January 17, 2018

Meeting Icebreaker: The Clap Down

Energize your meeting with this icebreaker that requires no material and no touching (some people don’t like to be touched.) I usually use it to lead into another activity like Unusual Things in Common, lunch, a break, or the next phase or activity of the meeting. Remember, the purpose of any icebreaker is to get people energized, having fun, relaxed around each other or functioning on the same page. This one accomplishes them all.

  1. Have everyone stand up and empty their hands.
  2. Begin by leading everyone in a slow, rhythmic clap. Don’t speed up and get everyone clapping together.
  3. Then make the announcement, “I am going to speed us up and get us going real fast.”
  4. Once you get everyone clapping real – stop and raise you arms/hands in victory then bring arms/hands into your chest and exclaim, “Ugggh!” followed by raising your fist and yelling “Go Packers!” (Okay, I yell ‘Go Packers’ but you can say your favorite team, your school, club name, conference name or whatever is meaningful – or just fun!)
  5. Then announce that you’re going to do it again and do it better and want everyone to join in.
  6. Repeat the process expecting everyone to follow your motions and your cheer. what typically happens is that you’ll get the “Ugggh” too soon from many people and that always gets a laugh.
  7. Repeat several times trying to get everyone to perform in unison.

By “doing it again and doing it better’ your get everyone together and on the same page – without them even knowing it. People get energized and can go on to the next activity with everyone working in harmony! May sound silly, but it works.

Remember, I’m here to help you “run better campus clubs and organizations.” Let me know how this works for you and if you have any questions.



Leadership consists of a set of skills, methodologies and ideas that can be taught.

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About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

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