Famous first questions: the “icebreaker”

It’s OK to laugh! When using feedbackr, the first question is supposed to introduce your audience to the tool – and, yes, to make them smile. Here are some ideas for a humorous intro.

The famous first question is important. It mostly decides whether or not your audience is going to warm up to the ARS in use. Once you get everyone to open the app, it’s up to you to showcase how simple and effective the system is.

Why “icebreaker”?

Your first question is your chance to “break the ice”, as the name suggests, and to ease tension in the room. By loosening everyone up, not only does your audience relax but you also profit from a more laid-back atmosphere to begin your presentation.

Ideally the icebreaker is informal, funny and easy to reply to for everyone. Do not start off with a question that some members of your audience might not be able to answer. What do you think everyone has an opinion about? The weather? The colour blue? The coffee at your institution?

And, of course, everyone likes to smile! So why not make your icebreaker a little silly or tongue-in-cheek? A good way is to include two or three “earnest” answering options and one that’s more jokey. Remember that emotions are the sure-fire way to the hearts of your audience. If you manage to make them laugh early in your speech or workshop, you will enjoy attention and goodwill for the remaining time on stage.

One more thing: Some of you are presenting several times to the same or a similar crowd. In that case, it’s important to be original! Don’t make the mistake and use an already “used-up” intro question, hoping no one remembers last year. A recurring icebreaker is about as funny as stale soda.

Here are some examples for feedbackr icebreakers. Before you ask: Yes, we use(d) them indeed 🙂

Do you think the speaker is attractive?
1) Yes
2) No

Does the speaker’s tie go with his shoes?
1) Yes
2) No

How will Austria score at the 2017 Eurovision contest?
1) Somewhere among the first five!
2) Somewhere among the last five.
3) I’m not sure they’ll make the qualification round …

Why are you here today?
1) I’m interested in the topic.
2) For networking.
3) For the food.

Have you ever made new year’s resolutions?
1) Of course!
2) Never.
3) I’d rather not tell …

Are you an early riser?
1) Yes
2) No
3) Please don’t talk to me yet.

Have some fun ideas? Please share! We’d love to hear what icebreakers you were most successful with.