Icebreaker Stories

Icebreaker Stories

What is the Icebreaker Stories story tactic?

Get your team thinking in a story-ish way.

Stories need to be visual, emotive and dramatic. Warm up your story muscles by inventing fantasy tales based on random images. Cut lots of photos out of magazines or download them from a free online image bank.

Tip: You can do these icebreakers by yourself or with your team.

How to use the Icebreaker Stories story tactic

a. Photo Story: arrange lots of random images. Ask participants to choose three images they like. Then tell them to arrange them into a simple story structure:

  • You say: "that was my fault, and I've learned from it"
  • Pros: shows humility and an open mind
  • Cons: have you learned the right lessons?

b. Love and Hate: split your team into two groups. Give each group the same photo of an object-for example, a stone.

  1. Tell the first group "You love this stone. It makes your life complete." Tell the second group "You hate this stone. It's ruining your life."

  2. Ask each group to invent a story explaining why they feel that way about their stone.

Here are my examples, both loosely based on real stories

    • Love: "I'm the grandson of a Cornish tin miner. My company has found lithium in the same rocks he mined. We can bring wealth and pride back to these communities."

    • Hate: "I'm trying to build a lighthouse on a godforsaken rock in the stormy north Atlantic. This granite is so hard, it's ruining our drills. My men could die out here, but sailors will die if we fail."

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Icebreaker Stories is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

Ditch dull presentations and tell great stories that influence and inspire your team, stakeholders and customers.