Whether you are planning regular meetings or starting a first time meeting with a new group, good ice breakers can help reduce any nervous tension and allow people to connect on a deeper level. Use ice breaker games to get your team or group laughing and loosened up for the next part of the meeting. Use conversation icebreaker questions to help people move past the basic small talk conversations about workplace topics or weather and move into deeper conversations.
Icebreaker Questions that Make You Think or Laugh
Conversational icebreakers can be used to help people get into a brainstorming mode, build stronger relationships within the group or lighten the mood.
You can start meetings with slides set up including deep questions or fun icebreaker questions for the group to discuss among themselves as people arrive.
- Do you have any hobbies?
- What did you want to be as a kid when you grew up?
- What is the last book you read?
- What’s the craziest/hardest thing to check off on your bucket list?
- What skill do you want to learn?
If you are trying to boost group morale, you can create fun icebreaker questions designed to get people laughing. Sometimes the awkward icebreaker questions can create some funny answers, but you want to keep them open-ended. Create cards with your fun icebreakers and you can have different participants read out the questions. You can even have them choose the “winning” answer similar to a game of Apples to Apples. Offer a prize to the one who wins the most cards.
- What is the strangest tradition in your family?
- Best prank you’ve ever played on someone?
- Who is your celebrity doppelganger (look alike)?
- Would you rather have ______ or _______? (Use ridiculously hard options, like “…a tail for legs or a fish head for your face,” or “…to eat bugs or fermented soybeans?”)
- What commercial jingle gets stuck in your head the most?
To get your team brainstorming, try creating questions that are more discussion and group oriented. Choose questions that have no right or wrong answer and always avoid any inappropriate ice breaker questions.
- If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
- What is your favorite smell (and what is the worst smell)?
- What invention do you think will be commonplace in 20 years that doesn’t exist mainstream now?
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What holiday should be created (or celebrated more)?
Large or Small, There are Questions for All
Group size doesn’t matter when it comes to icebreakers. You can do big icebreakers with huge crowds or intimate icebreakers for small groups meetings. You can even break a big group into smaller groups if you want to use conversational icebreakers or ice breaker games.
Ice breaker questions for small groups should focus on alleviating pressure and improving relationships. In a small group, people may feel more pressure to have the “right” answer, so funny or brainstorming or funny icebreaker questions for small groups might help. If the small group is new, but going to be working closely together, deep icebreakers may get the conversation moving towards a team that has a better connection. Icebreakers for small groups of adults might also include games, like an office scavenger hunt.
In larger groups, you will need to determine the purpose before creating your ice breakers. Are you trying to set a specific mood or do you want a big group to make individual connections so no one feels lost in the sea?
If you are trying to make a large group of people laugh, a game of human rock, paper, scissors can be a hilarious blast—each person starts as a chicken (waddling and clucking) and plays rock, paper scissors with another chicken close by. If they lose, they become an egg (must crouch down and find another egg to play against) and if they win, they become a dragon (roaring and “flying” around to find another dragon). If a dragon beats a dragon, the winner stays a dragon. If an egg beats an egg, the loser stays an egg. When a lot of people play this game, it becomes a very funny, chaotic tangle of people willing to be ridiculous for the 5-10 minutes the timer is ticking.
If you want a big group to get to know others better, create a BINGO card with facts that might apply to coworkers. They have to get signatures of at least 5 different people who meet the requirements for the square in a straight line on their card to win. You can have all the winners after a certain time frame (or throughout the event), entered into door prize drawings.
Fun Icebreakers Can Be Used for Any Meeting Purpose
No matter what your meeting is about, icebreakers can help make your event more engaging and memorable.
- Icebreaker questions for women’s gathering events might include personal struggles and glass ceilings they’ve had to overcome
- Icebreakers for teachers staff meetings, icebreakers for teachers training sessions, or icebreakers for teachers professional development events might include sharing their favorite lesson plan or student story/quote
- Icebreaker games for nonprofit events, training sessions and fundraisers might include a game of two truths and a lie for the table
You can lighten the mood and start to shift the focus towards your meeting intent naturally when you use the right ice breaker games and conversations. Ice breakers can help make your meeting go smoothly and get your participants more engaged.