Virtual meetings are for sharing status updates, making announcements, and encouraging the team to collaborate. But they can become boring and unproductive when there’s no space to joke with your colleagues or get to know each other.
Keeping virtual conferences fun helps remote teams to share the company culture, create stronger bonds, and feel engaged with their work. But where to start?
Try a few of the 51 following ice breakers for meetings that put you in a great mood.
Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.
Virtual ice breakers have several purposes and benefits for boosting team morale. Incorporating them into your online conferences will help:
Pro tip: Nurture a supportive company culture, where open communication is welcome, to make team games more successful. If your team members aren’t comfortable enough to open up, it will be harder for them to participate in ice breakers.
Using ice breaker games to kickstart a work meeting can be fun. To host engaging online meetings and make your games memorable and enjoyable, you should ensure that
To break the ice on team conferences, you need a virtual meeting platform that comes with different in-app features to bring your activities to life. Look for essential features like
Livestorm is a virtual meeting software with all these features for remote work fun. It also lets you host meetings with up to 3,000 people, build registration pages, and review post-meeting analytics. Plus, you don’t need to download an app, you can have any virtual meetings using your favorite browser.
The best ice breaker question is the one that sparks a conversation and is either entertaining or thought-provoking, but always respectful (ice breaker examples below!).
Everything can be an ice breaker, you just need to get creative enough to make it work. To give you some ideas, we’ve grouped 50 games and questions to start your meetings in a fun and interactive way. Check out:
You don’t need to stress about ice breakers, they can be anything. To prove it, here are some options for short ice breaker examples that will entertain your team.
Ask your team members to define their mood in one word or to rate their energy levels from 1-10. You can either create a poll, use the whiteboard functionality, or get people to answer using an external word-cloud app like Menti.
Ask your team members to share what they’re excited about for the following days or weeks. Open the conversation to work and personal stuff, that way you can discover what’s important to everyone on the team.
Ask a question that people can answer with an emoji. For example, “how do you feel about your OKRs?”. Use the Livestorm emoji reactions feature to see their responses in a fun way.
Get your team members to share a personal or professional highlight of the day, week, month, or year. This is a great way of spotting what each member of your team values the most and keeping track of important moments.
Congratulate team members who did something outstanding during that week or month. You can use a whiteboard for everyone to write the name of the person they want to shout out or ask them to add it to the team meeting agenda and give a few words during the call.
Get everyone to turn on their camera and take a group picture. You can set a theme for each week’s picture like:
Everybody loves a bit of friendly competition with a quiz. Prepare some questions in advance and write them up one by one on a virtual whiteboard. Use polls for people to vote on the answers.
Here’s some topic inspiration:
Get people to send you a picture of them as babies (only the ones who want to participate) and use the poll functionality to have people take a guess at who that baby is.
You don’t need a highly structured game to break the ice, sometimes a question is more than enough to get people to interact.
Ask your team if they’re feeling “happy” or “crappy.” Modify the question to get to know how they’re feeling about the weekend, an important deadline, or a meeting. You can build a poll or use two distinct emoji reactions, and get volunteers to open up to conversation.
Invite your team members to share a short story of their best and worst vacations with their families. If you’re hosting the meeting for a large team, then you might want to get the stories beforehand and get users to guess who that story belongs to through a poll.
Start a conversation every week by asking one of these questions:
Prepare a few hypothetical scenarios and ask your team members to choose which one they’d prefer - or ask them to come up with questions on the spot. Depending on the size of your audience, you can create polls, Q&As, or ask them to raise their hands to answer.
Similar to would you rather, but with two tangible options. Ask if people prefer “this” or “that” using polls. Here are some ideas:
Get your teammates to answer common knowledge, geography, sports, or celebrity questions. Use the poll function to come up with possible answers.
This question can work on different occasions. You can ask your team to describe
Ask your team what they’re thankful for either at work or in their personal lives. This is great to practice gratitude but also to get to know what’s important to others.
Get volunteers to share the last picture they took. They can send it through the team chat or show it in the meeting and tell the story behind it.
Invite your team to share their favorite things. Try these themes (and be prepared for heated discussion!):
Ask these three questions along with any topic to discover the interests and guilty pleasures of your teammates.
Invite people to raise their hands and share their stories if they want to.
These low-stakes group activities get the creative juices flowing, break down barriers between team members, and make for more productive meetings.
Prepare a few questions related to the topic of your meeting. For example, ‘How to…
Then, put attendees into small groups in huddle rooms to discuss and report back to the group. They can do this verbally or using a virtual whiteboard.
Sort attendees into huddle rooms and give one person in each pair an image. They have to describe the image for the other person to draw on a virtual whiteboard.
