, if there’s no interaction, then you’re not breaking the ice. So it’s got to be highly interactive.

The last two, it’s got to be simple. If you’ve spent too long describing what’s going to happen then you’re going to lose people, lose a lot of momentum. And then finally it’s got to be success-oriented. You could even have a competition and that’s okay so long as the emphasis is looking at the success of maybe building energy or just simply having fun.

So these are the ingredients that make an icebreaker work effectively to break the ice.

And that’s it.

Now for more information please go check out my show notes at playmeo.com/facilitatortips/episode4, and if you’ve got some ideas please add a comment. And know that every episode that we produce we give away a free subscription to playmeo’s activity database.

In the meantime thanks for watching, and have fun.