Welcome back to our channel! If you’re familiar with our approach, you know we prefer the term “connection before content” over “icebreakers.” This distinction is key as these activities are designed to align with the purpose of your gathering, fostering meaningful connections.

1. Archival Connections

This activity leverages the ubiquitous smartphones we carry. Despite their constant presence, we seldom use them to connect with others in person. Most people have a treasure trove of photos on their phones. Here’s how it works:

  • Ask participants to open their Photos app.
  • Instruct them to scroll back as far as they can in their archive.
  • Choose a photo to share with someone else.

For example, I found a photo of myself at 12, ready for a scuba diving adventure. Sharing this photo in a group setting can lead to memorable conversations and unexpected pathways into deeper discussions. It’s not just about the photo itself, but the myriad of stories and contexts it can unlock.

2. Curiosity-Driven Notecards

This exercise requires just a blank notecard. The goal is to flip on the group’s “curiosity switch” and get them to ask questions about each other. Here’s the process:

  • Each participant writes a question on a notecard.
  • These questions are collected and can be used in various ways:
    • In team meetings, they can serve as a “question of the day.”
    • At conferences, attendees can use them to engage with others during breaks.

This approach not only fosters curiosity but also ensures that conversations are personalized and meaningful.

3. Storytelling Prompts

Questions are a powerful tool to facilitate human connection. One of the most effective formats is:

  • “What is one of your favorite stories about [fill in the purpose of your gathering]?”

This simple template can lead to shared stories that are both engaging and relevant to the event’s objectives.

Bonus Tip: A Playful Method for Regaining Attention

In large groups, regaining attention can be a challenge. A playful method involves using a small

object as a signal:

  • Inform the group that whenever you throw an object into the air, they should make as much noise as possible.
  • Practice this a few times. The collective noise will grab everyone’s attention, allowing you to refocus the group.
  • For added fun, occasionally fake throwing the object to lighten the mood.

These activities, though simple, have proven effective in numerous settings. The key is not complexity, but intentionality. By focusing on genuine connection and engagement, even the simplest activities can yield profound results. Remember, fostering connection is often more impactful than overcomplicating the process.

For more ideas and resources, visit our website at weand.me/ideas. We’re here to make connection and engagement effortless and enjoyable. Try these activities out and see how they transform your gatherings!