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In an era of non-stop virtual meetings, there are few tools that have become quite as indispensable as the icebreaker. If you’ve tried to run meetings with Zoom, Google Meet, or other video conferencing software, you’ve probably noticed that screens can impose a distance which can be challenging to overcome. When participants don’t feel engaged, meetings are less productive.
By learning to deploy the right icebreakers at the start of your virtual meeting, you’ll help participants stay focused, engaged, and energized, making your meeting a success.
Fast, Fun, and Friendly
The perfect virtual meeting icebreakers are quick, inclusive, and welcoming. Some of the most popular virtual meeting icebreakers include the following.
White Board Challenge
While you’re waiting for everyone to arrive (virtually) and settle in, you can invite participants to doodle on the white board screen. This virtual white board is easy enough to set up in Zoom (or other platforms) and engages a variety of creative thinking skills.
You can even take a screenshot of the board with everyone’s contributions and share the image as a fun virtual memento!
Fun and Games
For some meetings, nothing will work better to break the ice than a game. Some examples of easy-to-manage games include:
● Create short get-to-know-you questions and have participants use images to provide answers. (Perfect for questions like, “What’s your favorite movie?”)
● Set up quick trivia questions centered around pop culture knowledge. This is a great way to get participants familiar with the hand-raising feature used on most virtual meeting apps.
● Hold a Zoom Background Challenge, encouraging participants to select an outlandish background for their video call.
A scavenger hunt could take several forms. You could ask people to take pictures of common objects around their homes (condiments, for example, or office supplies). If you don’t want participants running away from their desks, you could show everyone a complex, crowded image (Where’s Waldo-style) and challenge participants to locate specific objects amid the clutter.
Word clouds usually begin with simple questions related to the topic of the day: What’s everybody excited about discussing in today’s meeting? Or, what is everyone nervous about? You can have participants submit one-word answers and use an online app to create a quick word cloud from all the responses.
Word clouds can help you break the ice with participants while simultaneously setting up your talking points for the meeting’s agenda.
Have a Meme Off
Whether you like it or not, memes are a significant and popular means of communication in online spaces. So, one good icebreaker is to invite everyone to share a meme that illustrates how they’re feeling regarding the day’s meeting (be sure to note, of course, that the memes must be appropriate for professional settings).
Sharing memes can help you start your meeting with a little creativity and energy, propelling the conversation forward.
Use That Energy!
A virtual meeting icebreaker is designed to facilitate interactivity by helping everyone feel comfortable, creative, and safe. They’re also a great way to build some momentum among participants so you can get your virtual meetings started on the right foot every time.
A successful virtual meeting requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. Want to make every virtual meeting an interactive success? Browse through our Virtual Training & E-Learning Resources, or register for a Making Zoom Interactive Crash Course today!