I'm sure you've been in a meeting where the non-work conversation has come to a standstill. Maybe not all meeting participants have joined yet and you want to fill the gap, or it’s come to the ‘water cooler’ section of your meeting but no one is talking. You're all looking at each other awkwardly, waiting for someone to say something interesting or funny. You nervously try to crack jokes, but they fall flat.
You might ask questions, but they don't really lead the conversation anywhere. A simple yet powerful way to improve your meetings is by introducing creative and effective virtual icebreakers to get people talking.
What are Virtual Icebreakers?
Icebreakers are fun activities designed to get people talking and laughing together naturally—and they can be surprisingly effective at helping teams bond and collaborate effectively as well. Especially in an environment with meeting after meeting lined up, it's important to have enough mental space available to stay productive.
Quick Virtual Icebreaker #1 - Non-work related introductions
To kick things off with ease, you can share a fact or two about yourself: try a fun fact about your hobbies, family history, or childhood memories that led up to why being part of this team/project is so important for you—something like, “as a child, I always loved to play with Legos and build things, so it’s really exciting to be part of a team that can do just that!” This will get everyone laughing, but more importantly, it will help you all warm up to each other naturally. If you are leading the meeting you should start things off and then invite everyone to share a fact or two from their childhood, even if it’s not related to work.
Quick Virtual Icebreaker #2 - Group icebreakers
Group icebreakers are a great way to make sure everyone feels welcome, and they can also be a fast and effective activity. Whether you're just kicking off a newly scheduled meeting or trying to make your next regular one more fun and productive, these exercises will help everyone feel more comfortable with each other..
Here are some examples of group icebreakers that you might try:
- Association name game - Each person introduces themselves by stating their name and a fact about themselves, e.g., "I'm Andrea and my favorite color is blue". The next person repeats the name and says something related to the fact, like "I'm Jordan and I love blue skies in summer" and so on. Continue the process until everyone has had their turn at introducing themselves and you might even end up with a fun little story!
- Trust building - All participants in the call close their eyes except one person. This person takes an object next to them and makes a sound with it and everyone else has to guess the thing. The first person to guess the object correctly wins and is the next one to present an object to the group that is closing their eyes. Alternatively, the one person in charge of making sounds can simply turn off their camera and have everyone else guessing.
Quick Virtual Icebreaker #3 - Games/Activities
You can also take your meeting to the next level by introducing virtual team-building games and activities which can be really beneficial for work environments. These typically take up a little more time, but can be really fun and will most likely create a great atmosphere. Here's an inspiration:
Match the object - One person in the group picks an object from their surroundings and shows it to the camera. Then the next person tries to find and match the exact same object, e.g. if the first person holds a black pen, the second also tries to find a black pen. If they can not find an exact object, just find something similar instead! But be careful: If the next person does not find an object within 30 seconds, they are out of the game!
You can also increase the difficulty by showing a picture of an object rather than holding it up in front of the camera.
Speed typing - Visit a speed typing website like Monkey Type and see how fast you can type. The person that hits the most words per minute after 5 rounds wins!
GeoGuess - A fun and interactive game you can play on Doozy with the goal of finding a location on Google Maps as fast as possible.
Quick Virtual Icebreaker #4 Fun Virtual Backgrounds
If your team is looking for a quick way to get everyone in the right mindset before the meeting, consider using a fun and maybe relevant background image. The goal here is to get people smiling and laughing while they're waiting for everyone else, so choose something that will resonate with your group.
For example, if you've got a slightly serious topic to talk about, you might want to choose a silly picture for the next meeting to lighten things up. Just be sure that you stay respectful and communicate that you are doing this to keep up the spirit. Or if you've got a team that is always cracking jokes, try using really silly images. You could even use an image from one of your team's favorite movies or TV shows as well! If you want to get really creative you can even create your own AI-generated background images on this website.
Quick Virtual Icebreaker #5 Fully Digital Icebreakers
There are many websites that provide different kinds of digital icebreakers for meetings. Some examples include Poll Everywhere, Quizzio, and Kahoot. These tools allow participants to answer questions about themselves or others so that everyone at the meeting can get better acquainted. At Doozy, we also have a huge collection of 1,000s of icebreaker questions which you can select from, so you do not have to research and create them on your own!
Quick icebreakers can transform your virtual meetings
Virtual team-building activities can build trust, increase communication and encourage collaboration. Use the virtual icebreakers for meetings we just showed you as a way to introduce team members' personalities and strengths to one another. This can help create an open environment where people feel comfortable communicating with one another, thus fostering better teamwork and increasing productivity. Keeping the energy high is especially important if you have to navigate through many meetings throughout the day, so it's essential to keep things fresh and interesting.
That's where these quick icebreakers can come in handy. These types of activities don't take a lot of time or planning, which means they're perfect for keeping meetings lively and engaging.
We hope you enjoyed these quick virtual icebreakers for your next meetings and that they’re helping your team engage in a fun and creative way.
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