Do you need an icebreaker for meetings to spice them up? Are your colleagues and team members on a go slow? Are they yawning before the meeting starts?
Sounds like you need an ice breaker to kick things off and set the tone of the meeting while grabbing everyone’s attention from the get go, as well as making you the talk of of the office and everyone’s favourite boss! Its a win win!
Icebreakers are an ideal means for opening a meeting, they relax your team, get everyone settled and alert and also prepares them for the real information you want to relay to them throughout the meeting.
Icebreakers also help anyone who is a new team member, helping them get to know each other, together with increasing positivity within the team culture, overall the ingredients for a fun and exciting meeting. Everyone will be more engaged and take on board what you are trying to tell them, ultimately your meeting will be memorable .
Icebreakers for meetings don’t need to be cringe worthy or embarrassing, they can be fun and light hearted and something everyone looks forward to, above all it shows personality and likeability.
What type of meeting is best to have an icebreaker?
An icebreaker can be applied to most situations however they can have a maximum effect when they are used in the following situations:
- A new member of staff has started and you want to introduce them to the team.
- You need your team’s full engagement from the beginning so they give their full attention to what information you are giving them.
- Prior to the meeting the team’s morale is low and you want to boost their energy.
- You want to increase likeability between yourself (Team Leader) and members of the team.
At what point in your meeting is best to have the icebreaker?
The most optimum point to have the icebreaker for meetings is right at the beginning. When the members of the team walk into the room cold, they might be feeling reserved or apprehensive so you want to warm them up.
By warming them up right at the start of the meeting you will discover that everyone is much more receptive to receiving your information and you will maintain their attention for longer. Which is great, because it doesn’t matter if the meeting’s goal was to present information, review performance or deliver training they are all going to take on the information. We learned a lot about icebreakers from Joanne Piechota who is very knowledgeable on icebreakers for meetings.
Do Icebreakers take Long?
Icebreaker for meetings can be as long or as short as you want. It depends on the size of your team. Ideally an icebreaker for meetings should last no longer than 20 minutes, therefore you might just want to factor this time into your meetings. If you have reserved 60 minutes to the meeting, set aside 20 minutes to do the icebreaker and make your meeting 40 minutes. This way you have an appropriate time dedicated to the ‘Fun Stuff’.
Now lets jump into the best icebreaker for meetings
Icebreaker for Meetings Number 1 – Two Truths and a Lie
This is a very simple activity needs minimal preparation . You get each member of the team to think of 2 facts about them selves and then also ask them to think of a lie about themselves. Each member of the team will have 3 facts and the icebreaker is the fact one person will tell all 3 facts and the rest of the team have the challenge to pick out the lie.
This fun element here is that you will have people talking to each other trying to ask questions and figure out the lie. What is important about this icebreaker is that there is no right ow wrong answer so it doesn’t matter if everyone is right or wrong, the goal is to learn something new about your colleagues.
Icebreaker Number 2 – Team Quiz
This is exactly what is says on the tin. Pair up members of the team together in teams of 2 (Ideally pair people up who don’t work too closely together) and design a quiz where they have to work together to come up with the answer. This is popular because it enablers people to talk to each other in order to get the right answer and thus work together. There is also an element of fun by getting the answer right and building that small (or not so small in some cases), competitive nature inside us all!
Icebreaker Number 3 – Charades
This is a brilliant icebreaker for meetings and works 100% each time. It was an old school game which always gets our family laughing and joking and never dates. Prior to the meeting create a list of suggestions on your laptop of celebrities, movies, books, songs etc and have an individual from your team come up pick one and try to mime the suggestion. This will be very funny as you will be surprised how creative people get with their miming and people trying to guess the right answer.
Icebreaker for Meetings Number 4 – Explain That Gram!
Almost everyone will have their phone on them during the meeting and get them using it! Obviously before turning them off or on silent when the actual meeting starts! Ask your team to look through their Instagram, Facebook or picture gallery to find funny, exciting, unusual, embarrassing or proud photos of themselves, family member or of any situation. Get each individual to talk about heir photo and what made them chose that particular one and if there is a story behind it TELL US! This was an idea we got from Sean Evans from the show ‘Hot ones’.
Icebreaker Number 5 – Treasure Hunt!
Create a list of random things in the office that your team will be able to find and bring back to the meeting. Get them to work in pairs and you can get them to look for random object or things that relate to the overall topic of the original meeting. You can make the objects as random/funny or as tame or risqué as you like. The more obscure objects the better as your team will have to think outside of the box to get them.
Icebreaker for Number 6 – Story Time
If your original meeting has a particular theme then this icebreaker can help get all your team members and colleagues thinking laterally. For example, if your meeting is about improving customer experience, then get each individual to tell about a time where they had a fantastic customer experience and what made it so good. If you were having a meeting about dealing with suppliers get them to tell you a story about their experience of dealing with difficult customers (hopefully no one in the team!)
Icebreaker for Meetings Number 7 – Bingo
Create bingo cards but instead of numbers put down situations or events for example ‘Travelled to New York’ or ‘Has a younger sister’ or ‘Studied chemistry at university’ etc. Then ask each team member to talk to other people on the team and ask them if they fit the situation. If they find a person who does then they can score it off and first person to tick them all off wins. This is really good because it gets people interacting with each other as well s finding out more about their colleagues. Once you have the completed card you can enquire to the other members, for example “David I didn’t know you went to New York? How was it” and you are also sharing the information with the team, so everyone is getting a new insight and it creates bonding with your team members.
Icebreaker Number 8 – Cards
Purchase 2 identical packs of playing cards and have questions written on the back of them, the questions can be fun or inquisitive such as “What’s your favourite movies” or “Where did you last travel to?”. As members of your team enter the meeting room hand out the playing cards and ask them to find their ‘pair’ e.g. the person with 4 of clubs will have to find another person with the 4 of clubs and ask them their question. This gets people engaging with each other and talking, even if they do not find their pair then go around enough people introducing themselves and talking.
Icebreaker Number 9 – Share a Movie Quote
This will tell you who are the real movie buffs in your team, get each member to bring with them their favourite movie quote or scene from a movie. Then go around the room asking for their quote and why its so important to them. Perhaps the movie was watched with a particular partner or signifies a point in their life? You can learn a lot about people with this information.
Icebreaker for Meetings Number 10 – Success Stories
Back onto the topic of which this is a really simple way of people to share what they are proud of that particular week. You want to find out their success stories and achievements.
In order to keep moral strong and create a bonding session with team members, this is a really simple way of getting people to share that they are proud of in that particular week, it does not have to be a big thing it can be something small, but an achievement all the same or something that made them happy or smile. Such as; a great interaction with a client, a huge sale, and challenge which was over come, anything really. This gets your team talking about what they do and that they are an important part of the team, this will also give them the feel-good factor as they will engage and appreciate the attention and praise etc that you give them and in turn will really motivate them.
Conclusion – Icebreaker for Meetings
In conclusion, there are many ways to break the ice for meetings. There is no right or wrong way to do them, however, you do want people talking and engaging with each other, warming up for the meeting ahead. Once you have achieved that then that’s brilliant.
Some additional tips you may want to think about is have some music playing in the beginning to keep the energy up or bring some sweets/biscuits to keep their blood sugar level high.