At some time in your life, you most certainly will have occasion to present an icebreaker speech. Some of the types of short icebreaker speeches are the business speech and motivational speech. You may need to make a business pitch, present or receive an award, address stockholders, honor a retiring employee or welcome a new one, dedicate a new facility, give a demonstration, present a wedding toast, introduce a guest speaker, or welcome attendees at a conference or convention. Whatever the occasion, there are certain guidelines and hints that will make the writing and presentation of your icebreaker speech easier. This article tells you everything you need to know about presenting an effective and enjoyable icebreaker speech.

What Is an Icebreaker Speech?

An icebreaker speech, as the name implies, breaks the ice. Usually, icebreaker speeches you will present an icebreaker speech in one of two situations:

  • to begin a function and get the attention of the audience to prepare them for what is to follow. Examples: introduce a guest speaker or welcome attendees at a conference or convention
  • to get the groups attention at some time during a function for a specific purpose. Examples: present a wedding toast, or introduce a new section of information at a meeting

An icebreaker speech is not long, usually between four and six minutes in length. Because it is so short, you need to make sure every word counts and keeps the attention of your audience. Assess the age and composition of your audience and include some of the following areas in your speech:

  • education and qualifications
  • family and background
  • future plans, aspirations, and ambitions
  • hobbies and/or favorite sports
  • significant experience and events
  • something unique, interesting, or surprising about you
  • why you are at this gathering or with this group of people
  • work experience

Writing Your Icebreaker Speech

Writing Your Icebreaker Speech

Choosing a Topic

Depending on the situation and the composition of the audience, there are a number of different topics you can use for your icebreaker speech. Two excellent suggestions are

  • Use a topic

Choose a topic related to the group or situation, one that will appeal to your audience.

  • Use autobiographical content

One thing you are sure to know a great deal about is your own life. Use past experiences and talk about them in an interesting or even humorous manner. Look for a common thread to share with your audience. You can also concentrate on one key event that defines your life and explain how you changed and grew as a result.

Start with an Introduction

Begin your icebreaker speech with a half a minute introduction telling the audience your name, what you do for a living, and some other basic information. Next, entice your audience to desire to hear more by using one of the following:

  • A humorous story about yourself
  • A quote, preferably famous and related to the subject
  • A joke as it reduces both your nervousness as a speaker and captures the audience’s attention.

Tips

Do not:

  • Waste time explaining what you are going to do. Just do it!
  • Start with an apology indicating your inexperience, inability, etc.
  • Start with a big statement. I you do, you have to maintain that momentum all the way through your speech.

Do:

  • State your name at the beginning of your speech.
  • Have notes!

Write the Body of Your Icebreaker Speech

If you are writing an autobiographical introductory icebreaker speech, begin by evaluating aspects of your life that define who you are – education, jobs, leadership roles, family, and/or special talents. Life-saving or changing events are interesting and keep an audience’s attention. Remember that it is easier to share information that is of interest and meaningful to you.

The body can contain any information you wish and the content will vary dependent on the reason for you are giving the icebreaker speech. Just make sure your content is applicable and of interest to your audience and the occasion.

Write the Conclusion of Your Icebreaker Speech

You need enough content to spend about a half minute on your conclusion, the same amount of time as you spent on your introduction. You want to sum up what you have said, and link your final statement to the beginning of your speech. If appropriate, introduce the upcoming speaker, event, or activity. Do not forget to thank your audience.


 

Preparing for to Give Your Icebreaker Speech

Presenting Your Icebreaker Speech

The more prepared you are for your icebreaker speech, the more confidence you will have, and the more likely you will be successful. Do the following in preparation:

  • Write your notes. You may not use them, but you need them if you forget something. Then double-check your notes. Make sure that you did not leave out anything important, and that you did not forget to remove something.
  • Practice giving your icebreaker, watching the time. If you can, have someone watch you and give you some feedback.
  • If your speech is not long enough or too long, add or omit information.
  • Relax! You are prepared and ready, so enjoy yourself.

Presenting Your Icebreaker Speech

Presenting Your Icebreaker Speech

Speak up loud and clear, with confidence, and do not talk too fast. If you are using notes, try not to stare at them. Instead, look at the audience members. If doing so makes you nervous, look slightly over the heads of the audience at the back wall.

If appropriate and you wish, consider one of the following:

  • Use a prop
  • Provide a sample
  • Move around

End the speech with an enthusiasm and do not forget to thank your audience, if doing so feels appropriate and fits the content and occasion.

