Awkward feelings and anxiety often impact virtual meeting’s participants and can interfere with communication and productivity. Knowing how to create an environment that helps people communicate and participate adds significant value to virtual meetings.
webcastingandvirtualevents.com gathered the following ice-breaking questions and activities to help inspire participants into deeper engagement with your subject matter and meaningful connections with other participants.
What Is an Icebreaker?
The simple definition of an icebreaker is a topic of conversation (often whimsical or humorous) that eases people into talking with one another. An example of an icebreaker is asking everyone in a small group to answer the question, “What superpower would you want for 24 hours?” Then share which and why.
What Are Some Fun Icebreakers to Start a Virtual Meeting?
When it’s time to get your virtual meeting underway, start it off with some fun. Get your participants freed from their inhibitions by setting up one of the following icebreakers:
Showtime – Five minutes or so before your meeting begins, ask everyone to prepare a one-minute presentation. Let your participants know that the funnier, more quirky the presentation, the better it will be. These presentations can be any of the following:
- Sing a short song
- Play an instrument
- Tell a line of jokes
- Tell a short story (fact or fiction)
- Read a poem
Allow each participant to give their presentation before the meeting officially begins. This permits everyone to introduce themselves and (completely) break the ice with each other.
What Am I Doing Here? – This pre-meeting icebreaker will help your audience familiarize themselves with each other on a more professional level. Each participant should get 45 seconds to a minute to:
- Introduce who they are and what they do
- How long they’ve been in the business/field
- What they believe they can contribute
- Tell one success story
Once again, there is no such thing as too silly, frivolous, or nonsensical. The whole idea of this exercise is to break the ice and free up everyone’s conversational acumen.
My __________ Is A Rock Star! – In this icebreaker, you’ll have 1 minute to tell everyone about someone or something inspiring to you, that motivates you, or makes you want to do/be better at what you do. For example:
- A parent
- A sibling
- A school friend
- Your pet
- Your child
Icebreakers like this offer a brief glimpse into your more personable side, showing how you may see and relate to others.
Honor A Colleague or Mentor – This icebreaker can be fun (humorously seeing someone off to retirement), a bit more serious (paying tribute to someone’s passing), or completely whimsical (revealing a hilarious blooper).
What Are Some Good Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings?
Icebreaker questions are a perfect complement to virtual team building for remote teams. When you begin a video call with a quick round of icebreaker questions for work, you give your team an opportunity to connect on a personal level.
The following questions will help your meeting participants share their “remote” settings and potentially learn to better cope with a virtual environment from each other:
Your Virtual Setting Icebreakers
- Do you prefer working in the office or remotely? What do you consider a good balance?
- What hours or schedule do you adhere to when working remotely?
- How do you take time for breaks?
- What “outside” activities do you participate in?
- Do you prefer working early in the day or late at night?
- How do you tune out distractions when working remotely?
- Do you have a uniform or dedicated attire for working remotely?
- How do you get ready for your day (shower, coffee, breakfast)?
- How do you get your exercise?
- What does your remote “office” consist of?
- If you had to sing karaoke, What’s your song?
- If your life were made into a movie, what would the title be?
- If you were a professional wrestler, what would your name be?
- Who was your childhood “famous” crush?
- Who would you like to leave stranded on a deserted island?
- What is your favorite food?
- What food do you least like but eat anyway?
- If you were famous, what would it be for?
- If you could star in any movie remake, which would it be?
Work-Related Icebreaker Questions
- What was your first job?
- What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
- What is your preferred meal for lunch?
- What is your favorite work holiday?
- Do you prefer working from the office or remotely?
- When you were a child, what did you want to be?
- Do you remember how much your very first paycheck was?
- In your opinion, what work holidays should be added to the calendar?
- Have you been recognized at work for exemplary performance?
- What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Random Icebreaker Questions
- What is your most prized possession?
- If you were only permitted to keep one app on your phone, which would it be?
- You’re going sailing for six months, what is your boat’s name?
- Can you describe your dream home?
- What is your dream job?
- If you came into money and longer needed to work, what would you do with your time?
- Would you trade places with your favorite cartoon hero or heroine?
- What is your favorite television/cable show or network?
- What national monument should you be included on/in?
“Would You Rather” Icebreakers
- Would you rather live without social media or air conditioning?
- Would you rather have a compact car or an SUV?
- Would you rather lose all of your money or your family photos?
- Would you rather collect coffee mugs or commemorative plates?
- Would you rather have the power of flight or mind-reading?
“If You Could” Icebreakers
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
- If you could grant yourself one wish, what would it be?
- If you could choose one historical personality to learn from, who would it be?
- If you could star in your own show, what would it be?
- If you could change your profession, what would you select?
More Random Icebreakers
- Could you survive 48 hours without an internet connection?
- What was your favorite childhood game?
- What is your favorite game as an adult?
- What is your favorite vacation destination?
- What year are you traveling to in your time machine?
- What is your favorite restaurant?
- What is one thing no one knows about you?
- What are three items on your bucket list?
- What languages can you speak?
- Are you a cat or dog person?
Note: Using icebreakers will help you get familiarized with an audience, visitors, or new coworkers and help everyone ease into an interactive online experience.
Virtual Icebreakers and Team Building-Activities
In this article, you discovered several icebreaking questions and activities that promote more open and natural conversation in your virtual meetings, adding more significance and value.
Adding icebreakers and team-building activities to your virtual event will help your audience better communicate, increase production, and remain engaged longer.
Assuming that your virtual audience will interact like a live audience is highly risky. Apprehension and social disconnect can make your audience resistant to virtual interaction when it is needed most.