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Top Tips for Using Icebreakers and Energisers in Training Courses

Posted April 24th, 2024

When developing instructor-led training, capturing and maintaining the attention of participants is essential. Icebreakers and energisers can transform the learning environment, fostering interaction and enthusiasm among learners and helping to embed key learning points.

For learning and development professionals looking to enhance their training sessions, leveraging free training resources like those offered by Trainer Bubble can be particularly beneficial. Here’s how to effectively use these tools to elevate your training courses.

  1. Select Icebreakers Relevant to Your Objective

The effectiveness of an icebreaker hinges on its alignment with the session’s goals. A well-chosen activity not only breaks the ice but also sets the tone for the session, aligning participants with the training’s objectives.

Trainer Bubble offers a vast array of icebreakers designed to cater to various training needs. Whether your aim is to ease participants into a learning mindset, facilitate networking, or simply energise the group, selecting an appropriate activity is crucial. For instance, a quick icebreaker that prompts participants to share something unique about themselves can be perfect for sessions focusing on team building.

  1. Timing is Everything

The strategic placement of icebreakers and energisers throughout a training course can significantly affect participant engagement. Introducing an icebreaker at the beginning of a session is common practice, but don’t overlook the power of re-energising your audience at critical points. Activities introduced after breaks or during afternoon slumps can invigorate the atmosphere, ensuring sustained attention and engagement. Energisers are particularly useful in combatting the post-lunch dip in energy levels, helping participants stay alert and focused.

  1. Keep it Inclusive

One key aspect of successful icebreakers and energisers is their inclusivity. Every participant should feel comfortable and able to partake in the activities without physical or emotional discomfort. It’s important to consider the diverse needs of your audience, including physical abilities, cultural sensitivities, and introverted personalities. Activities from Trainer Bubble often include modifications and suggestions to cater to a wide array of needs, ensuring that everyone can participate meaningfully.

  1. Provide Clear Instructions

The clarity of your instructions can make or break the engagement during an icebreaker or energiser. Complex explanations or ambiguous rules can lead to participant confusion, which may detract from the effectiveness of the activity. Always aim to deliver instructions that are straightforward and concise. A demonstration or a walk-through can further aid understanding, particularly for more complex or physical activities. This approach not only ensures that all participants are on the same page but also helps in maintaining a smooth flow during the session.

  1. Use Variations to Suit Group Size and Type

Not all icebreakers and energisers are one-size-fits-all. The size and dynamics of your group can significantly influence which activities will be most effective. Trainer Bubble’s resources often include variations on classic activities, allowing trainers to adapt them according to the group size and the session’s format. For smaller groups, activities that involve deep, personal sharing might be appropriate, whereas larger groups might benefit from more structured and less intimate activities.

  1. Debrief and Connect the Activity to Learning Points

Integrating a brief discussion following an icebreaker or energiser can significantly enhance its value. Debriefing helps participants process what they experienced during the activity and link it to the learning objectives of the session. This reflection not only reinforces the session’s goals but also enhances retention of the material. For example, after a problem-solving icebreaker, discussing the strategies used by different teams can segue perfectly into a training segment on collaboration or innovation.

  1. Gather Feedback and Iterate

Feedback is a powerful tool for any trainer. By soliciting and reflecting on participant feedback regarding the icebreakers and energisers used, trainers can gain insights into what works and what doesn’t within their specific training context. This continuous loop of feedback and adjustment allows trainers to refine their techniques and choose activities that best suit their audience’s preferences and the session’s objectives.

Conclusion

Icebreakers and energisers are powerful tools in the arsenal of a trainer. Beyond just lightening the mood, they prepare the ground for learning and collaboration. Trainer Bubble’s free training resources provide a treasure trove of options for learning and development professionals to enhance their training sessions. By judiciously selecting, timing, and executing these activities, trainers can ensure their sessions are not only educational but also engaging and enjoyable. With thoughtful planning and a responsive approach, trainers can maximise the impact of these activities, resulting in more effective and memorable training experiences.

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