Guidelines for a Sample Introduction Speech

  • One way to end an effective icebreaker speech with a quote that is significant and meaningful to your life or on related to your topic.
  • If you are very nervous, memorize your speech. This helps especially if you have not given a speech before and lack the confidence and experience to make this first effort easy and memorable.
  • Remember that you only have a short time to present your icebreaker speech, so do not try to say too much. Pick the most interesting points of your topic.
  • Write some notes about what you plan to say. You may not need to refer to them, but you will have them if you forget what you plan to say.
  • Practice giving your speech aloud in front of a mirror or to someone to make sure it fits your allotted time.

Pick about three or four main points for the body of your speech. Once you have these main categories, add subheadings and supporting information.

Example:

You do not have to follow this outline exactly. Sometimes it is easier to write a longer speech initially and then cut out the parts you feel are not effective, rather than to worry about writing a speech the exact length and with all the necessary content.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    1. Main Point #1
      1. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
      2. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
    2. Main Point #2
      1. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
      2. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
    3. Main Point #3
      1. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
      2. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
    4. Main Point #4
      1. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
        2. Optional example/information
      2. Supporting statement
        1. Optional example/information
      3. Optional example/information
    5. Conclusion

Look at the following complete outline for an introductory icebreaker speech. The speech is shorter than usual, but for the sake of time and space, we have limited the content.

  1. Introduction and Welcome
    1. My name
    2. About me
      1. How long I have been with Village Charter School.
      2. Past responsibilities
      3. Current job
    3. Welcome
    4. The involvement of our family
  2. Additions and Changes
    1. Academic Program
      1. New computer lab
      2. New teaching material
      3. Fine arts program
        1. Band for all students
          1. See Mr. Gold for an instrument
          2. Introduce Mr. Gold
      4. Art classes
        1. For all elementary student
        2. Art History and Appreciation required for all high school students.
    2. Extracurricular Activities
      1. Sports
        1. Current
        2. New soccer
        3. Introduce coaches
      2. Field Trips
      3. Clubs
        1. List on the back of the program
        2. Grades for participation
  3. Conclusion
    1. How to have questions and concerns answered
    2. Introduction of principal

The completed speech example

Good evening! I am Mary Porter, the school secretary. I have been with Village Charter School for ten years, ever since its inception. I began as a volunteer working in the lunchroom, and then assisted teachers as an academic aid, primarily in first and second grades. This is my second year serving as the school’s secretary. I am excited the coming school year, as I am sure many of you attending this meeting are as well. We have many new programs and updates that we will introduce this evening. However, I want to begin with a warm welcome for all of you, especially those families starting with our school for the first time this year. You have made an excellent choice for a quality education; I know because my own three children attend Village Charter and my husband and I have been extremely pleased with the educational and social progress of our children.

To begin with, I want to let you know about the exciting additions and changes we have made to our academic program

We have a new computer lab courtesy of Mill’s Food Store.

We have purchased updated texts for all our history and geography courses as well as new maps for our classrooms

We are also excited about our fine arts program. We will be having band for all of our students in grades five through twelve.

Our Fine Arts teacher Mr. Gold will be available after the meeting if you need to talk to him about acquiring an instrument for your child. Mr. Gold, would you please stand so everyone knows who you are? Thank you.

This year, we will have art classes for all students grades K through six. Junior high and high school students will have the opportunity to take art as an elective subject.

We are also requiring all high school students to take an art history and appreciation class prior to graduation. The schedule for the seniors will reflect this class, as will some of the junior’s schedules. We took into consideration what they had to take for academic credits in scheduling this class.

Our extracurricular activities have also increased.

In addition to basketball and baseball, we will have soccer teams for both the boys and girls – varsity and junior varsity. Remember, both our basketball and baseball teams were champions this year and we expect the same for our soccer teams. If you have not played before, do not let that stop you. Our great coaches will bring you up to speed quickly. Coach John Saunders and Coach Mary Mayfield, will you please stand? Thank you! They will be glad to meet with you after this meeting if you have questions about the sports program.

We are planning field trips to Washington, D.C., Central America (the exact country to be determined later), and even Europe!

We have listed clubs your student can participate in on the back of the program you received when you arrived. Please review the choices with your students and decide which they desire and have the time and ability to make a commitment to. Please note that we have clubs for all of our students grades six and up.

You may have additional concerns and questions. The teacher’s will all be available this evening in their classrooms, as will Principle Smith. Remember that our goal is to meet the academic and social needs of all our students. Please help us by continuing your open and honest communication. Thank you! And now, here is Principal Smith to provide some additional information and take your questions.

Conclusion

Writing and giving an icebreaker speech is not difficult and is an important ability that will serve you well throughout your life. Although not difficult, following our guidelines can assure the correct content and a smooth delivery. Remember to relax and enjoy sharing information and aspects of your personality in your icebreaker speech.