January 20, 2018

Meeting Icebreaker: Unusual Things in common

Here’s a great meeting icebreaker to conduct at the beginning of year. It forces old members to meet new members and new members to meet everyone. It also puts all of your meeting attendees on the same comfort level because they’re all doing the same thing and sharing about themselves with people they don’t know.

Dave Kelly - Unusual Things in Common

To get started have everyone stand up and put everything down. Instruct them to go and find two people in the meeting that they don’t know at all or not very well and take a few minutes to talk to them and introduce yourself. Once everyone has found their two people you’ll have a number of groups of three.

Once the groups are formed give them two minutes to talk and find some ‘strange and unusual things’ in common.  As an example it may be things like everyone in the group has had a broken leg, or has traveled to Europe, etc. Not ‘normal’ things like we all live in Georgia or we all have 2 brothers. We’re looking for some things a little more strange and unusual here.

When the two minutes is over you can pick several of the more energetic groups to share their commonality. As a REALLY strange example I facilitated one session where each girl this one group could touch their nose to their knees without bending their legs! This was a large group of campus leaders so I had the three of them come up on stage and demonstrate.  It was true and they all got a big cheer!

What’s great about this icebreaker is that even if the groups don’t come up with something they learn about each other. If you have enough time in the meeting you can have them do it again by finding two more people they don’t know and repeating the process.

You can also repeat this icebreaker when you have new members or the club has new experiences. If you do repeat this icebreaker, don’t allow members to repeat either what you’ve already done or anything they’ve heard done before in a previous session. The more they have to come up with something new, the more they’ll learn about each other.


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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