A really simple icebreaker

I’ve been using this icebreaker in my TAE workshops for years. It’s simple to run and people respond really well to it.

  1. Break people into pairs – if you have an uneven number of learners you pair up with someone
  2. People are instructed to interview their partner for 5 minutes. They have to get answers to the 3 questions outlined below as a minimum (they are told to take notes as they will need the information later but you don’t tell them why):
    • What job the person has or intends to pursue
    • How that links in with them doing TAE (or whatever workshop you’re running)
    • What their expectations of the course are
  3. People are encouraged to solicit some personal information as well. I always joke that people have the right, under the 5th amendment, not to answer any personal questions, if they choose not to
  4. After 5 minutes people swap roles, with the interviewer becoming the interviewee and vice versa
  5. If the trainer has to make up a pair you tell your interviewer to ask you about yourself, your training business (trainer credibility) and any other personal details they’d like to know. The 3 questions listed above are not really relevant
  6. After the 2nd 5 minutes everyone stops
  7. People then have to introduce their partner to the group, answering the 3 Qs listed above and adding any personal intel they’ve been able to unearth. They can use their notes for this
  8. I ask them to stand as they introduce their partner

I run this icebreaker within 20 minutes of starting day 1. It works particularly well in TAE workshops as participants get to do a mini-presentation right from the get-go in preparation for when they have to do their TAEDEL401 presentations later in the course.



David Wurth

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