Icebreakers For Meetings

It is important that the meetings you organize are productive and bring out the best in everyone.  Ideally, every participant should be engaged, contributing great ideas and enjoying the meeting. Unfortunately — meetings often become tiresome and participants begin to “zone out” instead of engaging with the other people present.

To avoid your meetings becoming dull and unproductive, you could try using icebreakers for meetings.  They are a fun way to help participants relax, be creative and collaborate with others in the group.  Here are some of the best icebreakers.

1) 10 Things in Common (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Randomly divide meeting attendees into smaller groups of 3-4 people.  Try to put people together with others who they don’t know well.  Each group must try to find 10 things that they have in common with each other.

The 10 things should be as unusual as possible and cannot be things that most humans have in common (like having two eyes or two legs!).  At the end of 10-minutes, the groups read out their 10 common things.  The group with the most unusual or interesting things in common wins a small treat, like a chocolate bar.

2) A Bad Day At The Office (Fun icebreaker)

Split the participants into groups of 3 or 4.  Create a list of common “bad day at the office” mistakes events on separate pieces of paper.  A member of each group takes a random piece of paper and acts out the scenario without speaking.  Their teammates have to guess which “bad day” scenario they are presenting.  Bad day at the office events can include things like:

  • The printer jams
  • A fly lands on your food
  • You spill coffee on your shirt
  • Your computer crashes and you lose your work
  • Your pen leaks and ruins your shirt

3) Animal Noises (Fun icebreaker)

A very simple and fun game that will help the meeting participants relax and have a few laughs before the meeting.  Have the group sit in a circle or around a table.  Each person is given the name of an animal on a piece of paper.  Going in a circle, they must imitate the animal by making animal noises and movements!  The rest of the group has to guess which animal they are.

4) Would You Rather (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Have the participants sit in a circle and ask them “Would you rather…” questions.  These questions can relate to work or be completely random and fun.  Ask the participants questions like:

  • Would you rather be the president of the United States or a rock star?
  • Would you rather give a speech to 25 people or be piddled on by a dog?
  • Would you rather be forced to listen to Maroon 5 or Nickelback?
  • Would you rather have an IQ of 150 or the good looks of Fabio?
  • Would you rather holiday in Las Vegas or New York?

5) Hidden Talents (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Simply go around the group and ask each team member to introduce themselves, before divulging their hidden talent.  Give them the option of sharing their talent with the group, be it drawing, joke telling, juggling or singing.  Keep it light hearted and have “performances” last 30 seconds or less.

6) The Introduction Game (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Participants sit in a circle or around a table.  Every second person turns to their right and spends a minute asking questions of their fellow participant.  The questioners then take turns telling the group about the person they just met.  They share some of the highlights of their conversation and what they learned from meeting this person.  The questioner and answerer then swap roles.

7) Icebreaker Questions (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

You can help the group learn more about each other and relax by asking some fun icebreaker questions.  These questions should be light hearted to encourage a few laughs from the group and prepare them to be creative in the meeting.  This is one of the simplest and most effective icebreakers for meetings.  The questions can include:

  • What’s your favorite movie?  Why?
  • What’s your favorite book?  Why?
  • If you reincarnated, what would you like to come back as?
  • If you could go on tour with a famous musical artist, which one would it be?
  • If you could bring back one dead rock star, which one would it be?
  • What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” television show or music?
  • What food do you love to eat on any days?

BONUS) Candy Questions

This is a simple game that helps participants learn more about each other and enjoy some energy boosting candy!  Place some colored candy (M&Ms or Skittles) into a bowl.  Write five or six questions on the board — one for each candy color.  For example, if you are using M&Ms, you could have:

  • Brown — What’s your favorite part of the work day
  • Green — What’s your biggest goal for this year
  • Red — What’s your favorite workday snack?
  • Blue — What’s your favorite workday beverage?
  • Yellow — Favorite form of exercise?
  • Orange — Favorite way to de-stress after work?

Go around the table 3 times, with each participant selecting a piece of candy and answering the question that the color corresponds to.