(The free dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com borrows from the Collins English Dictionary, defining 'icebreaker' as a ship that smashes through sea ice; and "something intended to relieve mutual shyness at a gathering of strangers".)
As people who have attended sessions I have facilitated would attest, I tend to get people to introduce themselves in turn "Name, Role & Organisation". To spice it up I sometimes ask people to tell us what challenges they have with regard to the topic of the workshop - for example, in Managing Your Time and Organising Yourself I ask people to tell us what challenges they have in managing their time.
I have done icebreakers, but they are the exception rather than the rule. I tend to want to 'cut to the chase'. Apparently you can do that, as long as the icebreaker is relevant. So maybe it is time I spiced things up a bit - not by asking people to tell us something about themself that no-else knows, or asking the participants to pair up, introduce themselves, and each introduce the other person to the group.
I wonder what I can do? (I'll report back later on progress.)