You don’t want people to feel awkward when you’re hosting a virtual meeting or event. You hope everyone feels comfortable enough to speak up and participate. Good news: these virtual icebreaker ideas can help you achieve just that.
We’ve got tons of different virtual icebreaker games and ideas to inspire you. Below, you’ll find activities you can do with zero preparation, as well as more complex ideas that require some planning.
What’s in this guide:
- What is a virtual icebreaker?
- Different types of virtual icebreakers games, ideas, and when to use them
- Fun virtual icebreaker games and activities
- Quick and snappy icebreaker questions for meetings
- Virtual icebreaker games and ideas for large groups
- Funny virtual icebreakers to share some laughs with virtual teams
- Reasons to kick off your virtual meetings with icebreakers
- FAQs about virtual icebreaker
What is a virtual icebreaker?
A virtual icebreaker is an activity, game, idea, or a question that encourages participation from the attendees of a virtual meeting or event. A great icebreaker should happen at the beginning of the event, immediately engage everyone and put them at ease, and make it easier for participants to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions throughout the event. By kickstarting things with an element of group participation, icebreakers can also help you capture virtual attention spans and hold them for longer.
Different types of virtual icebreakers and when to use them
We’ve separated our list of virtual icebreakers and ideas into different categories to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
- Fun virtual icebreaker games and activities – These games range from simple to complex. They’re great for adding an element of team-building to your meeting or event. So if you’re looking for team building activities, check out this list.
- Quick and snappy icebreaker questions for meetings – Icebreaker questions are great for kickstarting a meeting with group participation—without derailing the purpose of the meeting with a longer activity.
- Virtual icebreakers games and ideas for large groups – When you have a large group, you need to think creatively. You can break people into smaller groups for the icebreaker activities or lead the entire group in something you can all do together, like a workout. These ideas can work really well to engage your remote teams all at once.
- Funny icebreakers to share some laughs – Humor is an important part of a healthy workplace. By kickstarting your virtual meeting or event with some funny icebreakers, you can remind everyone in your remote teams why they love being a part of your organization.
- Icebreaker games and activities to spark creativity – Are you solving a big problem? Do you need to think outside of the box? Try icebreakers that are designed specifically to get people in their creative thinking mode.
Let’s explore the complete list of games and ideas 👇
Fun virtual icebreaker games and activities
These simple icebreaker activities can work for just about any type of virtual event.
Charades is a simple game that can easily be played virtually. As the event manager, you can break people up into teams and assign one team member at a time a word or phrase to act out. The other team needs to guess. Whichever team has the most correct guesses wins.
2. Two truths and a lie
To play two truths and a lie, all you have to do is tell two truths about yourself and one lie. Then ask everyone to guess which statement is the lie. Take turns doing this activity as a team, and everyone will get to learn more about each other.
This activity can spur collaboration and bonding amongst people in remote teams as they get a chance to know each other more meaningfully.
3. Would you rather
This is a silly game that attempts to pit ridiculous options against each other for a scenario that would never happen in real life. Take turns asking questions like, “Would you rather be stranded on an island or on the moon?”
4. A Haiku Jam
A haiku is a style of Japanese poetry that has three lines (with five syllables for the first line, seven for the second, and five for the third). Teach your team about this basic structure and give them a prompt for inspiration. In a virtual environment, you could ask them to write a haiku about work-life balance, their goals, their favorite hobby, or what makes a great leader. Then take turns sharing the poems out loud.
5. Company-specific Pictionary
Pictionary is similar to charades, except that people draw pictures instead of acting out the phrase or word assigned to them. To make the game more interesting, have all of the prompts be related to your company, industry, or event theme.
6. A group discussion
Kick things off with a group discussion. If you’re hosting an event on diversity, equity, and inclusion, you could ask everyone to discuss how they identify and resolve their own biases. If you’re hosting a virtual company retreat, have everyone share their favorite way to relax and recharge.
7. Collaborative mind-mapping
Mind-mapping is a simple visual activity that works great virtually. Have your team create a mind map together to brainstorm ideas for your next in-person event, product launch, campaign, or anything else. Try using a virtual whiteboard like Miro or Witeboard to make it easy to work together virtually.
8. Virtual show and tell
Little kids absolutely love show and tell days at school, and to be honest; adults are no different. We all have things we’re proud of and would love to share if given a chance. Take turns sharing items from your home on screen, such as a craft project you just completed, an award your child won, or anything else you love.
