What is an Icebreaker?An icebreaker is an activity designed to help participants learn more about one another, the presenter, or the topic.
Other Common Names
Other common names for dialogue education include:
- Anchor activity
- Intro activity
While the mere mention of icebreakers can make learners want to run for the door, this is an element that can mean many things to many people, and has some appealing core properties:
- Allow learners to get to know one another
- Remove tension or discomfort around being in a new environment or learning a new topic
An additional property for icebreakers in a virtual environment (such as for webinars or virtual instructor-led training) is that they introduce people to the technology that will be used during the session (such as the chat feature, polling feature, or on-screen drawing tools).
Some charged statements from Brian's book What's Your Formula?
Experiments you can try at home (or work) to Make Icebreakers more Relevant
If you feel an icebreaking activity is important to help create a sense of connection and get participants talking with one another before the “real work” begins, what’s a trainer to do? There are several elements that can be built around an icebreaking activity to make it a more meaningful and important opening piece to your training session, and if you were to bond these elements together the formula may look something like this. Click the image to learn more!