Zoom meetings can be extremely awkward—many faces staring at the screen without saying anything. Or, in some cases trying to save the conversation with a random comment. And the thing about awkward meetings is that no one wants to talk or share their ideas because the environment simply feels weird. If you have experienced this and want to find new ways to energize and make virtual meetings more fun, we have the solution for you. These 35 ice breakers for Zoom meetings are the perfect way to smoothen the environment, connect with your peers, and make meetings more efficient.
But, What are Zoom IceBreakers In The First Place?
In general, ice breakers are activities, games, or questions designed to warm up conversations in any meeting or event. In a virtual environment, even in teams where everyone already knows the other participants, meetings are usually more awkward than on-site meetings and some don’t know how to behave.
The thing with virtual meetings is that we lack visual clues and have a sense of connection with others. We see their faces, but it’s harder to identify other signs and body language. The sum of all this makes us feel more disconnected and generates this sense of awkwardness that most of us have experienced.
Here is when the ice breakers for zoom meetings come to play. With these, you can generate a lighter and more familiar environment. Ice breakers can be questions, games, and other activities to relax everyone in the call.
Ice Breaker Ideas to Energize Your Virtual Meetings
Are ice breaker activities too much? Are there different ways to make virtual meetings better? From ice breaker questions to games, here’s a variety of options you can pick from:
10 Ice Breaker Activities
#1: Fun Fact
When working remotely, despite virtual water coolers and other company events, sometimes we forget to make time to know our colleagues. We know the basic things about them, but not the interesting ones.
A great ice breaker for zoom meetings is simply asking each participant to share a fun fact about themselves.
#2: Theme Days
We’re all used to doing the same dynamics in virtual meetings. We know who leads them, talks more, stays quieter, etc. And with time, it gets boring, and it’s harder for people to have fun because they already know how the meeting is going to work. So, a great way to energize meetings is by completely changing its structure.
Instead of doing a regular meeting, why not doing themed ones? Not every week, but perhaps you could have a themed meeting to spice things up once a month. Here are some ideas for a theme meeting:
- A day in Hawaii (get all dressed as if you were at the beach)
- Virtual Halloween celebration ideas
- Potterhead day!
- Wild West
- Sports day
- Favorite movie day
Out of inspiration? Check out these ideas to celebrate special dates with your remote team.
#3: Collaborative Storytelling
A great ice breaker for Zoom meetings is telling stories. But, not in a boring way. You can create a team-building activity by building a collaborative story.
How does it work? You (or whoever volunteers) start by saying a sentence. And the next person needs to pick up the story and add their own sentence. You go over the entire round of people until you have built a story.
#4: Best Background Wins
The best thing about technology is that you have a world full of possibilities in one touch. While games and questions are awesome, sometimes easy and simple things can do wonders as well.
In this case, you need to let everyone know that you’ll be doing a background contest. Every participant needs to have their kick-ass background ready before the meeting. And once you start the meeting, you ask everyone to vote for the best background!
#5: Meditation Activity
Mondays are hard. No, let’s be real; any day can be hard. And while having a good laugh is better than medicine, sometimes breathing and being conscious of the present works as magic. Encouraging personal care is another way of helping your coworkers to be better and feel happier.
An interesting way to start with meetings is by doing 5-minute meditation sessions. You can ask a professional to guide the meditation, or you could use applications such as Calm or Mindfulness.
#6: Let The Best Drawer Win
This activity is fast and simple. You just need to ask everyone on the call to grab a piece of paper and a black marker. Then think of an animal, object, or whatever comes into your mind that you think they can draw.
The trick is that they’ll have to draw it with their eyes closed. Once they finish, everyone needs to show their drawing through the cameras, and the best one wins. Prepare for some good laughter after seeing some drawings!
#6: Weekend in a Word
This activity is great for many reasons. In the first place, sometimes, especially when the week is starting, people want to have a quick meeting and get started with their work. So it will take you just a few minutes to do it. Additionally, doing other exercises tends to be time-consuming if you have a big team.
Another reason is that some people, especially introverts, have a hard time with some activities. In this case, it is literally just sharing how your weekend was in one word, and that’s it!
#7: Collaborative Bucket List
We all have dreams and aspirations. But we might not know what others are dreaming of, or even if we have something in common with our colleagues.
