On Wednesday, my colleague Jeff and I went to an IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) meeting in Pleasanton, California. We made a presentation on Personal Marketing and Social Networking. During the first part of the meeting probably 10 minutes was an Ice Breaker exercise. Its purpose of course was to break the ice and encourage networking.

Ice Breaker Exercise Rules:

  1. A cartoon character name is taped to your back
  2. You know you are a cartoon character
  3. You must find someone and introduce yourself.
  4. They get to look at your back.
  5. You may ask three “YES” or “NO” questions.
  6. If you have not guessed your character after 3 questions, you must ask 3, 4, 5 until you do.

You can tell who are the extroverts & introverts during the first few minutes.  The extroverts are in there chatting up a storm.  They work through the people quickly and usually get their name within 3 people.  The introverts on the other hand are being wall flowers.  You can easily spot them.  They’re the ones not talking to anyone, standing around the edge of the room.

The day before we listened to a motivational speaker, Terry Barnhart.  Terry was talking about networking.  He gave this suggestion to introverts in a Mixer  was if you’re introverted, then go find the wall flowers.  They’re not going to bite.  They’re just as shy as you are or maybe even more than you are.

During the Ice Breaker Exercise I found some wall flowers (introverts) and was able to quickly figure my character just by asking them the 3 questions.

I really enjoyed this exercise because it encouraged people to utilize their social skills and engage in a conversation to find out information.  I think it gives us a better chance to get to know strangers and make them not stragers anymore.  In fact I would change rule 3 from “You must find someone and introduce yourself” to “You must find someone you don’t know very well and introduce yourself.”