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Similar Circles – Free Icebreaker

Duration: 30 minutes

Intended for:

Use as a free icebreaker at the beginning of a training programme. This is a fun way for participants to get to know each other without having to go through the ordeal of introducing themselves to the group as a whole.

Training course contents:

Instructions for running this icebreaker activity can be downloaded for free from the link at the bottom of this page, or you can follow the notes below.

Objective – to help break the ice at the beginning of training sessions where participants do not already know each other well.

Resources Needed – flip chart paper and marker pens.

Instructions – arrange participants into groups of three. If the numbers do not work out exactly consider joining one group yourself. Alternatively, you can have one or two pairs of people.

Show participants a flip chart already primed with three circles (see free download document at the bottom of this web page). Explain that you want each group to replicate the drawing using the flip chart pen and blank flip chart paper you give to them. People working in pairs need only draw two overlapping circles.

When they have done this explain that each member of the group is assigned one circle. In the area that does not overlap any of the other circles they write at least two unique facts about themselves – a unique fact is a piece of information about them that does not apply to anyone else in their small group (e.g. Born In Austria).

In the overlapping areas they need to write a common fact applying to everyone in the overlapping areas. For example A and B might both run marathons but C does not – so they would write this in the AB area of overlap.

Where all three circles overlap the participants need to find a fact that applies to all three.

For people working in pairs ask them to come up with 3 unique facts and three common facts.

Allow a fixed time limit for the activity (say 15 minutes).

When participants have completed the activity display the finished work. Find an interesting fact about each person and ask each person a question in turn. For example: ‘I’m interested to see you run marathons. How much training does this involve?’ This will help to introduce each individual to all of the other participants.


Use this icebreaker to help break the ice at the beginning of training sessions where participants do not already know each other well.

Similar Circles – Free Icebreaker


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