It’s actually possible – meetings and training sessions can be quite enjoyable experiences when you accompany your subject matter with these simple additions to break the ice. Our Certified Master Facilitators recommend these tools to enhance your meeting room or training room – even your mood!
Your meeting participants or students shouldn’t walk into deafening silence as they enter the room. They’re about to invest some taxing hours in a session to discuss topics they might not even be interested in (yet). Lighten their mood with some pleasant music before the session begins. Get them comfortable. You might actually transform their initial disinterest before you begin. No need for a DJ. With the free use of internet stations like Pandora and Spotify, you can easily play music from your laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Our facilitators are that jazzed about music that they recommend the use of portable speakers to let the tunes carry.
You probably have arrived at a session early, sat down, looked around, and realized you didn’t know anyone else in the room. The same applies when you sit in a movie theatre. If you are not there alone, it is likely that you only know the one or two other guests accompanying you. Some movie theatres display trivia questions – about movies, actors and actresses, or even non-industry-related content – before the movie trailers begin. What a great way to maintain anticipation for the movie to begin while also diverting the audience from their wait time. When leading a long session with breaks and before your session begins, set your presentation tool with a looping display of random, simple trivia. Make the questions fun. Make the questions funny. It’s a terrific ice breaker for your audience – especially in unfamiliar environments.
Other quick and easy “tools” to bring to your meetings and trainings to break the ice:
- Small toys – Place a few of them at each table. They’re not meant to distract or disengage your participants – rather, to engage them, stimulate their thinking, and keep their minds relaxed.
- Engagement strategies – We recommend these 25 methods of keeping your group engaged – Engagement Strategies Workshop Manual.
Learn more practical strategies to deliver an engaging and productive session in The Effective Facilitator.