Meeting ice breakers are an important ingredient in direct sales training and should be incorporated into every business meeting.
Ice breakers serve as a great way to introduce people, start conversations, and motivate people to interact at an event. They are perfect for staff meetings, to kick off an event or to begin direct sales training meetings.
The best managers, business owners and team leaders use ice breakers to initiate meetings and enhance team cohesiveness.
A good ice breaker can help build team chemistry, generate enthusiasm and get team members to become involved. They can range from silly games to formal introductions.
They can be creative, insightful, or humorous. Breaking the ice with games can help to create and build team cohesion.
The Ice Breaker Bingo Game
Click the image to save or print a full sized bingo grid like the one pictured below.
It’s a little silly, but most people enjoy it as it helps to create an informal and friendly atmosphere.
It works like this:
Prior to the meeting, use paper or poster board to create some game boards.
Inside small squares on the boards, fill in various characteristics, attributes and personal qualities.
The boards will look similar to bingo boards, only the squares will have personal characteristics instead of numbers.
This related article on Bingo Games For Parties has a blank printable bingo grid that you may want to download to enter your own criteria.
Some of the possible items can be:
- Was born in a different state (than the one in which the meeting is taking place)
- Wears size 9 shoes
- Is left-handed
- First name begins with “T”
- Owns a Japanese car
- Has been to Hawaii
- Has been to more than 10 countries
- Played a varsity sport in high school
The list of characteristics or personal facts is endless.
In an ideal world you may have more than one set of cards with questions on them. If you really want to get serious there are websites that allow you to create your own bingo cards. Just search for “make bingo cards’ and several will show up.
Be as creative and humorous as possible without being offensive or exclusionary. The more humorous and creative, the better the game will work as an ice breaker.
During the networking portion of the meeting, everyone receives an ice breaker bingo game card.
They then talk, chat and network with other team members and attempt to match each square with a person in the room.
For every characteristic that matches, the team members should write down one item or person’s name on each square.
Prizes for the top three BINGO finishers are up to you, but the real prize is that a team that engages with each other benefits more from the meeting and comes back again to see their friends.
Pick Networking Games For Group
There are a few important keys to making meeting ice breakers effective.
The first key is to understand your team or audience.
Don’t make an introduction game silly or puerile if you feel that your audience is more serious.
Everyone enjoys a little silliness, but playing games too childish for your audience will only serve to make you seem foolish. Another key for implementing and using the right ice breaker is complexity and timing.
The type of ice breaker will depend on the length of the time for networking as well as the size of the group. Understanding your audience will help you create an ice breaker that is an ideal fit.