If you have a job, go to school, or attend social gatherings, you’ve likely had the experience of being subjected to awkward ice breaker games for virtual meetings. Often, these activities leave you feeling isolated rather than included.
Virtual gatherings have risen sharply in popularity. Every day more companies and learning platforms like Amphy host virtual meetings, interviews, and classes. If you need to do this with your team, check out these virtual ice breakers that won’t leave you with crickets on the other end.
1. This or That
This ice breaker is super simple, perfect for large groups or meetings you need to start quickly. You offer two options, and each person selects one. Cats or dogs? Pancakes or waffles?
2. Show and Tell
This ice breaker is another easy one to do but allows for more expansion. You host a show and tell. These can be objects within the person’s reach or something they pick out beforehand.
3. Song on Repeat
This ice breaker is pretty straightforward. Go around the group and ask each person what song they’ve been playing on repeat recently. You can expand this to include shows they’ve been binge-watching or books they’ve been reading.
4. Two Truths and a Lie
This exercise is best with a group that is a little more familiar with one another. Each person lists three things about themselves, two of which are true and one that is a lie. The group then has to guess which one is the lie.
5. Would You Rather
There’s a reason why “would you rather” has remained a classic favorite get-to-know-you activity. The host presents the group with two scenarios; each person chooses which one they’d rather put up with.
“If you had to choose one condiment for the rest of your life, would you rather choose ketchup or ranch dressing?”
6. Sell It
This is an incredibly excellent ice breaker with a sales team and is a great ice breaker game for Zoom. Each person has to choose an object on their desk and then try to sell it to the rest of the team.
7. Guess the Number
For this ice breaker, everyone has to be able to see the host or screen. The host shows the group a picture or an actual jar of candy, marbles, etc. Then, each person takes turns guessing how many there are. The winner is the person that guesses closest to the actual number.
8. Future Headlines
Each team member creates a future headline for the company’s newsletter or newspaper in this ice breaker game. Try to keep this light and funny, such as, “Breaking News: Employees Nominate Wite-Out for MVP.”
9. Company Stories
We all have funny and interesting stories from work, and sharing them with our colleagues is an excellent way to bond. This ice breaker involves nothing more than sharing some great company stories among team members.
10. Theme Days
This ice breaker requires a little planning beforehand and will likely go over better with a group you can count on participating. Send an email out before the meeting announcing the theme. Then, each person can dress up, change their background, or try to find unique ways to incorporate the theme into the gathering.
11. Emoji Check-In
This ice breaker for virtual meetings is perfect for a group that doesn’t have much time or doesn’t know each other very well. Simply ask everyone to send an emoji to the host or group chat reflecting how they feel that day.
12. Mad Libs
If you played Mad Libs as a kid, you understand where this is going. Find or create a story with blank spaces, then have team members choose adjectives, verbs, and adverbs to fill in the blanks. Once the spaces are filled, the host reads the story out loud.
13. Desert Island
Desert island is another classic game and a great way to get to know people. Have each person list three to five objects they would take to a deserted island. You can narrow this down by saying team members can only choose books, movies, or childhood toys.
14. Interesting Facts
This ice breaker is as simple as it sounds. Have each team member present an interesting fact. It can be anything, or you can stick to a theme like nature, technology, or history.
"If you had to choose one condiment for the rest of your life, would you rather choose ketchup or ranch dressing?"
A quick round of trivia is a great way to get people talking. Trivia requires people to speak up without overthinking or risk losing the round. Round up a few trivia questions, develop a few on your own, and play a round or two with your team.
Like trivia, riddles are a great way to get people talking, and this is one of the best ice breaker games for teams. Having your group work through a few riddles will allow people to speak their minds without having to get personal. Plus, it’s an excellent exercise in creativity and problem-solving.
17. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a lot of fun and give your team the chance to show off their creativity. Ask people in the group to find an object in their home or right on their desk that fits a specific description, then show it to the rest of the team. Try “Find something blue” or “Find something that weighs less than three pounds.”
18. Fortunately and Unfortunately
This ice breaker is a word game that nearly always results in the entire group doubled over with laughter. To play, you assign everyone a number. The first person starts a story with a single sentence that begins with “fortunately.”
“Fortunately, today is Friday.”
The second person follows with a downside.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been procrastinating on my proposal since Tuesday, and it’s due now.”
The third person resumes the upswing.
“Fortunately, I’ve never written a proposal down before, so I don’t think anyone will notice me swing it this time, either.”
This method continues through the entire team.
19. Guess That Song
This ice breaker activity is straightforward to do. The host will play three to five seconds of a song, and the rest of the team guesses the song’s name and the artist.
To play this game, the host will send a private message to one team member, including a word and its synonyms or related words. The team member then has to get the rest of the group to guess the word without using the synonyms.
This activity is an effective strategy for boosting morale. Have each person give kudos to another in the group. To avoid anyone feeling left out, you can assign the name of a coworker or team member to each person, and that person will list one thing they like about their team member.
Ice Breakers Don’t Have To Be Awful
Getting to know others virtually can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Remember that good ice breaker for virtual meetings are funny, lighthearted, and engaging. Try one of these activities during your next virtual meeting, and your team will surely have a great time.