Ways to Make Meetings More Fun (and productive). Small group breakouts, videos, mini-breaks, team presentations, exercises, games, quizzes. When generating or responding to ideas, participants assume the persona of the person.

Once everyone is present, call out random numbers drawn from a hat. Once one item is complete, another is right around the corner. One exception would be if only part of the team is located elsewhere; then you might incorporate this kind of activity just to bring the remote group in. Or opened) the most tickets, or similar kinds of metrics, you may construct questions in order to basically congratulate these people.

A key benefit of visualizing the team's location this way is talking about time.

From pets to food to flowers, everyone has favorites. Get your participants off to a good start by using these ice breaker activities in your workplace. Give each a business-related topic to act out in charade form and let the rest of the group to take turns guessing what it is. Have an idea of what you're going to say at the end of the meeting. Here are some practical tips for introducing an icebreaker activity into your next meeting.

Ask team members to take a picture (through whatever means they like) of their shoes, then share those pictures in the meeting. Because your distributed team may span timezones, this is one very concrete way to understand how those timezones are laid out. Before everyone scatters to their next appointment, make sure they know their next action steps. Before the meeting, tape poster boards on the walls and label each with a problem or situation the meeting will discuss.

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Add some fun to the mix by designating a “winning” chair that has a prize attached to it, such as a free paid day off from work or a gift card to a local coffee shop. After using it for a couple of years, it works well in every meeting, training, and team building session on any topic. And now, some of our favorite icebreakers: 1. Are you interested in trying out some of my best activities?

" can induce groans, but it also can lead to a productive discussion and funny stories." or "Thank you for your thoughtful contributions today Charlie," can really go a long way."Icebreakers" are just the ticket: short team-building exercises conducted at the beginning of a meeting.

Instead of reading names, call out terms related to participants’ individual responsibilities and ask them to quickly stand and sit back down again when they hear something that applies to them. It embarrasses no one and the participants don't have to disclose deep, dark secrets. It is useful to explain this to the team, so they understand why you're talking about shoes, food, and so on.

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Here are two to try that require a bit of advance preparation, but they're fun. How does this meeting fit into the overall vision? How many times have you been in a meeting that you knew right away would be dull and potentially pointless? How will it benefit the team? How will the discussion move things forward?

  1. " You will get some pictures of mice and keyboards, and that's fine, but you'll also get cool desk toys, plants, and more.
  2. " and "What do we need to keep in mind as we move forward?
  3. For details on Gifts and Hooks, by Michael Wilkinson (we're big fans! For example, a marketing manager may stand when she hears the terms newsletter or brochure and an accountant may stand when she hears the terms receivables and invoicing. For example, if you call the number 3, everyone stands and moves over three seats. For more activities, you may be able to adapt some of to work in a distributed meeting.

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    Team members come from different cultural backgrounds - If you are bringing together a diverse team (especially one in which multiple languages are spoken), an icebreaker is crucial. Team members don't know each other already - This speaks for itself. The ineffectiveness of so many can be remedied simply by revamping the first and last five minutes. The person who is seated in the winning chair after so many random number calls wins the prize.

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    Looking for simple, fun ways to have your meeting participants become comfortable greeting each other? Make a connection with everyone in the room. Make it fun - A picture of your lunch, or your shoes, is actually pretty fun! Meetings can get off to an energetic and productive start if you infuse them with a little physical and mental energy. Note: if you do this, try to find a way to represent as many team members as possible as "right answers," unless they're brand new.

    Remote work is a reality in companies everywhere - whether employees are on a different floor, co-located in offices across multiple cities, or in a remote home office. See more of this ice breaker that allows people to share their personal best. Set an example from the start. Show the map during the meeting, and ask team members something simple, like how long they've lived in their current city. Standup comics live by a performance adage: open strong, close strong.

    These top ten ice breaker activities are not just popular in meetings, training classes, and, they are the most popular with the Human Resources section's readers. They are easy to choose from depending on the mood you'd like to foster in your meeting, training, or team building session. They were quite the rage for awhile. They're easy to customize for your meetings. This activity gets people moving and jump-starts the meeting with a host of fresh ideas.

    Use these sample ice breakers to build strong, effective teams of employees. Variation: "Take a picture of an object on your desk, or in your work area. Want to laugh with participants as you break the ice at the beginning of a training class, team building session, or a meeting? When participants arrive, give each one a pad of sticky paper and a pen and ask them to roam the room jotting ideas and affixing the stickers to individual boards.

