Icebreakers with a twist

Icebreakers are sometimes overlooked as a non essential, flippant or even embarrassing way to kick off a training session.

If these thoughts ever pop into my mind I soon recall the one or two training events I ran where I decided not to use an icebreaker, and how disastrous they were.

Used correctly, icebreakers are a great way for a group to get to know one another, to relax and to get into an optimum mindset for learning.

Here are some of my favourite icebreakers; all with a graphic twist.

1. Truth or Lie
A classic icebreaker. Each person calls out two statements about themselves, one is true, one is false. The group have to guess which is which.
Add a graphic twist by asking for a volunteer to draw the first person’s two statements on a flip chart. (Once they have finished someone else gets up to draw their two statements, and so on.)
The volunteer has absolutely no idea what the person is going to say, and although at first the thought of drawing on the spot may seem horrifying, in my experience everyone really enjoys this game. The drawings make it a hilarious and memorable experience for everyone.

2. Animal Alphabet Game
Start by drawing an animal beginning with the letter A. Whoever is first to guess what the animal is gets up to draw an animal beginning with B and so on. I have used this with groups of children and adults alike and everyone loves it, despite often getting stuck on N, Y, W…

3. Pictionary
Who doesn’t love Pictionary? Not just for Christmas, it’s also a fun and engaging way to open a session. People take turns drawings¬†words, sayings or topic specific phrases whilst others guess at what is being depicted. What could possibly go wrong?!

Despite some initial resistance, once the games get started everyone will want to have a go. These icebreakers also serve as a reminder that graphics are not about art, they are about getting a message across, and that’s something we can all do.

Have you used any of these icebreakers? Have you got any more ideas for graphic icebreakers? I’d love to hear from you. Share your comments in the box below.

And if you want to take your learning to the next level and experience some of these icebreakers in person, why not join me for Secrets of Simple Graphics? Next open course date is November 28th 2017. More info >>

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