Give them five minutes to complete the task before bringing the group back together to see the results. This is a great exercise for fostering good communication, and people are bound to get a laugh out of the results.
Ask people to submit a photo of their desk before the meeting and present them as a slide show. Create a poll for each photo with all the team’s names. Then, ask them to vote on which desk belongs to which person.
In huddle rooms, give each group three-five minutes to find as many things as possible that they have in common with each other. Then, have them report back to the group on the most surprising findings.
Your team members are probably skilled in various ways outside of work, so leverage their talents, and host great and less structured, top-down opening segments. Get someone to do tarot reading, sing a song, read a poem, or tell a joke.
This way you can make everyone feel included not only for their business knowledge but also their passions or hobbies.
Another fun way for people to learn more about each other’s lives outside work. Before the meeting, ask everyone to message you with three things they love. Could be movies, music, an app, food, etc. Use the virtual whiteboard to share each set of three and create a poll for the team to vote on who they think submitted them.
This is a great activity to foster understanding and empathy among globally distributed teams. It really gives team members a window onto their colleagues’ lives outside the virtual office. To play, prepare some conversation prompts in advance. Here are three ideas:
Pro tip: include plenty of lighthearted options so nobody feels pressured to share anything too sensitive.
This is a great ice breaker before a meeting to discuss a specific project. Go round the group and ask them to list their strengths and challenges as they relate to the project at hand. Then, ask the group to weigh in on how the team can put each strength to best use on this project. And how you can all work together to overcome individual challenges.
As well as fostering understanding among your team, it’ll empower them to play to their individual strengths and support each other as they move forward with the project.
These virtual ice breakers require more time and preparation, so they’re best for longer meetings or events of two or more hours.
Virtual escape rooms are a great team-building activity, but they require time and money so they work best at the start or end of a long meeting to give everyone a break from serious discussion. They also work better when you split a large team into small groups as the element of friendly competition is highly motivating.
This ice breaker makes teams work together to solve a series of challenges until they can “escape.” Unless you have previous experience, it’s best to hire a dedicated escape room facilitator to run the game.
Mixology classes are great fun: your team gets to learn a new skill and sample the results in the form of delicious cocktails or mocktails. For this, you’ll need to bring in a mixology specialist with experience in delivering virtual classes. A virtual whiteboard will come in handy for them to share recipes during the event. You’ll also need to ensure everyone has the materials they need before starting.
The party potential of this activity makes it a great choice during festive seasons.
This is another great virtual experience for teams to learn a new skill, only this time they can share the results on-screen. If you’ve played games like Blind Draw before, a painting class is a natural progression.
Again, you’ll need an experienced host and to provide people with materials in advance.
This is a good activity to warm up before a longer debate. Inform your team of the topic of the main debate and put them into huddle rooms to discuss it in small groups. The difference here is that you give each person an opinion to defend (this might not be one they agree with). This forces them to see things from a different perspective, which fosters understanding and diverse thinking.
At the end of this exercise, bring the team back together to debate the topic as a group. It’s sure to be productive.
Get someone to start or close the meeting for you. You can invite someone from a different department, a famous comedian, a DJ, or an entertainer. Guest speakers can be a great way to keep people excited about the meeting - and to give them a little healthy FOMOW (fear of missing out at work).
These questions help foster empathy and mutual understanding among diverse or global teams.
This is a lighthearted way for teams to learn things about each other they might otherwise not have a chance to discover. Ask them to come prepared with a pen and paper and give them a few minutes to write three defining moments from their life. Then, ask them to write a moment on the virtual whiteboard and talk about it for as long as they feel comfortable.
Another good ice breaker for global teams. At the start of the meeting, ask the group to share where they’re joining from in the chat. Write the answers up on the virtual whiteboard as they come in. If your video engagement platform supports word clouds, create one on the fly as a visual representation to see where most team members are based. The more locations, the better it looks.
A variation on the “find 10 things in common game,” this requires people to really make an effort to learn about each other. Start with a random fact about yourself—like “I hate driving.” Then, ask people to build on it with a related fact about themselves.
For example, “I hold a truck driver’s license.” Then, the next person continues: “I traveled through Pakistan on the back of a truck.” And so on. You’re sure to uncover some surprising facts about each other.
Ask people to raise a hand or unmute when they want to jump in.
This team building exercise breaks down stereotypes about people. Ask everyone to draw a line down the middle of the page. On the left side they should then write five things they identify as. On the right, they should finish each sentence with something they are not. These could reflect commen misconceptions, fro example you could write "I am foodie but I don't like to cook."
Everyone loves food and they tend to have strong opinions about it so this should generate some lively debate. Have everyone bring a typical dish from their country or region and let them share their screen to show it (or a picture of it) to the group. Then, they explain why they love it and/or why it’s popular in their country.
