Your first chapter meeting is one of the most important factors that will play into your chapter membership for the year. You need to set a good first impression of the organization from the first few minutes. You need to be engaging, fun and relevant to those attending. Below are 10 icebreakers to set the tone in your first chapter meeting. The following icebreakers fall into competition, teamwork, leadership and networking categories. These categories highlight different aspects of DECA.
The following Icebreakers highlight the aspects of competition, problem-solving, acting on your feet and presenting confidently in front of people. It’s a fun way to get people actively participating while highlighting a large part of DECA.
1. Debate Chairs
Choose a topic, as serious or silly as you want, and divide your attendees into two groups (you may need to split into more groups depending on turnout). Have the teams come up with at least two key points each to debate for each side of the topic.
2. Sell Me this Product
Pick a few random objects, like a tissue box and pencil, and have people come up to the front and sell the product to the rest of the meeting attendees in less than two minutes.
Get people to work together and start the meeting by displaying how people-oriented DECA can be and how important teamwork is in DECA and leadership.
3. Greatest Common Factor
Divide your attendees into groups of 3-5, and have them come up with at least one thing that they all share in common. Even when the groups are entirely randomized, they can still find something in common, regardless of how big or small.
This activity requires you to have a large notepad and markers or use a whiteboard if available. Divide the meeting into two, and have each team draw an image of your choice. The first team to guess the image correctly wins.
5. True or False
Have DECA and general knowledge questions prepared and let attendees discuss in groups whether the statements are true or false, then reveal the results at the end. Have the groups track who gets the most statements correct to see who wins at the end. This is a fun way to get people engaged in conversation about DECA.
A big part of leadership is leading people forward and taking a step back and being attentive to others, their expressions and concerns. It is also important to lead with honesty and integrity. The following icebreakers display these aspects of leadership.
6. Open or Closed
Have the meeting attendees gather in a circle. They will pass around a book, and each person will make a statement about how they received it and how they are passing it. For example, “I received this book opened, and I am passing it over closed.” The leader or activity facilitator will then either confirm or deny this statement based on the predetermined condition they put for an open or closed book. For instance, they may decide that wearing glasses means the book is open. Therefore, the book is opened every time it is passed to someone wearing glasses. The circle then has to figure out what the leader has predetermined.
Start a rumor, and have people pass it on from person to person. You can make the rumor interesting and conversational. At the end, reveal the original rumor and see how close they could stick to it. This icebreaker is to help show the importance of attentiveness and ensure you only relay facts to others and stick as close to the original story as possible.
8. Find the Spy
Choose one object or person and secretly tell everyone what it is, except for one person who will be the spy. Then have attendees go around and ask a question about the object to a random person and watch how they answer. If they are not the spy, they will answer correctly. However, if they are the spy, they may answer incorrectly, revealing themselves to the group.
Networking is a core aspect of DECA and one of the most fun. There are infinite networking icebreakers out there, so feel free to get as creative as you’d like with this one.
9. Interview the Author
Separate the meeting attendees into pairs. Person B is a journalist who was very touched by a book they read that Person A wrote. They have two minutes to interview Person A and reveal as many facts about them as possible. Afterward, the roles will be reversed. Person A was moved by how Person B relayed their story, so they also decided to become a journalist. They will also have two minutes for the interview.
10. 72 seconds of Fun
This icebreaker is very simple and to the point. Members get 72 seconds to meet as many people as possible and learn their names, years and a fun fact about them. You can include anything else members might want to learn about each other.
These icebreakers can be tweaked depending on the meeting turnout and materials. Feel free to get creative and have fun with it. A good icebreaker can determine how involved members will be for the remainder of the meeting, so make sure to instill interest and enthusiasm in members while getting started!