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Fact or Fiction

Can You Tell Fact from Fiction? Join the Ultimate Team-Building Game!

Fact or Fiction
By Jon Zajac

What is Fact or Fiction?

The “Fact or Fiction” icebreaker game, also known as “Two Truths and a Lie,” is a fun and engaging activity that encourages interaction among participants, helping them learn interesting snippets about each other. This versatile game has no setup requirements and can be tailored for various settings, from classrooms and corporate team-building sessions to parties and online platforms.

In this icebreaker, each participant thinks of two true statements and one false statement about themselves. The objective is to make the lie believable while keeping the truths plausible yet intriguing. Participants take turns sharing their three statements without revealing which is false, allowing the rest of the group to guess which statement they believe is fiction based on known information, body language, or tone.

There are numerous ways to add variety to “Fact or Fiction,” such as incorporating themes, points systems, and time limits. Additionally, you can adapt the game for larger groups by dividing participants into teams that work together to guess the lies of opposing teams.

Facilitating a smooth flow during this icebreaker is essential. To ensure success, prepare participants beforehand so they have time to think of engaging statements. Moderate discussions between turns and encourage all participants to share, especially those who may be shy or hesitant. After the game, allow time for reflection on communication, assumptions, or individual insights gained during the activity.

“Fact or Fiction” is an excellent icebreaker for building rapport, creating personal connections, and preparing any group for further activities. Its simplicity allows it to be easily modified for various age groups, settings, and objectives, while still promoting effective communication, observation, and a sense of community among participants.

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Rules for Fact or Fiction

  1. Each participant thinks of two true facts about themselves and one false statement, keeping them a secret from the rest of the group.
  2. Participants take turns sharing their three statements (mixed up) with the group.
  3. After a participant shares, others guess which statement they believe is fiction.
  4. The participant reveals which statement was false, and may elaborate on the true statements if desired.
  5. Optionally, discussion or comments can follow each reveal to boost engagement and connectivity among participants.

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Materials needed for Fact or Fiction

  • Participants: Anywhere from a small group to larger teams can play. No limit on the number of participants.
  • Objective: The objective is for each participant to distinguish between the true statements and the false one shared by others.
  • Setup Requirements: No materials are needed to play this game, making it ideal for impromptu settings. In virtual settings, a video conferencing platform sustains interaction.

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Setting up for Fact or Fiction

To set up the “Fact or Fiction” icebreaker activity, you need a group of people ready to participate and share interesting snippets about themselves. In a physical gathering, arrange the seating in a circle or semi-circle to facilitate eye contact and non-verbal communication during guesses and revelations. For online sessions, ensure all participants have access to a video conferencing platform where they can see and hear each other clearly. No other materials are required for this game, making it an ideal activity for impromptu settings or when resources are limited.

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How to play Fact or Fiction

1. Introduction and Instructions: - The session leader explains the rules: Each participant thinks of two true facts about themselves and one false statement. The goal is to make the lie believable and the truths not too obvious.

2. Preparation: - Brief the participants ahead of time so they can prepare interesting statements.

3. Game Begin: - Participants take turns sharing their three statements (mixed up, not telling which is which) about themselves.

4. Guesses: - After a participant shares, the rest of the group guesses which statement they believe is fiction.

5. Revelation: - The participant reveals which statement was false and may elaborate on the true statements if there’s curiosity or if it might reinforce team bonds through shared experiences or surprising realities.

6. Moderation: - Keep the flow going smoothly by limiting discussions between turns, and ensure everyone gets a turn.

7. Encouragement: - Stimulate shy participants gently. Highlight the game’s fun element with no right or wrong pressures.

8. Variations: - Introduce themes, points system, time bounds, or team variations to spice up the game.

9. Reflection: - At the end, especially in team-building or educational scenarios, allow time for reflection on what was learned about communication, assumptions, or the other individuals.

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Benefits of Fact or Fiction

  • Fosters Connection: By sharing personal facts and stories, participants build a sense of camaraderie and establish commonalities that help create a more tight-knit group.
  • Encourages Active Listening: The game requires attentive listening to understand the nuances in each other’s statements, which can lead to better communication overall.
  • Enhances Observation Skills: Participants may learn to pick up on subtle cues such as body language or tone of voice, helping them become more perceptive and empathetic.
  • Boosts Confidence and Public Speaking Skills: Taking turns speaking in front of a group can help individuals grow more comfortable with self-expression and public speaking.
  • Develops Critical Thinking and Deduction: Guessing which statement is false encourages participants to analyze information, make logical deductions, and challenge assumptions.
  • Provides Entertainment Value: The game’s engaging nature makes it an enjoyable way to break the ice, making gatherings more lively and memorable.
  • Promotes Inclusivity: By giving everyone a chance to share and be heard, the Fact or Fiction icebreaker can create a more inclusive environment where every voice matters.

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Skills built with Fact or Fiction

  • Communication skills: Playing the Fact or Fiction icebreaker encourages participants to articulate themselves clearly and concisely, allowing them to share interesting snippets about their lives while keeping the group engaged.
  • Active listening: The game requires active attention to what others are saying, helping participants hone their ability to absorb information, understand perspectives, and respond appropriately.
  • Critical thinking: Participants must analyze each statement to determine its veracity, fostering critical thinking skills as they weigh the likelihood of different scenarios based on known facts or observed cues.
  • Empathy and understanding: By sharing personal experiences, participants can develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding for one another, strengthening interpersonal relationships and team cohesion.
  • Observation skills: In both in-person and virtual settings, players have the opportunity to practice observing body language, tone, and other non-verbal cues that might reveal whether a statement is true or false.
  • Self-awareness: Reflecting on personal experiences and accomplishments can increase self-awareness, enabling individuals to better understand their own strengths, weaknesses, and values.
  • Confidence building: Presenting oneself in front of a group, even in a casual setting like this icebreaker game, can help build confidence and public speaking skills over time.
  • Respect for diversity: Exposing participants to a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints encourages respect for diversity and promotes an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

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Why I like Fact or Fiction

I appreciate the Fact or Fiction icebreaker activity for its versatility and simplicity, which make it an ideal choice for various settings and age groups. The game encourages participants to share interesting snippets about themselves, promoting communication and fostering a sense of community. By requiring players to think of two truths and one lie, the activity also enhances creativity and strategic thinking.

In my experience, Fact or Fiction has proven to be an effective icebreaker because it warms up groups, introduces personal connections, and sets a positive tone for further activities. The optional themes, points system, time limits, and team variations add depth and adaptability to the game, catering to diverse objectives and preferences.

The low-maintenance nature of Fact or Fiction means that it can be easily facilitated without requiring materials or extensive preparation. By briefing participants ahead of time, moderating discussions, encouraging shy players, and allowing reflection, a skilled facilitator can ensure an engaging and productive experience for all involved. Overall, I believe that the Fact or Fiction icebreaker is an excellent choice for those seeking a fun, versatile, and inclusive way to kick off any group gathering.

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Tips for making Fact or Fiction more inclusive

  • Tip: Avoid Sensitive Topics To make the game inclusive, avoid topics that may be sensitive or off-limits for some participants, such as politics, religion, or personal finances. Instead, focus on more universal experiences and interests.

  • Tip: Use Open-Ended Questions Encourage players to use open-ended statements rather than yes/no questions in their facts and lies. This ensures that all participants have an opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences.

  • Tip: Emphasize Participation Over Competition While keeping score can add a fun element, make sure the focus remains on building connections and learning about each other, rather than simply winning or losing.

  • Tip: Encourage Self-Reflection Before beginning the game, prompt participants to consider their own experiences and interests, ensuring they have enough material for crafting their statements. This self-reflection can also help participants become more aware of their own biases and assumptions.

  • Tip: Offer Pronoun Introduction As an option, invite participants to share their preferred pronouns along with their facts, lies, or both. This simple act can create a more inclusive environment for all players, especially those who are gender nonconforming or transgender.

  • Tip: Consider Accessibility Needs If any participants have visual or hearing impairments, make sure to accommodate their needs by describing visual cues, speaking clearly, and using any available accessibility features on the video conferencing platform.

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Reflection questions for Fact or Fiction

  1. What did you learn about your peers through this activity? This question encourages reflection on the new facts learned about others during the game, fostering a sense of familiarity and camaraderie among participants.
  2. How did communication in the group change throughout the game? By asking this question, facilitators can gauge how comfortable participants became with sharing information and engaging in conversation as the activity progressed.
  3. Did any assumptions you had about your peers change during the course of the game? If so, which ones? This question prompts participants to consider their initial impressions of others and how those perceptions might have shifted throughout the game, highlighting the importance of open-mindedness in communication.
  4. How did you decide which statement was a lie when guessing? What strategies did you use? Encouraging introspection on decision-making processes can help participants better understand their own thought patterns and the factors that influence their judgments.
  5. What challenges did you face during the game, and how did you overcome them? This question offers insight into individual growth and development during the activity while promoting self-awareness and resilience among participants.

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About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.

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