Should You Be Using Ice Breaker Activities in Your Presentation?

When you are delivering an effective presentation, you have around 30 seconds to engage your audience and capture their attention.  If you miss it in the first 30 seconds, you can get it back, it just takes a whole lot longer!  And it’s hard work.

There are four different ways that I teach to capture attention in your presentations and the first of these is “Icebreaker Activities”.

Why Should You Use Icebreaker Activities?

I love Icebreaker Activities in my presentations because I’m generally pretty lazy!  If I can get my audience to get themselves energised and engaged, it sure beats having to be “spectacular” myself!

Here are 5 reasons I love breaking the ice with an activity:

  1. For better or for worse, people are judging you the second you’re on stage.  So you can either be absolutely fabulous, or you can use the vastly untapped resource of your audience to shift focus.
  2. By using an Icebreaker Activity this gets attention off you.  The crowd are now focused on one another, and are judging each other rather than you!
  3. An activity like this not only breaks the ice but also increases energy and fun in the room.  I love it when people come back form Icebreaker Activities because they are smiling, happy and laughing.  They will usually be more polite with their fellow audience members than they will be with you!
  4. All this means you don’t have to work so hard to capture attention and engage your crowd. Phew!
  5. It allows audience members to build rapport with one another.  And of course if they have fun, that rapport will then be crossed over to you!

So use some kind of an Icebreaker Activity when you first hit the stage.  It really will make your life that much easier.

Icebreaker Activity Ideas

So what sort of things can you use as “Icebreaker Activities”?

Here’s a few simple examples that you’re welcome to use.

  1. Long Lost Friends.  Nothing breaks the ice like pretending someone’s a long lost friend.  I invite people to go and meet 5 people that they don’t know, but greet them like they are “long lost friends”.  This usually works well in a personal development type environment, but might not be too crash hot in corporate.
  2. What’s your intention? In this exercise you send people off to introduce themselves to 3 new people they don’t know.  Have them share their name, occupation and what their intention is for the workshop.  This is a great idea because it has the added advantage of getting people thinking about why they are there and what their outcomes are.
  3. Share a Dream Holiday.  This is a great one because it gets people instantly in a good mood!  Have participants introduce themselves to 5 people, share their name and and where they would most like to visit on a dream holiday and why.
  4. Memorable Moments.  I like this because again it raises the emotional energy.  Invite people to introduce themselves and tell the most memorable moment in their life so far, in a wildly inspirational way.

For my Icebreakers I prefer to send people off into small groups, or to network and meet people personally rather than having each participant stand up and introduce to the whole group.  The reason is that the intention of my icebreaker activity is not only to get to know each other, but to raise the energy in the room.  So the more noise, and fun, and hub-bub we can create, the better.

I also like to play some fun music underneath!

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