9. Share your role model
Encourage everyone to share one of their personal or professional role models. Have them describe who the person is, why they view them as a role model, and what they’ve learned from them.
10. Share inspiration sources
For this icebreaker activity, all you need to do is ask everyone to share their favorite sources for inspiration. For example, if the meeting is for a company in the fashion industry, you could ask everyone to share their favorite websites or stores for fashion inspo. If the meeting is for a marketing team, ask everyone how they stay up on marketing trends.
Quick and snappy icebreaker questions for meetings
Meetings don’t offer a lot of time for activities. Answering virtual icebreaker questions can be a more efficient way to kickstart collaboration.
11. What are you looking forward to this month?
This question is great for getting your workmates to open up and talk about what matters to them. Share concerts, events, and family get-togethers you’re looking forward to. If you’re managing remote teams, then starting the meeting with this question can also help initiate productive conversations about planning your month.
12. What’s your favorite productivity tip?
Want your team to continuously work on their productivity? Kick off your meeting with this question so everyone can share their practical advice.
13. How do you maintain work-life balance?
This question is great for encouraging discussion around holistic living. If you want to improve company culture, this icebreaker can help remind everyone that you care about their well-being and open up the conversation for resources and help.
14. What do you love the most about collaborating with our team?
Encourage your workmates to share what they enjoy about working together. This is great for positive reinforcement.
15. What are you currently doing for professional growth and development?
This icebreaker question is perfect for meetings because it encourages people to share their goals and approach to professional development. Everyone can learn from each other.
16. What’s a hobby you do just for the fun of it?
In today’s world of side hustles, it’s nice to have hobbies that aren’t monetized. Encourage meeting attendees to share their own.
17. What’s a trend you refuse to follow?
Got some rebels in your company? Kick off your next meeting by having everyone share a trend they won’t follow, whether it’s waking up at 5am or wearing bell-bottom jeans.
18. If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Spark some daydreaming by asking everyone where they’d love to travel. This can give attendees new places to add to their bucket lists while helping them learn more about each other.
19. What skill are you proud of?
This is a great icebreaker question for managers who want to learn more about their attendees and team. When you know what skills people are proud of, you can delegate tasks better.
20. What motivates you?
With this icebreaker question, managers and colleagues can dive into the inner workings of everyone on their team. When we understand what motivates each other, we can offer better criticism, praise, etc.
Virtual icebreakers games and ideas for large groups
Hosting a virtual event for a large group? It’s much trickier to get everyone involved with your icebreaker, but it’s not impossible Try these smart ideas designed specifically for bigger groups and have a blast at your annual virtual events or conferences.
21. Speed networking
Virtual speed networking is a fantastic way to drive participation from all attendees. You can allow attendees to chat about whatever they want or ask them to answer one of our icebreaker questions listed above. Use virtual speed networking software to make this idea easy to implement.
22. Virtual dance party
The larger your group, the harder it will be to create an activity that everyone can do together. A virtual dance party just might be the solution. You could hire a DJ to pump some jams and dance on screen. Then encourage everyone to bop around to the music for a few minutes. This fun moment will set the stage for the rest of your event.
23. Guided yoga or workout session
Exercise is also a great way to break the ice. Hire a yoga teacher or personal trainer who can guide everyone through a short workout that doesn’t require special equipment. By getting people’s blood pumping, it’ll be easier to captivate their attention throughout the event.
24. Virtual book swap
Another great virtual icebreaker idea is to host a book swap. Use Airmeet’s breakout rooms to automatically group your attendees into pairs. During a quick 10-minute session, they can talk about the book they want to recommend. If this is a team meeting, you as the event host could then take book orders and ship the books for each partner. If you’re going to go that route, ask attendees to only recommend books that are relevant to your industry, so it’s a professional development opportunity.
This is also a great idea to kickstart collaboration during team building activities.
25. Virtual gift exchange
This idea works like a charm for large teams or teams where you want to improve alignment (such as marketing and sales). Here’s how it works: at the start of your event, use breakout rooms to separate everyone into pairs. During the breakout room, have each coworker talk about what they need help with. The other person can offer the gift of their time or a certain resource to help address this need. Then swap and let the second person share a need.
