Before you select an introductory, ice-breaker activity, here are 10 quick questions that you should ask yourself.
1. Is this activity an effective lead-in to the subject matter that we will be covering? Does it sensitise learners to the training content and raise awareness of relevant issues?
2. Does the activity requires any physical resources or materials, or any specific room set up, and are these easy to arrange?
3. Does the activity model a way of working that you want to encourage in the training programme?
4. Does the activity encourage everyone to participate? is there a way for less vocal people to be able to put their ideas forward?
5. Is there an opportunity for individuals to get to know more about each other in a way that will be useful on the training ( ie more than just ‘ritualised’ introductions)?
6. Does the activity encourage sharing of past and current experiences?
7. Is the activity likely to be perceived at all negatively by the group? (Some ‘fun’ activities can be perceived as embarrassing, childish or beneath the dignity of some professionals. This is usually overcome if the direct relevance is obvious and immediate.)
8. Is the time allowed for the activity appropriate? How much learning/value can be extracted and is this proportionate to the time allowed?
9. Is the activity lively and stimulating enough to raise energy and motivation for the rest of the training?
10. Is there an opportunity to develop the activity into a more challenging team task, to develop or refine skills (ie. can this introductory activity be expanded in a bigger group or into a more complex challenge at a later stage in the training?)