A computer with an internet connection to research some good questions ahead of time.
Pick a few questions off Plinky.com
Sometimes a good icebreaker can be as simple as answering a good question or prompt. If the goal is to get people warmed-up, talking, laughing and having fun... sometimes that's all it takes. For a live group, the facilitator picks a question or prompt and asks people to pair up and share with their answer with their partner. For an online community, ask people to post their answers to a community forum or message board.
Here's a sample of some of their recent prompts that would make great icebreaker questions for the start of your next meeting:
- Paul Simon was going to Graceland, Toto blessed the rains down in Africa – what place would you write a song about? Explain why it's worthy of song.
- If you were named based on your traits, habits, or likes, what would your name be? One of our engineers, "Orders Lots of Stuff From Amazon," wants to know.
- Have you ever bought anything that has its own infomercial (like the ShamWow® or Snuggie™)? What compelled you to make your purchase? If you haven't, what have you been tempted to buy?
- Animal face-off! Who would win in a fight between a bear and a shark? Defend your pick.
- You've been invited on a talk show to explain your job to the hosts. What would you say you do on a daily basis? Explain your duties and describe your day.
- 'Frankly, Rosebud, you can't handle the truth!' Have a favorite line from a movie? What's the line and why do you like it?
- Recommend a book to someone who needs a good laugh. What's so funny?
- What city would you retire to if money were no object? Why would you spend your golden years there?
- Congratulations! You're going to be featured in the next issue of Sports Illustrated. How does your bio read? For which sport, game or athletic feat are you profiled? What details, factual or otherwise, would the sporting world learn about you?
- Who would you rather be seated next to on a daylong bus trip: an irritating talker or a quiet starer? What's your rationale?
- What's the best prank you've ever seen?
- Describe the greatest put-on you've witnessed (or seen on TV), and why it stuck with you.
Note: they have a lot of questions about relationships, which aren't necessarily appropriate for your group... e.g. "What's the worst way you've ever dumped or been dumped by someone?" is probably not a good way to start your next staff meeting, so use your discretion. Also, the better you can relate the questions to the content of your meeting or training (even if you don't reveal to the participants how it's related until after the activity) the more it will help build community.
None necesssary, but if you are doing this live, after you give people a chance to talk in pairs, you can ask a few volunteers to share with the larger group.
Similar to Would you rather?