26. Virtual scavenger hunt
Organize a virtual scavenger hunt by coming up with a list of items people need to find in order to win. Add basic household items like mugs or pillows, as well as items not everyone will have on hand, like peacock feathers or Allen wrenches, to make things more interesting.
To make it easy to host your own virtual scavenger hunt, you could use a company like Confetti or TeamBuilding.
27. Use breakout rooms
You can take any activity or idea on this list and apply it to a large group simply by using breakout rooms. For example, you could play charades or two truths and a lie by breaking a large audience into groups of 6 people.
Funny icebreakers to share some laughs
Humor can lighten the mood and help everyone feel welcomed and comfortable at your event. Try these funny virtual icebreakers.
28. Share the worst advice you ever got
We’ve all received terrible advice at one point in our lives. Have participants share the worst advice they’ve received relating to career, college, parenting, etc. Make sure to tell everyone not to share any bad advice received from others on the call (that little warning will be sure to get a laugh too).
29. Virtual talent show
With a virtual talent show, you can get everyone laughing—even if not everyone performs. Before the event, have a sign-up sheet where people can volunteer to participate. Let your attendees know that the point is to have fun, not to be perfect. Encourage people to sing, dance, juggle, or share whatever tricks they’ve got up their sleeves.
30. Virtual karaoke
You can also host virtual karaoke. You could schedule 3 to 7 karaoke performances (use a sign-up sheet so people can request a song beforehand).
Although only the performer will have their mic on, encourage all of the attendees to sing along. Display the lyrics on screen using a karaoke video from YouTube. Ask attendees to stand up and sing their hearts out. This will get everyone’s blood pumping and keep the laughter flowing.
31. Virtual stand-up comedy
To kickstart your event with tons of laughs, try virtual stand-up comedy. Ask the funniest people at your company to do a stint, or have a sign-up sheet so everyone can participate. Remind people that they can tell corny dad jokes so they don’t feel pressured to perform like a pro. You might also want to request that people keep the jokes clean and appropriate.
32. Share embarrassing stories
It can be a fun icebreaker to share some funny, embarrassing stories. If your team is bold and brave, this idea will be perfect. Have everyone take turns telling the story of one of their most embarrassing moments. The ice will be so broken; it’ll be shattered.
33. Do impressions
You can also take turns doing impressions. Maybe have everyone impersonate their favorite celebrity, an animal, or (sorry mom) some ridiculous advice their mom always nags them about. Let everyone choose the animal, person, or thing they want to impersonate, or offer a prompt to narrow down the options.
34. Host a joke-telling class
Kickstart your event with a quick class on how to be funny. After all, there’s a science to just about everything. Hire a professional comedian to teach attendees how to come up with their own jokes. Then have everyone share what they’ve come up with.
35. Share your favorite funny TikToks
Close friends and family members love to send each other links to funny TikTok videos. It’s an easy way to stay connected. Why not do this as a team? At the beginning of your next virtual meeting, ask everyone to share a work-appropriate TikTok video in the chat. Then choose 3 or 4 to play live during the meeting and encourage everyone to watch the rest later. This is a super simple way to get some laughs.
Icebreaker games and activities to spark creativity
To get your team thinking creatively and ready to solve problems, use these icebreaker games.
36. Draw cartoon characters
Coming up with your own cartoon character is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing. Share this tutorial inspired by Pixar’s character creation strategy to help your team members take their ideas to the next level. Then, take turns sharing your creations and what makes that character special.
37. Solve a murder together
Creativity and problem-solving go hand-in-hand, which is exactly why solving a murder can be such an effective way to boost creativity. It’s one of the most effective virtual team ice breakers to try. You can purchase kits from Hunt a Killer and mail out the clues before your virtual event. Or, check out Wildgoose to help you plan a completely virtual murder mystery experience.
38. Break out into teams and pitch movie concepts
Who are some of the most creative people on the planet? Screenwriters, of course. You can emulate their genius by having your event attendees break into teams, come up with movie concepts, and share them together. Use the Beat Sheet framework (a 15-point format created by screenwriter Blake Snyder) to give participants a storytelling template to follow. You could also offer prompts like pitching a futuristic movie concept where the main character is an outcast.
39. Find your way out of a virtual escape room
Escape rooms force you to think outside of the box and work collaboratively to win. Although these experiences are commonly done in person, they can work virtually as well. Your team could be stuck in a basement, castle, or fantasy land. Consider using a company like Mystery or Escapely for your virtual escape room.
