5 Ice Breakers to Get Students Engaged with Online Training

2020 was the year we all learned to embrace new ways of learning. As a trainer, I’ve learned a lot: always have a backup to connect to your meetings in case your home internet fails, have another meeting platform in case the first one is having a bad day, make your bed if you’re on camera and delivering from your bedroom…etc. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had as a trainer is keeping students engaged, especially during long training sessions.

Keeping anyone’s attention for 6+ hours straight is no easy feat in the physical classroom let alone behind a screen. But I find that if you kick off a session with the right tone, you’ll establish rapport with your audience from the get-go. With that, we’ve collected some of the team’s top ice breakers to get teams engaged.

5. The First Album/Single You Purchased

Best suited for: Groups of 10 or less

How it works: Each person shares the story of the first album or single they ever bought.

Why we love it: Often this leads to the group singing in the first 15 minutes of class which was brilliant.

Credit: Jodie Bryan, Engagement Manager and Training Consultant

4. What’s on Your Screensaver?

Best suited for: Groups of 10 of less

How it works: Have each person share what they have on their screensavers. It’ll require them to use their own device but with everyone working from home, it’s likely they’ll have their own laptops.

Why we love it: A picture tells 1000 words. There are bound to be some good stories behind the pictures. It’s also a great way for the group to get to know each other, especially for training sessions that go on for more than a day.

Credit: Stephen Thorpe, Training Consultant

3. Tell us a Fun Fact

Best suited for: Groups of 15 less

How it works: Each person takes turns sharing a fun fact. It could be a fun fact about themselves or a general fun fact i.e. did you know that the tallest giraffe lives in Australia?

Why we love it: Who can resist a fun fact? As an attendee, it’s also a fun way to introduce yourself.

Credit: Alice Hodgson, Managing Director

2. This or That? Via Poll Everywhere

Best suited for: Groups of all sizes

How it works: A This or That question prompts someone to select one of two options. For example, do you prefer to binge on Netflix or YouTube? or are you Team iPhone or Team Android?. Create five sets of questions and host them on a tool like Poll Everywhere.

Why it works: It’s a great way to get to know a big group when time is a constraint. Using a tool like Poll Everywhere also gets people engaged in a hands-on activity from the start.

Credit: Iona Yeung, Training Consultant

1. Two Truths, One Lie

Best suited for: Groups of 5 or less

How it works: Each person has to write two statements about them and create a false statement about themselves. Others in the group will need to guess which statement is false.

Why it works: It’s a great way to get attendees chatting. So many conversation starters come from a simple game, it’s perfect for teams to get to know each other.

Credit: The TrainTheCrowd Team

Iona Yeung
A certified Salesforce instructor, she loves helping others make the most out of their marketing tools, especially Email Studio. She’s constantly looking for new ways to automate her marketing and has dozens of marketing funnels that continue to run themselves.

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