Fast, peppy introduction icebreaker

You know how introductions can drag on and on, the precious minutes evaporating like water droplets on an Arizona sidewalk as people grow more and more loquacious?  And, there is the special problem of how to get a room of 100 or more introduced to each other and loosened up while everyone is still young.

Here’s a way to speed up introductions, while making them fun and energizing.
It’s a big mood-shifter. If you use it with a big group, circle people up by table groups and have the whole room clap in rhythm.  FUN!  I’ll warn you though:  You’ll want to practice this before you use it*.

  1. Write down 3 things you want people to share.  I often ask for their name, their fear for the day and hope for the day, each in a word.  If I’m going to do a pre-post clap circle, I’ll ask for their name and a word or phrase that describes their state of mind.  When time is especially short, or I just want to re-energize people, I ask them to name the people on either side of them (first names only).
  2. Give everyone a few seconds to fix their words/names in their mind.
  3. Start this 8-beat clapping sequence, very even, very slow:
  4. Slap your thighs with both hands twice. (on count 1, 2)
  5. Clap your hands twice. (on count 3, 4)
  6. Snap your fingers twice to the right. (on count 5, 6)
  7. Snap your fingers twice to the left. (on count 7, 8)
  8. Repeat.
  9. Get the group snapping with you.  Don’t let them speed up.
  10. No matter what happens, don’t let them stop!
  11. Model what you want them to do (say it as you execute the pattern), like this:

 
Name/Hope/Fear
“Liz……………Williams…….clarity at last……disappointment”
(Slap-Slap)  (Clap-Clap)   (Right-Snap)       (Left-Snap)

Name/Current state

“Liz……………………………………feeling eager”
(Slap-Slap)  (Clap-Clap)   (Right-Snap)       (Left-Snap)

Name/Name/Name

“Liz………………………………..Sally……………….Esmeralda”
(Slap-Slap)  (Clap-Clap)   (Right-Snap)       (Left-Snap)

Have fun with this!
_______________________________________

(*Slap-Slap-Clap-Clap, Right-Snap-Left-Snap.  8 beats in 8 seconds – You can time it with the second hand on your watch.  Saying it out loud helps.)

 

Leave a Comment

*