Games are effective tools for both cultivating audience engagement and establishing a fun atmosphere. Icebreakers are often the best to start with, since they are particularly effective at warming up groups. Examples of icebreakers include:
• Basics. Participants share their names, organizations or departments, experience related to the topic, what they would like to learn, or what they like to do for fun.
• Snowball fight. Participants write down little-known facts about themselves, crumple the paper up into balls, and throw them around the room. Eventually the papers are collected and everyone must guess which fact belongs to which participant.
• Demographics. With large groups that may not have enough time for individual introductions, trainers can ask people to stand when they call out a group or characteristic relevant to them. Trainers can weave other types of games and activities throughout their presentations. For example, intermission energizers, which may include standing up and stretching, can keep audiences refreshed and focused. Meanwhile, debriefing exercises enable participants to reflect on both what they understand and what they struggle with. To end sessions on a positive note, trainers can use end of the day closures—for example, participants can create their own “Ah-ha” lists or the most important points that they learned that day.