Quick and simple activities to give your meetings and workshops a boost
It’s a familiar scenario. You’re gathered together for a meeting, but most of the participants are distracted, bored, or just plain falling asleep. If this rings a bell, have no fear. Help is at hand in the form of energisers.
Energisers are a great way to revitalise a group when energy levels and motivation are falling. They’re usually utilised at the beginning of a conference/workshop/meeting or after a meal break, when the group may be flagging. A good energiser will help participants feel relaxed working together, making it easier to have productive meetings. When you share a positive, fun experience, it lightens the mood and makes everyone more focused on getting the job done.
We’ve picked out seven of our favourite energisers for you to try the next time you need to give one of your meetings a shot of energy.
1. Human Rock, Paper, Scissors
Before you begin the game, decide on a pose that will represent choosing rock, paper or scissors. For example, lie on the floor for paper; bend your knees and hold your arms in front of you as if you’re holding a barrel for rock; clap your hands above your head for scissors.
Once you’ve agreed your poses, divide everyone into two teams and give them 5 minutes to agree their strategies. Paper beats rock, which beats scissors, which beats paper. You’ll be playing five rounds – highest score wins.
When you’re ready, the facilitator will count down to the signal to go: Paper, Rock, Scissors! On the word scissors, everyone needs to make their pose.
You can adapt this game to a number of different themes, maybe relating to your business. For example, if you run a wedding venue, you could play Best Man, Mother of the Bride, Chief Bridesmaid instead of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
It sounds so simple. All you have to do is count up to three as a team. But once you get going, this energiser is surprisingly tricky.
Divide participants into small group of up to six and have them sit or stand in small circles. Now all they have to do is count together, taking turns to count to three.
After a few rounds of this, swap the number one for a clap, so instead of saying the word, you physically clap your hands together. After a few rounds of this, clap instead of saying one and then click your fingers instead of saying two. Finally, when you’ve done this for a while, clap for one, click your fingers for two and then stamp your foot for three.
When someone gets an action wrong, they’re out. Keep playing until you have one last person standing.
3. Collaborative portraits
Everyone needs a piece of paper and a pen or pencil for this activity. They should write their name on the bottom of their paper.
Now everyone needs to wander around the room until you tell them to stop. This is their signal to pair up with the closest person to them. They swap papers and draw each other’s eyes.
When they’re done, they need to give their papers back and stand walking around again. This time when you say stop, they need to draw their new partner’s nose.
Keep going until you’ve covered each feature, hair and even accessories. Then everyone gets to show off their personal piece of art.
4. Two truths and a lie
This activity’s good for established teams, because it can help them learn something new about each other, but it’s also great for new teams to get to know each other.
It’s very simple. Everybody needs to think of two truths and a lie about them. For example, “I was on a TV quiz show; I used to compete in triathlons; I have 12 cats.” Then everyone else gets to vote on which statement is the lie.
You could offer a spot prize for the most creative lies or the best liar.
5. Find your pair
You need an even number of participants for this, so you may or may not choose to join in to make up the numbers.
You need a number of different animals equal to half the people in the game, i.e. if you have 16 participants, you’ll need 8 animals. Choose animals with distinctive calls.
Write the name of each animal on two separate post-it notes or slips of paper. Shuffle them and give them out randomly to everyone. Now tell participants to secretly check what animal they’ve been given. They should all spread out around the room and close their eyes.
All that’s left to do is make the animal noise, while keeping their eyes closed, and find their pair. You might like to give a prize to the first to find their partner.
6. Worms on toast
This energiser is good for getting the creative juices flowing before a brainstorming session.
Sit in a circle. The facilitator goes first by saying “Hello. I’m <name> and I ate <worms on toast> for breakfast. Next, the person sitting to their right says “Hello <name>. You ate <worms on toast> for breakfast. My name is <name> and I had <different weird food> for breakfast.”
Continue round the table with each person repeating the name of the person before them and what they had before giving their random food idea. Once everyone’s done, see if anyone can remember what everyone ate for breakfast – the most breakfasts remembered wins a prize.
7. Pat on the back
This energiser is especially useful for teams that have been having a tough time recently.
Pair everyone up, so you may or may not participate in this one. Once everyone has a partner, tell them to think of their proudest achievement from the past 6 months, either from work or at home. They should then explain their achievement to their partner.
Once everyone’s shared their experiences, each person has to describe their colleague’s achievement to the rest of the team, to riotous applause.
While we know from experience that these energisers work really well, you may decide that you’d like some help facilitating these exercise. If you need, our experts are always on hand to help you out. Kippure staff are available to come to any meeting venue in Ireland for your convenience to run your team through your chosen activities. Alternatively, you’re always welcome to come to Kippure Estate for your meeting, should you decide you need a change of scenery or some time out of the office.
If you’re running a conference, you may like to take advantage of our specific set of conference energisers. https://teambuildingireland.com/conference-energiser/ This programme includes a number of activities, including Puzzle Place, a competitive/cooperative game that relies on negotiation and strategies to win, as well as Pole Position, a quick-fire game that can be tailored to your company’s products or services for a personalised experience.
On the other hand, if you’d like a more involved session, you might like to go all out and climb Everest! Well, a table top version of Everest, at least. The Everest Challenge https://teambuildingireland.com/the-everest-challenge/ takes between 1.5-2 hours and is suitable for up to 200 people. Work together to inspire and motivate each other, as you tackle a number of challenges on your journey to the peak.
Our team samba drumming https://teambuildingireland.com/team-samba/ is always a hit and is sure to get everyone’s feet tapping and heads nodding. Samba beats are infectious, so it’s impossible to sit on the side-lines as your team play on a range of instruments to recreate increasingly complex rhythms. You’ll work on your listening skills and collaboration to make beautiful music you’ll all want to dance to.
If you’d like help with building better teams or you’d like more information about Kippure Corporate’s range of effective team building exercises, call Damian on 01-458 2889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.