Best Ice Breakers for Meetings and Training Classes

Ice Breakers Help You Segue Into the Topic of Your Meeting or Training Session

This illustration depicts a roundtable meeting with one of the attendees breaking the ice.

 Elise Degarmo © The Balance

Ice breakers, energizers, and engaging activities heighten the effectiveness of training sessions when targeted to the training, speaking, or facilitation topic and the needs of the learners or participants. These ice breaker exercises make it easy for the presenter to segue into the topic of the session.

For example, in a one-word ice breaker exercise based on making changes to an organization, the trainer can select a word that is an introduction to the session. In this case, an excellent choice is: "Answer in one word, what do you think of when you think of the change?" Participants reveal a lot about themselves and their thinking as they begin the session.

Ice breakers are also useful to start out meetings and encourage interpersonal communication. You can use an ice breaker unrelated to the topic to start off the meeting with laughter and positive interaction. For example, "In one word, how do you feel when you are asked to introduce yourself to a room full of strangers?"

These are some of the favorite, most successful ice breakers used in sessions through the years. They've been tested and they work to break the ice with your groups. Why not take a look and use these ice breaker exercises in your own team meetings and training sessions.

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The Best One Word Ice Breaker

Colleagues chatting in an office meeting while participating in an ice breaker.
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Need a quick, no preparation ice breaker that works like a charm to break the ice in a meeting or training session? Plus, it costs you little prep time and still delivers great results. You can customize it for any meeting or topic and it is always fun for participants to share their word. See the recommended one-word ice breaker.

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My Favorite Ice Breaker

Find 10 Things that You Have in Common. kristian sekulic/Vetta/Getty Images

This great ice breaker has been used successfully for so many years that its origins are lost in memory. This ice breaker or warm-up activity is fast, easy, and fun.

It is a guaranteed success to liven up your meetings and training classes. It makes every participant right. Try out this always successful, laughter-generating, simple ice breaker exercise.

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Your Favorites: An Ice Breaker

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From trees to dogs to vacation spots, people have favorites. The purpose of this ice breaker is to quickly warm up the group with fun and laughter. The ice breaker is a winner because it makes everyone right. Every employee has favorites and the topic is a low-stress ice breaker. It's also fun to ask why it's their favorite.

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Meet and Greet Meeting Ice Breakers

Some Ice Breakers Are Just for Fun. Aiden Franklin/E+/Getty Images

Want to know more about creating quick, fun ice breakers for meetings? I am a proponent of ice breakers that reinforce the content and goal accomplishment of a team building or training session.

There is a place, however, for a fun ice breaker whose only purpose is to help session attendees know each other. Here are ice breakers that take time to prep, but are quick to do at the meeting.

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A Simple Ice Breaker to Use Over Lunch

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Here's a fun ice breaker that warms up a group and enables participants at a meal to get to know each other quickly. Usually,  ice breakers are recommended that bring participants into discussion about the content of a training or team building session. But an ice breaker over a meal can be fun and not so focused on a topic.

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Speed Meeting Ice Breaker

Four people meeting each other
You Can Help Participants Meet Everyone Quickly. Corey Jenkins/Image Source/Getty Images

Have you ever heard of speed dating? It's an opportunity for people to quickly meet a large number of people to potentially date. This speed meeting icebreaker provides a similar experience for participants at a training meeting or team building session.

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The Five of Anything Ice Breaker

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Looking for a winning team building ice breaker that you can use for meetings, training classes, team building sessions, and company events and activities? The five of anything ice breaker makes group cohesiveness and cooperation a natural extension of the discussion when you use this team building ice breaker.

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Sharing Management Wisdom Team-Building Activity

Employees Learn Well from Sharing Experiences. Geber86/E+/Getty Images

Here's a simple team-building activity that creates excitement during a regularly scheduled team building and training session. This team-building exercise allows your participants to share their accumulated knowledge and wisdom with the other participants.

During this team-building activity, the facilitator steps aside and the participants take center stage with their knowledge and expertise.

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Three Shining Work Moments Team Building Activity

Break the Ice with This Activity. mediaphotos/E+/Getty Images

This "three shining moments" team-building activity makes group cohesiveness and cooperation a natural extension of sharing in this event. Your participants will learn to know and appreciate each others' strengths with this longer ice breaker.

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Bonus: How to Develop an Ice Breaker

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Want a bit extra about ice breakers? Tired of spending time searching for an ice breaker through books and online and then, spending even more time to redesign the ice breaker for your needs? It’s difficult to find the perfect ice breaker that reinforces the topic of your training event to use with your group in your setting.

You can easily develop an ice breaker that will warm up the conversation in your training class, reinforce the topic of the training session, and ensure that participants enjoy the training.