No matter how fun and engaging your class is, one thing is for sure, your participants will not show up at your class with an unlimited supply of energy. A good idea is to always keep a few energizers up your sleeve to boost the energy level of participants whenever needed.
Math teaser 1
Write the equation 5+5+5 = 550 on a flip chart, challenge the group to add one straight line to make it a correct equation.
Congratulate those who come up with adding a line through the = sign and turning it into an unequal sign like this 5+5+5 ≠ 550 but this is not exactly what you are looking for.
Answer: connect the top of the first addition sign to the arm of its cross so you end up with 545+5=50
Math teaser 2
- Form small groups of 4 to 6 people.
- Distribute one random playing card to each person.
- If possible, avoid distributing cards with duplicate values in each group.
- Instruct each small group to use all of their cards together with any mathematical function (add, subtract, multiply and divide) to produce an equation of exactly 20.
- For example, King + Ace + 8 + 6 – 5 = 20.
- Allow at least 5 to 10 minutes for each small group to problem-solve.
- Challenge each group to produce as many different equations as possible.
Possible changes/variations: allow only addition and substraction/
Cat and Mouse
Items needed: Two scarfs
Ask everyone to stand in a circle, give one scarf to two persons standing opposite each other.
Instruct participants that one scarf is the “Cat” and the other scarf is the “Mouse” Agree with everyone which is which, then ask the person with the “Cat” scarf to tie it around his/her neck with one knot and ask the person with the “Mouse” scarf to tie it around his/her neck with two knots.
Once you say “GO” participants should follow these instructions:
- The person with the scarf will have to untie them and retie them around the neck of the person next to them (the “cat” scarf with only one knot should travel faster than the “mouse” scarf)
- Scarves should be travelling in the same direction within the circle.
This activity is a lot of fun as those with the “mouse” scarf who have two knots to go through will try to work twice as fast to get away from the “cat” scarf.
What’s my Job?
Ask for a volunteer and advise him/her that they will have to leave the room for 2 minutes. Once the participant is outside, the group will agree on an occupation for him/her like a carpenter, gardener,….etc. Let the volunteer back inside and now he/she has to guess what his job is while the rest of the group mime activities to give him/her clues.
At the end of the training program or to conclude each module or unit of the course content, split participants into teams of two and challenge each team to come up with a summary of the content covered in only 140 characters.
Read Out Loud
As a quick energizer, challenge participants to read the next two slides.
Show slide with “He said that that that that that woman said should have been which.” After struggling for a while, someone is sure to deduce that the sentence is really:
“He said that that ‘that’ that that woman said should have been ‘which.’”
After discovering the pattern, the second one becomes easier.
Show slide with “It was and I said not but.”
The punctuation that helps this reading is: “It was ‘and’ I said, not ‘but.’”
Challenge your class to list the five words in the English language that ends in “cion” The five words are: Suspicion, coercion, epinicion, scion, internecion.
Sports That Take You Backwards
Challenge your class to list three sports which the winning player goes backward They are Rowing, backstroke, swimming and tug-of-war.
The Taxi Driver
The amount of information we give others while communicating with them, can really have an impact on the result of the communication. This quick fun energizer can make that point crystal clear.
Tell your class that you will tell them a short story and then ask them one question to see how good they were paying attention.
Start off your story by telling your class participants “Imagine you are a taxi driver” This is crucial to make this icebreaker work.
Continue the story as follows
You are driving downtown and suddenly you get a call to go pick up a customer from one of the big hotels in the middle of the city. You were only two blocks away so you get there very quickly and picked up the customer who was standing in front of the hotel. You ask the customer where he wants to go and he tells you that he is a foreigner, he is attending a conference here in town and it’s his first time to visit your country. He wants to do some sightseeing today and asks you to recommend places he can go to. You recommend a few places and recommended to start with the museum downtown first and he asked you to take him there. He also asked if you were available to show him around town for the rest of the day.
On the way to the museum, your customer receives a call on his cell phone. It’s one of his colleagues attending the convention with him and is staying at the same hotel and he wants to join, so you go back to the hotel to pick up his colleague and drove them both to the museum. After the museum, your two passengers asked you to recommend a place where they can try the local food. You recommended a great local food restaurant that’s famous for local authentic cuisine. They loved the food and after the meal they said they actually ate too much and both agreed that they were too tired now and would prefer to go back to the hotel and probably continue sightseeing tomorrow. You took them back to the hotel and gave them your direct cell phone number to call you directly tomorrow if they decide to continue with the sightseeing tour.
