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Icebreaker: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Icebreaker: The Greatest Story Ever Told
Exercises, Icebreakers, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 79 Ratings :::: Monday, January 12, 2009


Sometimes you need to give your delegates a creative exercise as an icebreaker which is also entertaining. The following gets people to laugh a lot but it also teaches them about the power of positive and negative narrative. The exercise encourages the delegates to speak in imaginative ways and promotes their creativity.


Help to complete a story one turn at a time as a pair.


  • Divide the group into pairs.
  • Select one person in each group as Person A. The other is Person B.

Part 1: Negative Story

  • Person B should select a negative topic which is the title of a story never written. For example, “My Nightmare Holiday”, or, “Surrounded and Trapped” or something similar.
  • Now Person A starts the story based on this title. However, as the story unfolds, every now and then Person A should say or imply, “I forgot what happens next”. At this point Person B can contribute to the story. Here is an example of a story:
    • Person B: Here is the title: “The Cancelled Flight”.
    • Person A: “The Cancelled Flight” by A.B.Jones. “A long time ago, there was a very tall man who was...”, I forgot what he was.
    • Person B: “He was a thief.”
    • Person A: “Yes. He was a very famous thief. He used to rob banks and robbed lots of money, but he was poor...”, I forgot why.
    • Person B: “Because he was caught and put in prison for 30 years”.
    • Person A: “Absolutely. He was in prison for 30 year. First day out of prison, he went to bank to get some of his money but was already in trouble...”, I forgot why was that?
    • Person B: “While he was in the bank waiting, an armed group entered the bank to rob it...”

Part 2: Positive Story

  • Now the pairs swap roles. This time Person A should select a positive story such as “The Best Theme Park Trip”, or, “My Olympic Gold”.
  • Again they should repeat the same exercise making the story together as they go on.


Explaining the Test: 10 minutes.

Activity: 10 minutes for each story => 20 minutes

Group Feedback: 15 minutes.


Both stories will probably create a lot of laughter. This is great as an icebreaker to prepare the delegates for what is to come later. It is also useful for team building activities.

Once the story telling is over, get the delegates to share their experience. Which story was more entertaining; the negative or positive narrative? What was the difference between the two stories? How did it play out? Which one was easier to produce?

Most delegates will find the negative narration more entertaining and easier to make. In fact they can also get more creative as they go on. Get the delegates to notice how energetic they become during this exercise and how they get thoroughly involved. This is ideal as a starter to brain storming sessions as it brings out creativity in participants. Get the delegates to recognise the power of out-of-the-box thinking and learn how to let their imagination go wild.

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Rate = 2.56 out of 5 :::: 79 Ratings.


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