With more and more people working remotely, virtual meetings have become the norm, which can make the getting-to-know-each-other part a bit tricky.
This is why it's important to learn a few ice breakers for virtual meetings. Let's take a look at some virtual ice breaker ideas to encourage team closeness and collaboration.
- What are ice breakers for virtual meetings?
- Why should people use ice breakers for virtual meetings?
- How to use virtual ice breakers efficiently
- What are some good ice breakers for virtual meetings?
- Virtual ice breakers for small groups
- Virtual ice breakers for large groups
- Ice breakers for phone meetings
- Short ice breakers for virtual meetings
What are ice breakers for virtual meetings?
Virtual ice breakers are fun activities, games, and conversation starters that help participants in a virtual meeting get to know each other or "break the ice."
These activities allow people to familiarize themselves with one another, which is crucial in virtual meetings lacking the social aspect naturally present in face-to-face encounters.
Why should people use ice breakers for virtual meetings?
When people work in an office, socializing comes naturally whether in meetings or during lunch breaks. It's a lot easier to engage in team-building activities when you communicate with others in person.
If you're working remotely, you'll be more focused on getting your job done neglecting the team-building or socializing aspect. While this may seem better for task completion, it takes a toll on team interactions and ultimately affects work efficiency.
Using ice breakers for virtual meetings drastically enhances communication between people working on the same project, not to mention that it inspires creativity and motivation and enhance productivity.
How to use virtual ice breakers efficiently?
Ice breakers are effective in enhancing communication among team members if done correctly. You need to keep a few things in mind when planning ice breaker activities.
1. Consider people's feelingsYou can't use the same ice breakers for every meeting. Some ice breakers are a bit too friendly for people's taste, so keep those ice breakers for colleagues you're already familiar with.
2. Read the room
If you're in charge of ice breakers, always keep several questions and activities as a backup in case people don't respond well to some things on your list. Observe people's reactions to get a feel of their comfort level and build from there.
3. Don't repeat ice breakers every meeting
Use virtual ice breakers once for every group of people. If someone is newly introduced to the team, you don't have to repeat the same questions. Instead, allow them to introduce themselves briefly to avoid any awkwardness.
4. Give each person a chance to participate
If your meeting includes more than five people, it can get noisy when everyone starts to talk simultaneously. Make sure to allow each person to participate and ask the attendees to use the hand-raising feature found in most video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Teams.
5. Keep it short and simple
Many people fall for the trap of letting ice breakers take too much time. It's best to set a specified time for the ice breakers segment in the meeting.
💡 Pro Tip. Use the meeting timer feature in adam.ai to set a specific time for ice breakers for virtual meetings and receive an alert when time's up for each meeting segment.
Screenshot from adam.ai: The meeting timer
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What are some good ice breakers for virtual meetings?
- Start with a quiz poll question asking how everyone's been feeling lately.
- Play a game of two truths and one lie and let people guess the lie.
- Let people talk about their pets or kids and ask them to share pictures of them.
- Ask each person to describe the city they live in without actually saying which city they live in.
- Ask each person to show the view from their home office.
Virtual ice breakers for small groups
- Play word chain: decide on a theme like pets, football players, colors, fruits, clothes, and so on. In a pets theme, the first person would say dog, the next would say dog, cat, the third would say dog, cat, parrot, and so on.
- Let each person say something about themselves to find out what people have in common.
For example, one person might say, "I love to play basketball." Another would say, "I don't like basketball but I love playing baseball." Go around listing favorite activities and hobbies to allow people to get to know each other and find common qualities.
- Talk about a show on Netflix you binged over a weekend.
- Play a virtual game of rock, paper, scissors (lizard, Spock, anyone? Maybe fireball and water balloon? Another great way to ask people whether they're a TBBT fan or a Friends fan).
Virtual ice breakers for large groups1. Would you rather:
- be too warm or too cold?
- have no internet or lose your phone?
- have a pet tarantula or a pet lizard?
- have 6-foot arms or 6-foot legs?
- travel to the future or to the past?
- eat a cold meal or have a cold shower?
- be overdressed or underdressed?
2. Describe the past week, month, and year with one word.
3. Reminisce about childhood memories:
- What was your favorite candy?
- What was your favorite movie?
- Which pop band were you obsessed with growing up?
4. Do you prefer Marvel or DC comics/movies?
5. Are you a Trekkie or a Star Wars fan?
Ice breakers for phone meetings
- What was your first job?
- What is the one vacation spot you always go back to?
- Describe yourself in three words.
- What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
- Who's your favorite celebrity and what will you do if you meet them?
- Tell us how you got into this career path.
- What's the one movie you can never be bored of?
- What do you like to do on the weekend?
- Which talent do you wish you had?
- Do you have a hidden talent?
- Are you a summer person or a winter person?
- Mention your perfect day.
- Tell us an anecdote about your first job.
- What do you like to do after a long exhausting day?
- What would you be doing if you didn't have to work?
- What's the one food you can eat every day?
- Mention three things on your bucket list.
- Imagine you have a superpower. What would it be?
- Are you a coffee person or a tea person?
- Do you prefer large-group or small-group outings?
Short ice breakers for virtual meetings
1. What is your favorite city, cuisine, and activity?
2. What's the one thing you miss from your childhood?
3. Mention a scary movie you saw that kept you up all night.
4. What's your ideal outing or vacation and who would you take with you?
5. What's your favorite animal and why?
6. What advice would you give your younger self?
7. What's a common first impression people make about you? Are they right or wrong?
8. What's your most precious possession and why?
9. What's a weird food combination that you like?
10. Which song you can't keep out of your mind these days?
11. What's your favorite sport or game to play with your friends?
12. What's your favorite book and why?
💡 While there may be multiple meeting management solutions available, here’s why adam.ai is the best one for you:
- adam.ai is one of Atlassian Ventures' portfolio companies.
- adam.ai is ranked a leader in the meeting management software category by G2 for both quarters, Summer 2021 and Winter 2021.
- adam.ai has been included in the Forrester Report in the AI-enabled meeting technology landscape.
- adam.ai is trusted and used by powerful teams worldwide from Johns Hopkins University, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Microsoft, and other renowned organizations.
- And most importantly, adam.ai integrates with your existing workflow, provides a free plan for life for small teams, and is the most affordable tool for larger teams (starts at $4.99).
The bottom line
Ice breakers for virtual meetings are a great way for the team to get to know one another to enhance their communication and improve team collaboration.
We encourage you to use the fun virtual meetings icebreakers mentioned in this article to help you create a positive atmosphere among your team.