Brainstorming can be a great way to bring together some creative, innovative, and disruptive ideas from each and every member of your team. However, our brains oftentimes need a warm-up or a way to get us in a creative thinking mode. So to help combat this we can use some icebreakers.
Icebreakers aren’t just a way to break the tension or relieve the awkwardness we often encounter at ht beginning of meetings, brainstorming sessions, and presentations. They can be a great way to initiate discussions, kickstart debates, and even help to think creatively.
The key to a good icebreaker is to define the essence of the task and decide what you want to achieve during that exercise. The icebreaker should then encourage or build upon that core focus. For example, if your main task is to stimulate creative thinking, your icebreakers should inspire that thinking.
The thought of an icebreaker often makes people nervous. It usually involves opening up about yourself or sharing a random bit of personal information. But, to get brainstorming and imaginative these icebreakers are great to warm up the participants and stimulate a creative mindset.
Thinking creatively is more than just being inventive and thinking outside of the box. It is about being open-minded, thinking critically, daring in ideation, and problem-solving.
Creative thinking can often be conflated with something like artistic talent or some sort of natural flair, but creativity can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As mentioned above, problem-solving and critical thinking are also expressions of creative thinking that we may not necessarily always consider to be such. We can all think creatively, just in a way that plays to our own strengths.
These icebreakers are designed to initiate conversation and some back and forth. They are not designed to be answered and left alone. The primary goal of a brainstorming session or a workshop is to get buy-in from everyone and make them feel involved. These icebreakers are the perfect way to initiate discussions from the get-go and promote a sense of creative thinking; two birds and one stone.
If you need icebreakers for your students then you're also in luck!
So that being said, let’s look at some icebreakers we can all use to help the thinking and thought development process. We also have some templates you can use right away without any extra effort or planning!
Think of a particular topic and create a list of words related to it. Then, ask the audience what words come to mind when they think of this topic. A great tip is to use the Word Cloud feature on Mentimeter so that everyone can see people’s thoughts in real-time and on the big screen.
This type of icebreaker can take many different forms which makes it a great way to use again and again. Don’t worry your group won’t need to write a full novel or even the plot of a short story. Encourage them to write one maybe two sentences. Let them come up with whatever strikes their fancy.
Have the group think of as many different and unusual uses for a standard red brick. Once the most obvious ideas have gone it will be fun to see some of the unusual ideas that people can come up with. Sometimes referred to as the paper clip game, this can be used with any product or thing. So feel free to reuse it when needed.
This is a fun-go around the room activity. Choose two random objects or things, for example, a tree or the wind, and ask everyone to pick which one best describes them and why.
This icebreaker will help to stimulate new creative paths. Create a list of made-up brand names and get participants to think of as many products or businesses that the name could stand for. Try and encourage people to be as descriptive and expressive as possible.
Love them or hate them, you cannot deny that brain-twisters and riddles are a great way to kick those critical and creative parts into overdrive. Some answers will require plenty of logic to solve while others demand some real outside-of-the-box thinking.
So let’s take away the random elements of a kid's guessing game and bring some assumptions, hunches, and educated guesses to the table. What better way to stimulate creative thinking than encouraging your audience to logically think through everything and come to their own conclusions.
Rankings are a great way to get people thinking, prioritizing, weighing their options, and carefully considering their own preferences and views. All in all, rankings icebreakers can be a great way to kickstart those creative motors. For further discussion points, why not ask people why they chose their rankings?
This or That questions can be a great way to understand your group better but they can also be a way of sparking some creative thinking, especially if you ask some good inventive questions with some interesting choices.
This is a great way to get people thinking creatively and outside of the box. Simply give your audience a category and ask them to submit a few things related to it. You can also add in a competitive element by awarding points for unique answers!
So this is a game that is specific to Mentimeter so it really is unique. Not only will your audience be asked to really consider their available options, but they will also have to consider just how much they may value something.
So there you have it! You can ask plenty of different questions right at the beginning of your presentation to spark some really innovative and inventive ideas. Never be stuck for good ideas again and get your audience engaged and ready to go.