Nothing that surrounds us is object, all is subject.

André Breton (1896–1966)
French writer and poet

Studies have shown that learning happens best in a social environment. Participants have to relate to each other before learning really can start. Accordingly, icebreakers have their value in what they create for the next sessions. Talking objects is one of those useful starter games. Participants share a personal insight and thereby help others to relate to them.

Objective for Talking Objects

Self-introduction of participants with focus of sharing personal information.


Whatever participants choose from their desk.


About 1–2 min / participants. You can set also a time like 60 sec.


Many of us have a variety of things on our desk. Some of them might be very personal. As a self-introduction a participant chooses spontaneously one of the objects on his desk and explains, what this object is, what is tells us about him and why it is precious to him. Let each of them have their turn. 

As facilitator you can pick and choose who is next, perhaps especially those who are distracted? Furthermore, you can set the tone and the time example by starting off yourself.

All in all, you’ll be suprised how much this helps relating to each other. However, the group should not be to large. I suggest not more than 12. If each of them speaks for only two minutes plus you yourself it would mean (with switching time) about 30 min in total. It might be worth it. But more than that create the risk of boredom.


You can play the game talking object as an icebreaker or any time. It might serve also in team building for getting to know each other better.

The game My Desk is similar – or perhaps one of those?

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