If it be so, sir, that you are the manThe Taming of the Shrew (Act 1, Scene 2), William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Must stead us all, and me amongst the rest,
And if you break the ice and do this feat,
Achieve the elder, set the younger free
For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
English playwright, poet and actor
This scene is the first use of the word “breaking the ice”. Like many of Shakespeare’s phrases it has become an every day idiom. And for today’s conferences, seminars and workshops, icebreakers are a must-have, before the real business can start. This is not time wasted. We need social binding for better learning and working results.
Thus, icebreakers are nowadays also transferred to the online world. Whatever you have in mind, be it a conference, be it a Digital Workshop (DiWo) or even asynchronous online events like tutorials, think of establishing a relationship to the the viewer or participant first.
Here we have assembled a couple of remote icebreakers. The list is continued occasionally. At the same time you can also have a look at the “traditional”, i.e. offline icebreakers, and check whether the one or other might not suit your online activity, too.
When planning for remote icebreakers
Remember: each module – and this includes remote icebreakers – of your digital workshop contribute to the overall objective of your workshop. So, first choose a game that is a step towards your goal.
Second, the game should suit the audience as well as the stage or phase of the group is actually in. Not everything is suitable at all times. You don’t bid farewell at the beginning, don’t you?
The game should also contribute to the 6 balances in a group. Thus, your participants feel respected, valued and have the sense that the workshop was balanced.
Some games might require a debriefing. Don’t skip as this will be part of the whole. Better plan the time properly.
And now have have and enjoy!
Have a look and consider the objectives of your event, your target audience and the stage in the group process in order to choose the most suitable one!