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Meetings got you down? Give icebreakers a try! Icebreakers can help foster connections among participants, create energy for discussions, enhance learning, and even help manage conflicts. They encourage engagement, trust, and collaboration. Making meetings a more productive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Whether in-person or virtual try these icebreakers in your next meeting!

In-Person Meetings

  • Time: 10-15 minutes

    Divide the group into teams of at least two participants. Instruct participants to introduce themselves and quickly discuss some of their likes and dislikes. After introductions, inform teams that they will classify themselves – as a team – into two or three subgroups that contain no negative, prejudice, or discriminatory judgments. (i.e. night owls, pineapple pizza lovers, bookworms)

    This activity encourages coworkers to get to know each other better and enables them to consider the interests
    of their colleagues.

  • Time: 15 minutes

    Start a story with a sentence or two, and then go around the room with each participant adding a sentence to continue the story. As the story progresses, participants are challenged to think creatively and come up with imaginative twists and turns. The goal is to create a unique and often humorous narrative. Sharing ideas and contributing to a collective story can help build trust among team members. It creates a safe space for individuals to express themselves and see their ideas valued by others.

    This activity encourages collaboration, creativity, and effective communication while helping team members get to know each other better in an engaging and enjoyable way.

  • Time: 10-15 minutes

    Create bingo cards with interesting facts or characteristics (e.g., "Has traveled to three or more countries" or "Speaks two languages"). Participants mingle and try to find people who match these characteristics to fill in their bingo card.

    This activity encourages coworkers to get to know each other better and enables them to consider the interests of their colleagues. 

  • Time: 15 minutes

    Teams are tasked with building the tallest freestanding structure using only the materials provided. Provide each team with the same set of materials (i.e. dry spaghetti sticks, masking tape, string, and one marshmallow). Explain the rules and constraints to the teams: They can use all the materials provided, but they must use them wisely to construct a stable tower. The marshmallow must be placed at the top of the tower, and the tower must be freestanding (not leaning against any other surface). Once the time is up, measure the height of each team's tower from the base to the top of the marshmallow. The team with the tallest freestanding tower wins the challenge.

    This activity combines creativity, problem-solving, and effective teamwork in a fun and engaging way. It's also a great way to highlight the importance of collaboration and adaptability in achieving shared goals.

  • Time: 10 minutes

    Before the meeting starts have the instructor build a structure out of building blocks. Prepare enough blocks for your group to divide into teams and build the same structure. Keep the structure hidden as the meeting starts. Invite one member from each team to come and look at the structure for ten seconds. They then have twenty-five seconds to instruct their teams on how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s structure. Repeat with the other team members. Continue the game until a team is successful in duplicating the original structure. Consider having one team member keep track of the time.

    This game will teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.

Virtual Meetings

  • Time: 1-5 minutes

    Have the host select three random letters from the alphabet. Give participants 30 seconds to find something in their surrounding area. You can have the host pick again or even have participants take turns picking alphabet letters. The rest of the team will then rush to grab one thing that starts with each letter. You can have this activity be team based, focus on a theme or an upcoming holiday.

    This activity provides a low-pressure way for participants to get to know each other. It is an effective tool for enhancing engagement, connection, and collaboration in virtual meetings.

  • Time: 1-2 minutes

    Have participants use virtual backgrounds related to a specific theme, such as favorite travel destinations, book covers, or movie scenes. They can explain their choice when sharing their background. Consider having this sent out in advance so participants can have time to find something related to the theme.

    This activity promotes team spirit and playfulness which can enhance participant involvement.

  • Time: 1-5 minutes

    Select a set of questions that align with the interests and preferences of your group and the overall tone of your gathering. Pose the trivia questions one by one (i.e. verbally, on the screen, or with a poll). Allow participants a moment to contemplate and record their answers. Encourage participants to share their responses.

    This activity is designed to foster camaraderie, connection, and set a positive atmosphere.

  • Time: 5-10 minutes

    This is great for a small group activity. Have participants take turns sharing two true statements about themselves and one false statement. If this is a reoccurring meeting, you could highlight one person each time. Another option would be to utilize a zoom poll to add a different dynamic to it.

    This activity helps teams get to know each other in a fun and creative way. By revealing personal information participants can build trust and authenticity within the group.

  • Time: 5 minutes

    Ask all participants to send you their baby photos (preferably from when they were less than three years old). Upload all the images in a shared document and let the participants take a look. Have everyone vote and see if they can guess correctly. Another option is to consider having everyone upload their baby photo as their profile photo when their camera is off. Remember to remove your name as well.

    This activity is a light-hearted way for building relationships and fostering positive group dynamics.