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    Start the meeting with a stand-up roll call. Start the meeting with a supply of soft balls or stuffed animals that participants can toss back and forth between teammates in a mock water balloon toss. Start where you began. Stay away from topics such as religion and politics to succeed every time using this ice breaker.

    How will this help the company? If you have a dark cloud over your head, the energy in the room sinks and the meeting drags. If you have a geographically distributed team, find out the (approximate) locations of the team members beforehand, and make a map. If you want employees to be friendly, upbeat and engaged, you have to be friendly, upbeat, and engaged.

    But they also need hooks -- things the person needs in order to remain fully engaged. Choose a topic to brainstorm, such as ideas for new product categories. Don't get so focused on the minutia of a meeting that you forget to step back and see the big picture.

    The secret is that it is probably the first thought that came to their mind when they heard the instructions. These are the shining moments that people remember when the stars and sun seemed to align and they produced their best work, their finest moments, and their career successes. These thoughtful questions warm up your meeting while allowing participants to share something that is important to them.

    It's a brilliant way to bring together team members who may be suspicious of team-building activities -- those folks who see such things as a waste of time. It's definitely fun for participants. It's fun to hear the answers from your colleagues when they list their favorites.

    This icebreaker gives the participant plenty of room to express his or her culinary interests, which may be surprise you. This requires some homework on the part of the organizer, as he or she needs to know the right answer! Time - ask about which team member has been working on the project the longest, or the number of days since the project launched, or the date on which the first code check-in took place. Try these top ten ice breaker activities out in your own workplace.

    A positive side-effect of asking about footwear is that you may discover hobbies enjoyed by your team members.

    Originally developed to lead a session on team building with police officers—think of unsmiling, expressionless cop faces—to understand the importance of this type of activity that was scheduled right before the cocktail hour. Participants then stand and bat the balloons cross the conference table to one another. Pay attention to what they say and how they say it. Personal Engagement - if you know who has been with the company the longest, or who has closed (.

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    "What's Your Favorite Meal?A Certified Master Facilitator, wrote up a strategy called (PDF link).

    This helps make sure everyone is on the same page and gives you an opportunity to listen and observe. This ice breaker enables participants to reflect on their years of work (or years of college) and pick three moments to share with their small group of teammates. This ice breaker/team building activity worked so well, that it has been used over and over with different groups.

    In a second example, in a session on culture, the participants were asked to describe their current culture in one word. In a team building session on the topic of conflict resolution, participants were asked to start out the session by saying what they think of when they think of conflict. In this ice breaker, you find ten things that you have in common with the other participants in your group.

    Recognition is an important part of building a positive culture. Reinforce the big picture again. Remind everyone they are working towards a higher purpose and not just clocking meeting minutes.

    Don't let any negativity sway you from your assertive state. Encourage participants to come to the meeting prepared to stretch their bodies and their minds as a way to challenge team-building, brainstorming and interpersonal bonding. Everyone else tilts their heads down to follow along, not making eye contact and certainly not connecting.

    If you want energy and engagement from your team, you need to embody those qualities while they walk through the conference room doors. If your team works on a product or a long-running project, you can create a simple trivia game (multiple-choice is a good idea; it's easier for everybody). In Gifts and Hooks, the facilitator explains that team members bring gifts to the table (their skills, knowledge, etc.

    Just as you prepare your opening remarks to create connection among the group, you should end in the same manner. Keep it as short as you reasonably can. Keep it short - Don't burn up half your meeting with an icebreaker. Knowing your team, and knowing your plan to build team culture, is crucial to succeeding with any such exercise. Lead with your body language and tone. Let's face it, everybody has to eat -- you might as well talk about it!

    You can always find somebody doing something right. You can build your profile, instantly start adding what you like to your Queue, highlight articles and share your custom experince on social. You can use any number for this fun ice breaker that quickly allows participants to share interests. You too are wired to pick up on the energy levels of others and mirror them back. You won't necessarily know the client's style at first, so this is hit-or-miss.

    • Encourage meeting participants to break into small groups.
    • Runners may bring up their choice of running shoe; beach-goers may show off their sandals; barefoot walkers may show off their bare feet.
    • While this amounts to a discussion of, "Gee, what's the weather like where you are," you may find that a picture communicates a person's location just as well as a dot on a map.
    • Make it a priority to build and maintain rapport so you can foster collaboration.
    • Ideally, your closing remarks would mirror your opening remarks.

    When you run online meetings with people who are located in different parts of the world, it's crucial that you help your team make a human connection. Within a tenth of a second, your team gauges and mirrors your mood and energy levels. You are combining two or more established teams - Two teams typically have two cultures; to bring them together, establish personal connections among team members.

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