This simple ice breaker consists in creating a collaborative bucket list. Everyone on the team has to share an aspiration, and someone’s shares their screen and writes all the aspirations and dreams. You might get surprised to see the similarities (or differences) you have with your peers.
#8: Would You Rather
Would you rather it is a classic that never fails! It’s fun, dynamic, and easy to play with, especially for virtual meetings.
You can get really creative and ask crazy and fun questions to make your team laugh and create a more relaxed environment. For those who never played, the idea is that one member of the team asks another question that has two options. Here are some ideas:
- Would you rather have more time or more money?
- Would you rather be Spiderman or Batman?
- Would you rather talk like Darth Vader or speak in the language of the Middle Ages?
- Would you rather eat rotten eggs or eat sour milk?
#9: What’s Your Emoji?
They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words, but so do emojis! A great way to connect more with your coworkers and know more about their feelings is through this easy activity.
Ask everyone in the meeting to describe their current feelings/situation with an emoji – or a string of emojis.
#10: Two Truths and One Lie
This icebreaker activity is another classic! The two truths and one line, as the name suggests, is about telling people two things that are true about you and one lie. They need to guess which ones are true and which one is a lie. The idea is that you share things that are not so obvious to guess.
You can all do around, so everyone gets a chance to play and have fun discovering more about your coworkers.
10 Ice Breaker Questions
#11: How Are You Today?
We are all so busy that we forget about simple things such as asking our colleagues how they are doing. You can start your meeting with this question and go one by one to know more about their day or current situation.
You never know if someone is struggling with something or has something nice to share.
#12: In One Word, How Would You Describe ______?
This is a great ice breaker for zoom meetings as it’s also a team-building question. All you need to do is start by describing one employee and asking them to say in one word one thing about another employee, and so on until the round finishes.
#13: What’s Your Favorite Band?
Talking about music is always a great idea. Why not start the meeting with this ice breaker question that can help you know more about your colleagues’ music taste.
#14: What’s the Best Piece of Advice You’ve Ever Been Given?
Have you ever been in a really bad situation where you felt the world was coming to an end? And then suddenly someone gave you advice that completely changed the situation?
You never know if someone might need a kind word or advice, and with this question, you get to learn great advice from everyone on the team.
#15: What’s Your Favorite Food?
One of the great things about remote teams is getting to know people from other cultures and backgrounds. Discussing things as politics or traditions is fun, but food connects everyone regardless of their beliefs.
You can ask this question and learn more about the food they enjoy and why
#16: What’s the Best and Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen?
This question can generate great and interesting cinema debates. There are so many different opinions on movies that you can discover people on your team who share your same movies and others who are completely the opposite.
Additionally, there are people who truly live and breathe movies, so they can even make great recommendations.
#17: What’s Your Dream Vacation?
A great ice breaker for zoom meetings is to dream with your team about an amazing vacation each one of you wants to make someday. Whether it’s Bali, The Bahamas, Japan, or Mexico, dreaming it’s always a motivation booster.
#18: In One Word, How Would You Describe Last Week?
If you want to know more about your team’s performance and feelings in the past few days, an original way of doing it is through this question.
They can share in just one word how their week was. In some cases, you’ll be surprised with answers such as “Hard” and “Stressful,” and that’s when you can reach out to them and see how you can help.
#19: What Are You Thankful For Today?
Stress, tasks, and overall work distract us from life’s many beautiful things. Even if you love your job, it can get stressful. That’s why being grateful grounds your feet to the earth and reminds you of your blessings.
With this question, you can help your team be more conscious about the present and remember what’s truly important.
#20: What’s Your Unusual Talent?
Reading backward, beatboxing, laughing while having a straight face, dolphin sounds, eyebrow dance, etcThere are so many fun and unusual talents you might never have guessed someone did.
You can ask your employees to share their unusual talent and have great laughs!
10 Zoom Ice Breaker Games
Pictionary is a classic that makes everyone laugh. It’s a great way to bond with your team and connect with coworkers you usually don’t talk to unless it’s work-related. And now, because of the pandemic and the fact that remote work is getting popular there are many online pictionary alternatives. Here are some of them:
- Word generator
#22: Name That Tune
This game is fast and easy. You can play it in different ways. For example, you can be the moderator and create a playlist of songs with diverse genres. And in the call you can put the song with no lyrics and the first person who guesses it wins. Or, you can do a round where each member puts a song and you all answer, that way you also participate in the game.
