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Ice-breaking ideas for IT training sessions

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I am a trainer who does MS Apps trainings and bespoke/inhouse software trainings for a large company with a mixed bag of users - both in terms of job roles and ability. I would really like to start using short ice-breaking sessions (ie 5-10 mins) to get the group animated and enthusiastic about the rest of the session. However, these ice-breaking activities shouldn't be too "touchy-feely" or be called "ice-breakers" as our users would then reject this idea as a "waste of time"

Does anyone have any good suggestions or alternate ways of starting an IT training session?
Any help gratefully received!!

Helen Palmer
[email protected]
Helen Palmer

4 Responses

  1. People love to talk about themselves
    For non-technical end-users I have handed out sheets of paper and asked them to write the funniest situation they’ve found themselves. I’ve collected the sheets, and then pulled one out at intervals, read it, and asked them to guess who it was. This is great for adding interest and a short break between exercises.

  2. Ice-breaking for IT training sessions
    In our environment – local government – we often get the users and trainers to talk over the health and safety issues (we start with the usual intro to the training suite – fire drill and then prompt them to sugesst/discuss the health and safety issues in their workplace). Another way is just to get the delegates chatting over coffee before the sessions begin. You will find that IT personnel do like to discuss and chat other issues – not just IT. Another way is just to discuss the ‘how IT is going to save me time and effort’ related to the package being taught

  3. Problem Fest – People like to share problems – even IT ones
    Hi Helen,
    I would suggest that you get them to exchange and discuss problems they have/will solve with the training they will receive on the day. Gets them thinking and exchanging ideas and give you a clearer idea of their immediate needs.

    Nigel
    [email protected]

  4. Ice breakers for IT Training
    Try to make your icebreaker relevant to the application, so you can use the results of it later on.

    For example, at the start of a PowerPoint course, I will get the participants to work together to produce (on a flipchart) the design for a team slide. This summarises the team (names, background, experience, hobbies, etc.) and is a good way of getting them to introduce themselves to one another and find out about each other – rather more effective and less threatening than the standard “stand up and introduce yourself!”

    (Thanks to Eureka! for this idea from their “Openings that Ignite a Room” workshop!)

    By the end of the course they will use this design to produce a team slide.

    I have similar ideas for other apps – get in touch with me at [email protected] for more ideas.

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