team-icebreakers

The Power of Icebreaker Questions

A common scenario: A number of people are called to a function room for a meeting, since arrival no one’s made eye contact, there’s awkwardness and the silence is deafening. The meeting leader needs an effective way to get the disparate group to work comfortably and cohesively.

Icebreaker questions are a great way to do this, they can be challenging, silly, memory based or related to the reason that the meeting is being held, but what they are designed to do above all is to relax the participants, remove pre-existing tensions and encourage them to interact and positively contribute to the meeting without inhibitions.

If an attendee is terrified of looking inferior to the group then the best way for them to find calmness is to participate in a fun icebreaker in which everyone has to drop their guard, look less strained and serious and become familiar to their companions. Participants are forced to introduce themselves and interact whatever their inclination. The inspiring result is that they won’t feel the need to be the quiet nervous one in the corner any more so they’ll get more from the meeting and any activities. They’ll have had an early and quick getting-to-know-you conversation with everyone in the room.

Icebreaker questions offer flexibility and are adaptable for use with children and adolescents, for personal gatherings and for professional based scenarios and if a meeting is a religious or social organization orientated one then this can also form the basis of the icebreaker questions.

Here is a long list of icebreaker question ideas:

  1. Which three words describe you best?
  2. Which is your best feature?
  3. Which common saying or phrase describes you?
  4. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
  5. Who was your role model when you were a child?
  6. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
  7. What was your favorite subject at school?
  8. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. Why are you here today?
  10. What would be your perfect job?
  11. What is your greatest achievement?
  12. Have you ever won a trophy or medal?
  13. What is the longest word you know?
  14. Who is the most inspirational person to you?
  15. What is the best praise or advice you’ve received?
  16. Which would you prefer — three wishes over five years or one wish right now?
  17. If you could have one wish come true what would it be?
  18. Did you ever keep a New Year’s resolution?
  19. What was your favorite birthday or Christmas present?
  20. What was the worst present you’ve received?
  21. What was your favorite childhood toy?
  22. Where would you like to be in five years time?
  23. Which skill would you love to learn?
  24. Which language would you like to learn?
  25. If money was not a concern what would you do every day if you didn’t work?
  26. What’s your hidden talent?
  27. What was the funniest moment in your life?
  28. What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
  29. Have you seen a ghost or an alien?
  30. Would you like to see into the future? Why?
  31. Would you like to be invisible for a day? Why?
  32. If you could rule the world for a day state something that you’d ban.
  33. If you had magical powers name something that you’d change.
  34. Would you rather be clever or beautiful?
  35. Would you rather be really hairy or bald?
  36. Would you like to be taller or thinner?
  37. What irritates you the most?
  38. Have you gone out with mismatched socks or shoes on?
  39. Where would you love to go on holiday?
  40. Why would you like to go to a tropical island or the Arctic more?
  41. Where would you most like to live?
  42. Which planet in the solar system would you visit?
  43. Which animal would you choose to be?
  44. If you were a flower which one would you be?
  45. If you were a tree which one would you be?
  46. Have you baked a cake, who for and was it a success?
  47. What flavor ice cream would you be?
  48. Which chocolate bar is most like you?
  49. What is your favorite food?
  50. What is your favorite drink?
  51. Would you rather be an apple or an orange?
  52. What fruit or vegetable would you be?
  53. Would you rather be a hot or a cold drink?
  54. Which task or chore is your favorite?
  55. Which task or chore is least favorite?
  56. Which office machine is your favorite?
  57. What type of car would you be?
  58. Did you ever lock your car keys in the car?
  59. Have you locked yourself out of the house?
  60. Would you rather lock yourself out of your house or your car?
  61. Have you gone in to a room and forgotten why?
  62. If you could have true love or £1 million which would you choose?
  63. What is your favorite TV show and why?
  64. What is your favorite song?
  65. What is your favorite book?
  66. What is your favorite film?
  67. What is the best chat up line you’ve heard or had said to you?
  68. Who would you like to be for a day?
  69. Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with?
  70. Who would play you in a film?
  71. Which famous person would you like to meet?
  72. Which famous person would you never want to meet?
  73. If you could invite five famous or noted people (past or present) to dinner who would you choose?
  74. Which time period would you visit in history?
  75. Would you prefer to visit Earth in 2100 or travel back to 1900?
  76. Which person from history would you most like to meet?

Memory games are hugely effective too, for example “I went on holiday and I took…” or “I went shopping and I bought…” Each person adds an item going around the room and the attendees try to remember everything which invariably causes laughter, improves concentration and initiates connections.

Another format for icebreaking is to tell one fact and one lie about yourself and see if the others can guess which one is true. The icebreaking question possibilities are endless and very illuminating. Need more icebreaker ideas?