#23: Guess Whose Office is This
Have you ever seen your coworkers’ home office? Probably not. A great way to know more about your coworkers is through their offices. Maybe Ann loves motivational quotes and paintings, and her office is full of colors. Maybe Bob loves plants and has a jungle in his office.
How to play this game? Days before the meeting ask your coworkers to send you a picture of their home office. Every Monday (or day you choose), share a picture of the office and they need to guess whose office is that one.
#24: Zoom Trivia
Is everyone usually falling asleep during calls? Or bored to death? Make things more fun with Trivia. You can test everyone’s skills and have fun. You can even go a step further and make a team trivia quiz, where you collect facts of each member and let other colleagues guess!
#25: 5 Things
This is a great ice breaker game to begin meetings with. All you need to do is say a word and a member will say the first 5 things that pop into their head in a period of 10 seconds. Then they say a random word and another colleague starts saying their 5 things, and so on.
#26: Read my Lips
A different alternative to starting a Zoom meeting with laughter is playing read my lips. You mute yourself and say a phrase one time. A person in the call (you select who) needs to say what they think you say. And then that person selects who will read their lips and so on.
It sounds basic, but reading lips is harder – and funnier – than it seems.
#27: Waffle vs. Pancakes
You start asking a coworker if they prefer waffles or pancakes. Then the next person discards an option and chooses another topic/item/thing.
Person A: Waffle vs Pancakes
Person B: I get rid of waffles and nominate cats. Pancakes vs Cats
Person C: I get rid of pancakes and nominate dogs.
Remember all the times you played this game as a little kid? Hangman is a great and easy way to start a meeting. You can play once or twice and make everyone feel less awkward and more comfortable in the meeting.
Here are some great online hangman options:
- Zoom whiteboard
- Hangman game
Scattergories is another fun game to play with your team. The rules are easy and simple: there’s one letter and 5 categories. You have 60 seconds to come up with a word that fits in each category, and start with the chosen letter. The more unique your answer is, the more points you win.
Here’s a great online Scattergories
#30: Who’s Most Likely To?
You can play it with cards (There are cards with all sorts of situations) or prepared questions, or you can improvise questions in the meeting. For example, you came up with a situation and ask: Who’s most likely to? And everyone in the meeting has to identify which group member fits better with the description.
Here are some ideas:
- Who’s most likely to climb mountain everest?
- Who’s most likely to win the lottery?
- Who’s most likely to win a grammy?
- Who’s most likely to be a secret nerd?
Bonus: Other Unique Ice Breakers for Zoom Meetings
#31: Home Scavenger Hunt
We are sitting down for more than 8 hours a day because of work. So a great way to stretch our legs while having a call is by playing home scavenger hunt. You need to ask your team members to find something with a specific character during a specific time frame (let’s say 30 seconds).
Here are some ideas:
- Something green
- Has numbers
- It’s bitter
- Smells good
- Is heavy
- Is alive
#32: The Good & The Bad
This game is mostly about sharing what each member of the group went through – in terms of work – during the week.
They need to answer:
- What was the best part of your week? (The good)
- What was the worst part of your week? (The bad)
#33: Think Links
Tired of the usual games and activities? Want to do something new? Think Links is a fun way to break the ice with your virtual coworkers. The game is super simple. Each group needs to answer: How would you set up a business or service using the three (random) Think Links cards shown below.
#34: Friends, soulmates, enemies
Friends, soulmates, and enemies is basically the family version of kiss, marry, and kill. Each round, each player says three characters (famous people), and other players must label each figure as a friend, a soulmate, or an enemy.
- Capitan America, Batman, Spiderman
- Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Adele
- Luke, Leia, Han
#35: A Picture of Your Life
Before the meeting, tell everyone in the team to pick a picture that has meaning to them. The idea is that each member shares the story of the picture during the meeting and why it matters. It can be from your wedding day or the day you presented your thesis or adopted your cat.
It’s a great way to get to know your peers on a more personal level.
Get Rid of Boring Zoom Meetings Forever!
With these 35 ice breakers for zoom meetings, you won’t have to go through awkward and silent calls. The great thing about them is that besides having fun, you’ll also get to know your coworkers more personally and connect with them. Ready to break the ice?