I'm looking for exercises to quickly energize/warm up a group of people in two settings:

  1. During long meeting and conferences that last over one or several days.
  2. When warming up our sales teams (generally made up of young idealistic people ages 18-24) at the start of a new day. 

In both settings fast and short is good.

I've found a forum topic with Mark recommending a couple of books, as well as a link to the site where I didn't really manage to find anything appropriate.

If anybody can recommend any specific exercises (or strongly recommend against the use of ice breakers or recommend something else) before I go ahead and order the books I'm very grateful. 


Thank you

maura's picture
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This exercise was done at the MT Effective Manager Conference, which I thought was effective (as if there's anything MT-related that's not effective!):

Everybody gets a big marker and a sheet of sticky-backed paper from the big easel up front.  

Take maybe 5 minutes to DRAW a picture of who you are and what you're all about - it can include your work, family, hobbies, etc. It may have been only 2 minutes - I remember it went by FAST.

Each person gets 30 seconds (and ONLY 30 seconds!) to take that sheet up front to the easel, and use the drawing as a visual aid when you introduce yourself to the team. 

Even for someone shy like me, it was tough to boil it all down to 30 seconds, but we all came away from the exercise having adressed the group, having learned something about everyone else as they presented, and having giggled at some of our own drawings.

RaisingCain's picture

Ensemble - juggle circle

Form a circle of between 5-12 people. Start with one beanbag and have everyone pass it to someone next (across-ish is best). From then on that is their selected person. They keep the order of receiving a bag from person x and passing it to the same person y. Add a beanbag…a good flowing team can get n+1 bags going (circle of 7 people try to get 8 bags going).  Even with just a few bags you'll stop looking and just start feeling the flow.

Improvisation – hitchhiker
2 chairs representing the front and passenger seats in a car. Starts with a driver that is acting like themselves. They pick up a hitchhiker. The hitchhiker was given or selected at random a character or some interesting/funny physical or personality trait (everyone writes them down and places in a hat is one way to do it). They keep it to themselves and act it out. As they drive they talk, the driver is supposed to take on the same trait as the hitchhiker. The hitchhiker slides over to drive, the driver gets out.  They could try and guess the trait (can be pretty funny)…the new driver picks up the next hitchhiker.  And repeat.
Mostly a challenge for the driver. Forces them to listen to voice and body language and react to the mood and mannerisms of the other person. And they are seated, so it is very much a vocal/hand gesture/facial expression thing. Could be very good if your sales team will be seated often.


RasmusTQ's picture

Maura: I LOVE the meeting introduction. I use it regularly and swear by it's effectiveness. You can find the cast describing it at

Raisingcain: Thank you! I will definitely try to try these out!

jzklein's picture

Wow, that is the best ice-breaker ever!


tekandrew's picture

I've found that elite training provide best training resources and training course material to develop team building skills. Also develop the skills of management and staff through Business Games and team building activities.

timbarcz's picture
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I recommend - it's been done by myself a number of times with various teams. It is fun with real takeaways and lessons to learn.



jamescarrey's picture

Try strategical physics games that you can obtain fom, this is one way to get them refreshes their minds and at least boost their strategical thinking towards business managerial aspects.