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Five great ice breakers for trainers

An important part of being an effective trainer is building a positive rapport among your workforce and understanding the way in which people absorb and retain information.

Safeera Sarjoo
12th February 2016
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The psychology behind how adults learn is essential to building confidence and delivering exceptionally useful training sessions. Trainers are often given a strong foundation within ‘Train the Trainer’ courses, which they can then build upon when identifying training needs, design, facilitation and evaluation.

A fun aspect of being a seasoned trainer is bringing people together. There are a number of energisers and ice breakers that help with encouraging creativity and allow people to showcase their personalities that can sometimes get buried under the pressure of conforming to corporate etiquette (not fun at all.)

In fact, ice breakers can also enhance your teaching by helping to stimulate cooperation and participation. They can provide positive momentum for small group study and discussion by helping a new group get to know one another and developing important social skills.

Here at Training and Courses, we're amazed at how creative these exercises can get and couldn't help but pick our top five for you to try with your team. Friday's will never be the same again...


1. Two truths and a lie

Ask all players to arrange themselves in a circle. Instruct each player to think of three statements about themselves. Two must be true statements and one must be false. For each person, he or she shares the three statements (in any order) to the group. The goal of the ice breaker game is to determine which statement is false. The group votes on which one they feel is a lie, and at the end of each round, the person reveals which one was the lie.

2. Would you rather?

A classic game that can be truly insightful or plain bizarre. Questions may range from silly trivia to more serious content. Chances are you might find out some interesting things about your team. A few questions you could ask are, 'would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?' or 'Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you don't like?'

3. People bingo

Great for new groups. Make a 5 by 4 grid on a piece of card and duplicate for everyone in your group. Supply pens or pencils. Each box contains random statements. Encourage the group to mix, talk to everyone to try and complete their card. If one of the items listed on the bingo card relates to the person they are talking with, have them sign their name in that box. End the activity after 10 minutes and review some of the interesting facts the group has discovered about each other.

4. The mine field

Minefield is a trust ice breaker game where participants are put into pairs with one person wearing a blindfold. Objects are placed strategically across the room and the non-blindfolded person must stand at the other end of the room and guide the blindfolded partner verbally through the minefield without letting them collide with any of the objects.

5. Object Stories

Collect together a number of objects and place in a bag. The objects can include everyday items i.e. a pencil, key-ring, mobile phone, but also include some more unusual ones i.e. a fossil, holiday photograph or even a wig! Pass the bag around the group and invite each person to dip their hand into the bag (without looking) and pull out one of the objects. The leader begins a story which includes his object. After 20 seconds, the next person takes up the story and adds another 20 seconds, incorporating the object they are holding and so on. Eventually everyone has made a contribution to your epic literary tale.


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