When you have finished the story ask participants this one question: what was the name of the taxi driver?
Did any of your participants get the right answer? Probably not
Why didn’t they know the answer, even though you told them what it was at the very beginning? (The first thing you said was “Imagine you are a taxi driver” so whatever your name is, that’s the name of the taxi driver)
They didn’t know the answer because the story overloaded them with information. If we give out too much irrelevant information, the real message gets buried and our colleague/customer/boss/Friend or whoever we are communicating with will probably miss the point. To ensure your message is communicated clearly, stick to the essential facts.
"You may not belief that there are six errers in this short paragraph. Studi the paragraph carefuly. You can reed it as many times as necessary. Don't give up too easily. See if you can find all of them."
Write the previous paragraph on a slide or a flip chart and challenge participants to find all 6. Most participants will find five but few will ever find the sixth. The sixth is simply that there are only five errors (so it’s an error to say there are six). The exercise points out how we often think inflexibly and fail to consider all the options when problem solving.
45 second countdown - A snappy review exercise
Two teams/two flipcharts, one participant form each team goes to one flip chart. The teams compete by remembering words/key concepts that were discussed in class today. The team that comes up with the longer list in 45 seconds wins.
Another way to constantly review the topics covered in your training material is that whenever you finish a segment/module, pass out post-it notes and ask participants to write questions about the covered material, add a few questions of your own that are not related to the training like “What was the best trip you ever been on” or “The one holiday destination you must go back to”.
Add all questions to a bucket or box and Throughout the session, pass around the questions bucket and ask participants to pull out a random question and answer it. Since they don’t know what kind of question they will be getting, this is one way to ensure they’re paying attention and also provides a way for you to review the content and test their information retention.
Snowball fight evaluations
Getting participants honest feedback is a challenge for every trainer, add a twist of fun by turning it into a snowball fight by following these instructions:
Tell participants that it’s time for evaluations, but rather than filling the old style evaluation sheets, we will do it in a much more fun way. Also confirm that input from all participants will remain anonymous so they can write whatever they wish.
Ask each participant to list two columns on a sheet of paper one represents the positive things about the training and the other for things that need improvement. Participants are given 3 minutes to do this, then after they finish, instruct everyone to wad their papers into balls and start a “snowball fight.” Wait a couple of minutes till the papers are thoroughly randomized then ask each participant to pick up one paper and read it out to the group.
Guess what happened
This activity is a lot of fun, and it can be done either virtually or as an energizer in face-to-face soft skills or interpersonal skills training. Ask the group to think of an awkward situation that recently happened to them, once they have a situation in mind, they need to also think of how they would tell the story to someone else but the catch is that they have to formulate the last part of the story so it sounds something like “But it turns out that ………” So each person doesn’t tell the whole story, they tell it up to the most important part and replace that with something like “But it turns out that….”. Depending on the size of the group, people individually take turns telling their stories to the whole group and once everyone is done, votes can be taken on which stories seem most interesting and must be retold in full. (There should be a lot of "Oh we must hear this one out")
Split the group into teams of three or four, show the groups the list of random words below, each team is tasked with putting together a two-minute story that includes any item in the list of words. Once the teams are ready, start the stop watch and get the teams one by one to share their improvised two-minute stories, in each team, identify the first story teller, after he/she goes one for two minutes, move to the next person, keep going until all members of each team have had a chance to finish their improvised story.
Trip, president, Drive thru, classroom, fun, raining, mother, school, job, muscle car, haircut, the mall , dog, birthday, moonlight, report, drowsy, zoo
Discuss further by asking the following questions:
Was the list of words helpful or do you think you would have done better without it?
Did you have difficulty relating to any of the topics?
was the time sufficient or did you feel that you needed more time?
Did you know that we just added a FREE review game to each of our full course training packages?
It adds loads of fun and ends your training class on a high note!
The game is all done in Power Point and comes packed with questions and answers around your training package so you can easily review the content of the training, enhance retention and ensure your training participants are engaged till the very end. Just split your class into teams that compete to win a final competition by answering questions and getting points in a series of fun rounds.
That’s not all!
Just like our training material packages, the game is completely customizable so you can easily use it with other training topics you teach. Just change the questions/answers, images…etc, Save as a new file & create any number of other review games and always end each class you teach on a high note. Watch this short video: