Energize Your Meetings – Exercises to Encourage Brainstorming

By: Agile Velocity | Sep 16, 2014 |  Article,  Scrum,  ScrumMaster

Lightbulb in a thought bubble...brainstormingThis is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series for Scrum Masters, Product and Product Managers, and facilitators.  Use these exercises to incite brainstorming meetings that are fun and energized, resulting in more participant engagement.

Exercise 1: Pass the Card

This silent exercise is helpful for gathering input from all meeting attendees. It is great for building on ideas and is especially effective for teams struggling with equal participation.

Supplies and Room Requirements:

  • Index cards
  • Sharpies


  1. Team forms a circle around a table.
  2. Facilitator prompts sharing of topic themes the group would like to gather ideas on.
  3. Each person writes down one idea related to a topic.
  4. Pass the card to the person on the right.
  5. They add new ideas.
  6. Pass card with original and new ideas to right.
  7. Repeat until original card returns.

The purpose is to gather as many ideas as possible around a theme.  Encourage participants to write new ideas on each card.


Exercise 2: Ball Toss with Topic

This is a fun way to solicit input on a topic. It is a good way to energize the team.

Supplies and Room Requirements:

  • Light, soft ball
  • Space for team to form a circle


  1. Facilitator shares a prompt question that the group would like to gather input on. If possible, post the question somewhere visible to the team.
  2. Team forms a circle.
  3. Toss ball to a team member.
  4. Receiving team member answers the question with an idea (or can pass).
  5. Facilitator captures answers somewhere visible to team.
  6. Keep going until team runs out of ideas.
  7. Review and discuss ideas.


Tabaka, J. (2006). Collaboration Explained. Addison-Wesley Professional

Exercises to Break the Ice

Exercises to Prepare for Long Meetings

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