12 fun and engaging virtual icebreakers for remote meetings

Discover 12 fun icebreakers that will spark creativity, build connections, or simply inject fun into your next virtual meeting.

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To help build genuine connections and keep engagement high during virtual meetings, virtual icebreakers can help keep meeting attendees focused and feeling positive during planned remote meetings

With team members scattered across different locations and time zones, creating a sense of camaraderie and collaboration can be a real challenge. Done right, a virtual icebreaker can get everyone off on the right foot.

In this article, we'll share 12 fun, engaging, and thought-provoking icebreakers that are sure to energise your remote meetings. Get ready to infuse your gatherings with a new burst of energy!

What makes an effective icebreaker?

Icebreakers can be an excellent kicking off point if you want to make everyone feel connected and ready to dive into conversation. 

With the ice melted, team members may feel more comfortable with sharing their thoughts while working together. Ice breakers can enhance meetings by making them enjoyable and productive.

The key to a successful icebreaker lies in its ability to balance fun and purpose. A well-designed icebreaker can bring up themes that you’ll return to in the meeting itself. You can encourage meeting participants to think more creatively, following the initial energiser of the icebreaker. For instance, if you are running a meeting about new ways to serve your business customers, you could get attendees to each give an example, in any context, of when they’d experienced brilliant customer service themselves.

To ensure everyone feels comfortable participating, good icebreakers should be inclusive and respectful of diverse preferences. 

Some of your attendees may be introverted and less happy engaging in high-energy group icebreakers. Others may have outgoing personalities, but feel reluctant to participate in ‘planned fun’ as they would prefer the meeting to end quicker to get time back or other important tasks. 

An icebreaker should be brief, yet impactful, typically lasting no more than 5-10 minutes to avoid dragging on and losing momentum for the effective meeting you still need to run.

12 fun & engaging virtual icebreakers

These 12 virtual icebreakers can help kickstart your meetings and get everyone involved from the start.

Icebreakers to build camaraderie:

Emoji introductions: ask participants to introduce themselves using only emojis, sparking creativity and providing insight into their personalities. This activity is perfect for virtual meetings and can be a fun way to break the ice, especially for those who might be shy or hesitant to speak up. It's inclusive and allows everyone to express themselves in a unique way, fostering a sense of camaraderie and connection right from the start.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? Your favourite emoji 🥰

Two truths and a lie: each participant shares two truths and one lie about themselves, encouraging authenticity and bonding through shared experiences. This classic icebreaker encourages people to open up and share a bit about themselves in a lighthearted way. It's a great way to discover common interests and experiences within the group while also adding an element of intrigue and fun.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? Two truths and a lie 🙊

Virtual scavenger hunt: create a list of items for participants to find in their surroundings within a set time limit, promoting teamwork and interactive fun. This activity encourages participants to get up and move around, which can help combat Zoom fatigue and keep everyone engaged. It also fosters teamwork as participants work together to complete the scavenger hunt tasks.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A list of items to find 🗒️

Story time: invite participants to share a brief, amusing story from their week, fostering camaraderie and, hopefully, garnering a few laughs. Sharing stories helps people connect on a personal level while creating a sense of community within a virtual meeting space.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A story of each member’s choice 🗣️

Desert island discs: participants share the one album they would take with them to a desert island, sparking discussions about personal tastes and preferences. This icebreaker allows participants to express themselves through their musical choices and provides an opportunity for meaningful conversations about favourite songs and memories associated with them.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A couple of your favourite songs 🔈

Icebreakers for energising the group:

Name that tune: play short snippets of songs and challenge participants to guess the title or artist, adding a musical twist to your meeting. Music is a universal language that can bring people together and spark joy. This activity encourages active participation and friendly competition.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A song or two for the host to play 🎶

Pictionary relay: divide participants into teams and take turns drawing and guessing objects or phrases, encouraging teamwork and creativity. Pictionary is a classic game that never fails to entertain and engage, and by working together to decipher each other's drawings, helping strengthen team bonds in the process.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? Pen and paper, or a virtual whiteboard provided by your video conferencing software

Virtual background showcase: allow participants to showcase their virtual backgrounds and explain the significance or story behind their choice, adding a personal touch to the meeting. This activity encourages creativity and helps create a more visually interesting meeting environment.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A virtual background, provided by your video conferencing software

Speed networking: speed networking is a great way to foster professional relationships in a virtual setting, and utilise breakout rooms for short but meaningful one-on-one conversations.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? Breakout rooms, provided by your video conferencing software

Virtual coffee break: dedicate a few minutes for casual conversation and bonding over a virtual cuppa, creating a relaxed atmosphere for your meeting. Virtual coffee breaks provide an opportunity for participants to take a breather, recharge, and connect with each other in a more informal setting.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? Tea or coffee ☕

Icebreakers for sparking creativity:

Would you rather?: pose quirky questions with a UK twist, sparking creative and amusing discussions among participants. This activity encourages participants to think outside the box and share their preferences in a lighthearted manner.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? List of questions ❓

Problem-solving challenge: present a fictional UK-based scenario and brainstorm solutions in teams. This activity promotes critical thinking and teamwork while allowing participants to showcase their problem-solving skills.

  • Ideal group size: Small, medium, large
  • Anything extra needed? A couple of ideas to get started with 💡

Conclusion

Virtual icebreakers aren’t just a quick diversion before a meeting kicks off in earnest. Done right, they can enhance team cohesion and productivity while creating an inclusive meeting environment. They provide a platform for experimentation and adaptation to various meeting objectives, ensuring each gathering is tailored to its unique goals. 

While the primary focus is to run effective meetings, incorporating icebreakers can elevate engagement levels and foster rapport among employees – even in a virtual setting. 

Try one of these interactive icebreakers to enhance your next team video call, and start building stronger and more connected teams.

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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