40. Brainstorm and pitch product ideas
Separate large groups into 2 or 3 teams. Have them discuss ways to solve a problem with a new product. Then have each team draw a prototype of their proposed product, and review them together. Google’s Design Sprint helps teams come up with product ideas to solve a problem. It consists of 5 steps (Understand, Sketch, Decide, Prototype, and Test). This methodology is popular amongst entrepreneurs, but it makes for a great mini-activity to get everyone in the creative mood.
5 reasons to kick off your next virtual meeting with icebreakers
In case you’re feeling tempted to ignore these virtual icebreaker ideas and go back to your old way of doing things, allow us to motivate you.
Here are five reasons it’s worth investing time and effort into online icebreakers.
1. Boost team morale
Icebreakers for virtual meetings tend to uplift the mood of the event. They make things fun and silly. For instance, a virtual dance party can boost team morale, help people have a great day, and cultivate positive emotions that will make the event memorable and long-lasting. Virtual team building icebreakers are especially important for teams that don’t get much face-to-face interaction.
2. Encourage active participation
Icebreaker activities and questions also help to get more people involved. Instead of a virtual room full of passive bystanders, you have active participants. Just one simple game, like two truths and a lie, can drive participation from all attendees.
3. Kill awkwardness
Virtual team icebreakers are also great for eliminating awkwardness. They get nervous energy out of the way by kickstarting meetings with participation. If someone has already spoken up to share their opinion during an icebreaker group discussion, it’ll be a lot easier for them to later share their opinion on your latest business initiative.
4. Increase engagement throughout the event
Because icebreaker activities get attendees involved right from the start, they can help wake people up and liven up the room. This can increase attendee engagement throughout the rest of the event or your meeting, making it more likely that people are paying attention.
5. Build connections
Whether through virtual speed networking or collaboration to solve a murder, virtual activities help to forge connections between your attendees. This can make your team, customer base, or community stronger and more engaged over time.
FAQs about virtual icebreakers
You asked. We’re answering. Read on for frequently asked questions about virtual icebreaker activities.
What are some good virtual icebreakers?
Some of the best online icebreakers include simple questions like, “Where are you tuning in from?” games like two truths and a lie or charades, and activities like virtual dance parties and group exercise sessions.
What are some good virtual icebreaker games?
The best virtual icebreaker games include would you rather, Pictionary, collaborative mind-mapping, show and tell, murder mysteries, virtual escape rooms, virtual karaoke, and virtual scavenger hunts.
What are some good virtual icebreakers for work?
For short team meetings, try icebreaker questions like “What are you looking forward to this month?” or “What do you love the most about collaborating with our team?” For longer team events, you could try creative, problem-solving games like pitching movie concepts, coming up with product ideas, or solving a murder mystery together.
What is a fun virtual icebreaker?
If you’re looking for a fun online icebreaker that doesn’t require a big investment of time, money, or effort to setup, we highly recommend doing a quick virtual dance party. Turn on an upbeat song and encourage everyone to get up and dance. This icebreaker will lure everyone out of passive viewer mode and get the energy flowing. Allow attendees to leave their cameras on or off, whatever they choose.
What is a fun, quick icebreaker?
When you’re looking for a fun icebreaker that doesn’t take up too much time, look no further than impersonations. You don’t need any special equipment, and everyone can get involved. Allow each person to choose an animal, person, or thing to impersonate. You might find that someone can sound exactly like Jim Carey, and someone else does an excellent dolphin.
What are some fun ways to start a virtual meeting?
To kickstart a virtual meeting with a quick dose of fun, try playing two truths and a lie, sharing embarrassing stories, doing impersonations, setting up speed networking, drawing cartoon characters (and laughing at each other’s bad drawing skills), or hosting a short virtual dance party.
And just like that, you’re a pro virtual host
Use games and activities to bring everyone together for your next virtual retreat. For team meetings, rely on creative games to spark collaboration. And at your next live event, engage attendees with icebreaker questions or dance parties.
With Airmeet, it’s easy to make every attendee feel like part of the show. Our AX360 platform connects attendees in meaningful ways through our Social Lounges, Fluid Spaces, Breakout Rooms, Polls, Interactive Chat, and more. You can use all of these features to put your favorite virtual icebreaker ideas into action.
Learn more about how you can engage all event participants with Airmee