Ask each team member to share something about their background. This could be a detail of their education, family situation, career path, etc. Then, put people with different backgrounds in pairs to discuss in huddle rooms.
Each person has to list the challenges they think the other faces relating to their background.
This is a great exercise to encourage collaboration among remote teams. Ask everyone to come to the meeting prepared to share one thing they’re struggling with (professional or personal). You can also do this via an anonymous poll if you prefer. Then, discuss each challenge as a group and how each person can overcome it, alone or with the help of others.
These ideas for fun ice breakers for meetings require little or no preparation and are great to get people sharing and laughing together before a meeting.
This variation on the classic party game requires people to take turns sharing something they’ve never done. For example, “never have I ever gatecrashed a party,” or “never have I ever forgotten to answer an important email.” The rest of the group has to hold up five fingers. If they have also done it, they put one finger down. Remember to keep it clean for work meetings, though, as this game can get quite spicy!
To play, go round the group and ask each person to share two things that are true about them and one that’s a lie. Use a poll for the group to vote on which is the lie.
Another variation is to prepare some true and false statements in advance and distribute them to participants. Then, they have to defend their statements and see if they can convince the group. The more unlikely they are, the better. You can display these on a virtual whiteboard to make the game more visual.
Before the meeting, prepare some categories. For example, capital cities, animals, or historical figures. Then, put people into teams, write the first category on a virtual whiteboard and give your team 30 seconds to name as many things belonging to each category as possible.
For this game, download some sounds of common things and play them for the team to guess. You can also add an element of competition by putting into teams. Example sounds could be a coffee maker, a vehicle engine, or the theme tune from a well-known TV show.
To prepare this game, compile a list of well-known movies, books, real-life people, fictional characters, or popular expressions. Anything that can be described using emotions. Then, share one item with each attendee in advance. During the meeting warm-up, ask them to describe their item using only emojis. The rest of the team can post their guesses in the chat.
Alternatively, you can present the team with each item and see who can come up with the best emoji.
This is a fun idea that requires almost zero preparation and is less pressure than traditional charades. Give the team a theme – like movies or holiday destinations – and ask them to choose a funny virtual background that most closely represents it. Then, use polls for the rest of the team to vote on what each background represents.
This game puts a virtual twist on the classic game of Pictionary. Think of some fun objects, situations, movies, or expressions before the meeting and give one to each team member. They then have to draw it on a virtual whiteboard while the rest of the team guess via the chat. The winner is the first to get it right.
This game is a virtual twist on the classic game of Consequences. Prepare a list of words in advance and share one with each team member. Start the game by writing an opening sentence on your virtual whiteboard. Then, go round the group and ask each member to write the next part of the story. They can write whatever they like, but they must use the word you gave them at the start of the meeting.
You: “It was raining when I left the hotel.”
Team member number 2: “Fortunately, my car was waiting outside”
Team member number 3: “Sadly, however, I couldn’t use the car as there was a bear sitting in the passenger seat.”
And so on.
To make the game more visual and spontaneous, you can prepare a slideshow of images and use them as prompts instead of words.
This is a great game for teams that work from home (not so much for co-working). Call out common household objects (fork, cushion, something blue, etc.) and ask the team to run and find them as quickly as possible.
As well as being a great ice breaker, you can use this game to get people moving around during a break in a long meeting.
Use the whiteboard functionality to get your team to draw how they’re feeling that day. This can be a light way of getting a cultural thermometer, having fun, and talking about how to help the team change the mood.
This classical school presentation can be applied to team meetings. Ask everyone to choose an object from their house and tell its story. Determine the logistics based on the length of the meeting and the size of the group.
Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.
Ice breakers are a great way of getting people to connect with one another, be present at the meeting, and relax. The easiest ice breaker for work meetings is the mood barometer, where you find out how people are feeling and address their concerns before you begin.
If you want to get a bit more creative, you can get your team to go on a scavenger hunt around their homes. This will soon get people interacting and engaging with some friendly competition.
No matter the length or preparation of the ice breaker that you choose to do, you need a reliable and feature-rich video conferencing platform that supports them. Livestorm is a strong choice if you’re looking for the best webinar platform that can host a large audience (up to 3,000 attendees), has loads of engagement features, and lets you analyze the data afterward.
If you’re using Zoom as your video conferencing tool, you can leverage its features to capture team engagement using virtual ice breakers. Some ideas include
Ice breakers for work don’t need to take too much meeting time nor be prepared weeks in advance. Many of them can be questions that start a conversation. These are some five-minute ice breakers that you can use to start a team meeting
Some fun ways to start meetings and break the ice include:
Introducing a new team member doesn’t have to be dull. You can do it with an ice breaker like: