Effective large group ice breakers can be hard to find. I’ve often see leaders simply blow off the initial icebreaker as a waste of time since it’s so hard to find a short, engaging, helpful activity. However, icebreakers have a good purpose: they help people get oriented to who is in the room, focus their energy on the meeting, and participate actively.
Twenty Questions is an easy icebreaker that quickly gets people talking and laughing. It can be used with groups as small as ten and as large as two hundred. (Actually, it might be possible with more than two hundred. We haven’t yet tested it with a larger group — you can be the first!)
Here’s how the activity works:
- Prior to the session, choose 20 questions for the icebreaker. (Sample questions are listed on the sheet. See end of post for download.) Or, if you prefer, you can add questions that you believe will generate interesting conversations in your group.
- In the session, introduce the activity and its purpose.
- Explain that you’d like everyone who can answer “yes” to a question to stand after you read the question. Ask everyone to notice who is standing. You may wish to ask a few people who are standing for some details before moving on to the next question. (For example, Jim, how old are your twins? or It looks like we have the makings of a band in this room. Cathy, what instrument do you play?)
- After completing all 20 questions, ask people to find one person who stood for something they would like to know more about. Allow approximately 10 minutes for people to connect with others in the room.
Before the fifth question, chances are that people will be laughing and enjoying themselves. And they’ll have learned a little more about each other in the process.
Download the 20 Questions Icebreaker now!