Icebreakers before meetings help calm nerves and allow everyone to feel a bit more comfortable at the meeting. If you need some help “breaking the ice,” we have a fantastic list of 30 ways you can help break the ice at your next meeting., including:
- Fun facts
- Theme songs
- Engaging questions
- Conversation starters
As a bonus, we even mixed in a few ice breakers for Zoom meetings that you can use for any virtual gatherings.
Break the Ice at Your Next Meeting
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1. Start With a Random Fact
Want to make everyone laugh to start the meeting? Why not start with a random fact? You can thank everyone for coming and follow with a fun fact, here’s some examples:
- Did you know ‘J’ was added to the English alphabet in 1524?
- Australia is actually wider than the moon!
- The Eiffel Tower can be 15 cm taller during the summer, due to thermal expansion meaning the iron heats up, the particles gain kinetic energy and take up more space.
2. Start With a Business-related Fact
Don't like random facts? Start with one about business, such as:
- Did you know that 73% of people don’t care if their preferred brands disappeared tomorrow?
- Small businesses make up for 90% of all global companies.
- 60% of people surveyed would like to receive more emails from small businesses.
3. Shout Out a Random Name from Attendees
Randomly break the ice by asking a random person on the list of attendees about their day.
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4. Ask Everyone Who Wants to Be in a Meeting to Raise Their Hand
Of course, you’ll want to leave your hand down. That’s one way to break the tension, we’re sure employees with a packed calendar will get the gist. And if you can, this would be a meeting to wrap quickly for everyone’s benefit.
5. Could This Have Been an Email?
Start the meeting off by telling everyone you hope that this meeting couldn’t have been an email. Attendees will understand the pun.
6. Who Requested This Meeting Anyway?
If you’re running the meeting and asked everyone to join, you can break the ice by asking, “who requested this meeting anyway?”
7. Play a Theme Song as Ice Breakers for Meetings
Theme songs for a meeting are a great way to relax the mood for attendees. You can have your own iconic song or have one that’s randomly assigned for all meetings. Some examples include:
- The Office Theme Song by Jay Ferguson
- Beautiful Day by U2
- Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
8. Scavenger Hunt
Want to make people excited to join in on your meetings? Send all attendees a Google Doc listing the items that they need to find before the meeting. This scavenger hunt is great for Zoom meetings, and the person who comes with the most items on the list wins something!
Some examples of items you can ask your attendees to bring include:
- Box of cereal
- A pair of sneakers
The winner could chose from a variety of prizes, for example:
- Coffee Gift Card
- Amazon Gift Card
- Gas Gift Card
9. My First Job
Ask everyone to jot down their first job and have attendees guess whose job was each person’s first.
10. Ask Pointless Questions
Tense meetings can be made calmer if you ask pointless questions. Ask who has been duck hunting or any question that has zero relation to the meeting. For example:
- “Do any of you remember when Michael Scott did..”
- “When was the last time you went to a movie theater?”
- “What’s for lunch today?”
11. Online Pictionary
Ice breakers for Zoom meetings are a lot of fun because you can play games. Invite everyone to show off their skills on Skribbl.io by creating a private room for the meeting.
12. Guess the Truth!
Start by telling three random facts about yourself and only one of them is true. Ask attendees which one they think is true.
13. Congratulate Someone
“Hey, Jim. I heard that you just made the biggest sale of your life. I am so proud of you!” A line like this is the perfect way to break the ice and start the meeting off on a positive note.
14. Pair Groups Together
If the meeting is in-person, start by pairing people into groups so that they can chat among themselves and feel better going into the meeting. For example, Zoom has a breakout room feature that provides this option.
15. Wear a Mask
Turning on your camera for the Zoom meeting with a mask on is a goofy way to lighten the mood and make everyone laugh.
16. Show and Tell
If the company had an exceptional quarter, start by showing the group a visual representing the growth and explain that this is the kind of growth you can teach them to achieve. Note: If the team was responsible for the growth, explain that this is the growth they helped the business achieve.
17. Virtual Cocktail Hour
Many meetings become “virtual cocktail hours” for remote teams and help everyone ease into the meeting.
18. Ask About the Best Part of the Week
Ask the attendees what the best part of the week has been so far. This is a good option for meetings on Thursdays or Fridays.
19. Ask About Plans for the Weekend
Say hi to attendees and ask what their plans are for the weekend. Don't forget to tell them your plans, too.
20. Who has Kids?
Start by asking, “who has kids,” and then go on to tell a funny story about your kids.
21. Start with a Company Quiz
Companies have history, so why not quiz everyone on it? You can ask them who founded the company and how long it has been in business before segueing into the focus of the meeting.
22. Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs test is a fun one and tells a lot about a person’s personality. Ask people to take the test online themselves and learn each person’s personality type at the start of the meeting.
23. Dad or Mom Jokes
Telling a silly or dry joke is a great ice breaker. Start with “dad” jokes to lighten the mood quickly. Some examples include:
- Why did the cookie go to the doctor? It was feeling crumby.
- How do celebrities stay cool? They have many fans.
- Why are elevator jokes so good? They work on many levels.
Charades is a good way to divide larger groups into pairs and break the ice at a meeting. You can also use games like “Heads Up!” for live meetings.
Small, intimate meetings are great for Jenga. You can have everyone play, and the person who knocks the tower down needs to start the meeting off.
26. Guess Who!
If you want to surprise everyone, play “Guess Who!” where everyone will have to guess the person leading the meeting.
27. Themed Meeting
If you’re holding a virtual meeting, decorate the background to match a theme and don’t be afraid to dress up. Themed meetings are perfect for holidays.
28. Show a Funny Photo of Yourself
Do you have a funny photo of yourself? Show it at the start of the meeting and say, “can you believe this (guy or girl) is leading this meeting today?”
29. Tour Your Space
A virtual tour of your space is a good ice breaker. Show attendees your:
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30. Bring Food
In-person meetings with food are always a welcomed surprise. Bring something people will love, such as:
Make The Next Team Meeting Memorable
Icebreakers for meetings are a great way to help ease the minds of attendees and also help you relax going into the social scenarios at work, no matter your working conditions.
Whether it’s a routine weekly meeting or the quarterly staff meeting, it always makes a difference to take the time to connect with your co-workers. And when it’s time to plan for end of the year festivities, you can count on Celebration Wishes to help bring the company together!