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10 of the Best Icebreakers for Business Meetings

written by: nataliajones•edited by: Ginny Edwards•updated: 8/4/2010

We could all use some good icebreakers for business meetings. That's why this list of ten of the best has been compiled. Take a look!

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    Benefits of Icebreakers for Business Meetings

    Ice Breaker There are lots of benefits for using icebreakers for business meetings and a few of them are as follows:

    • Icebreakers can get the creative juices flowing.
    • Icebreakers can relax a group of people and get them in the mood to share.
    • Icebreakers can create a sense of team camaraderie out of a group of disjointed people.
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    Best Icebreakers for Business Meetings

    Check out these 10 ideas for icebreakers for business meetings.

    1) Play Fact or Fiction

    For this icebreaker, get everyone to write down three things about themselves, two of which are true and one which is fiction. This should only take a couple of minutes. When everyone has three things, each person takes turns reading them out and the group has to guess which of the three things is fiction.

    2) Word Association

    This one is great for team builders. The group is given a word and they are asked to take turns saying words that come to mind upon hearing the key word. The facilitator can write them down to avoid repetition.

    3) Balloon Toss

    The facilitator provides paper, markers and balloons. Each group or person is given one of each. They are then asked to write an idea that pertains to the meeting on the piece of paper, fold it and put it into the balloon. At the end of the meeting everyone will toss the balloons in the air and exchange ideas.

    4) Act Out a Skit

    If you have a group of outgoing participants give them a scenario to act out while the rest of the group pays attention and gives feedback at the end.

    5) Name Tag Game

    This game only works when attendees do not know each other. Write the names of all the participants in the room on name tags and put them in a box. When they come in ask them to take a name tag that is not their own. When everyone is seated ask each attendee to state their name and one thing about who they are. At the end, each person must also give the characteristic of the name tag in their hands and then return them to their rightful owner.

    6) List Things in Common

    After dividing the meeting into smaller groups of two or three ask each group to come up with ten things they all have in common and read them back to the room.

    7) Office Taboo

    The facilitator can act out words or phrases that pertain to the meeting subject and have the group guess what they are.

    8) Storytelling Challenge

    This game can be very interesting. The concept is to thread a story together using bits and pieces from all the participants. The facilitator can start and then each person can add a line or two. As it moves around the room depth, intrigue and humor (in most cases) will be added to the story. This is a practical display that everyone has something to bring to the table and all contributions come together to make a part of the overall story.

    9) Blind Man's Bluff

    This game can build trust and it can also teach some participants to lead while others learn to follow instructions. A blindfold is placed across the eyes of one participant. The other participant has the job of directing the blindfolded partner to place an object in some part of the room. Everyone else has to be quiet and observe.

    10) First or Worst

    This can be a quick way to get to know something interesting about other people in the room. The idea is to say either what was your first job or your worst one and move along the circle.

    These icebreakers are all entertaining but they also serve a greater purpose... to bring a mood of cooperation into the business meeting.

    Image: Antoine Henrich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net