15 Meeting Worthy Icebreaker Games
If you’re the one who sat in the back row of every class, avoids making small talk at all costs, and accidentally says “nothing much” every time someone asks you how you are, you are likely also the kind of person that cringes at the idea of ice breaker games.
Ice breaker games shouldn’t be relegated to summer camps because of the connotation of childishness they’ve been prescribed. In fact, these get-to-know-you games have as much of a place in business as anywhere… and no, they’re not all lame.
Teams of talented individuals are the foundation of every great business achievement. Being in business in any industry is being in the business of relationships.
Start nurturing fruitful relationships and setting a tone of commonality at any meeting or event using these curated ideas to “break the ice.”
1. Camera Roll Scavenger Hunt
Here’s an idea that’s appropriate for this selfie generation. Pick a photo from your camera roll that exemplifies your answer to the scavenger hunt questions. Favorite place you’ve traveled to. Something that always makes you smile. An “oops” moment. Or a #mood photo.
2. Group Mad Libs
Write out the theme of your meeting/event to use in a mad lib. Pick out the verbs, adjectives, and adverbs and omit them from the sentence, leaving a blank space. Have your meeting goers write down a correlating number of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; whichever ones first come to mind. Have them take turns reading the sentence filling in the blanks with the words they’ve written down. This ice breaker is sure to induce some laughs and liven up the room while introducing the meeting’s intent.
3. Hello My Name Is…
Buy a few sheets of “Hello My Name Is…” nametags. Instead of writing their real names, have everyone write down their very first email address. You’re bound to have a “bunnylover22” and a “sportsguy1993” to spark some fun conversation of their shameless youths.
4. Survey Spotlight
Not quite an “icebreaker game,” but it definitely has the same effect. Survey all your employees with a short email survey that includes both basic questions like “what is your favorite food?” and more dynamic, open-ended questions like “what is one unique fact about yourself?” Share these fun insights in an employee spotlight section of a weekly company email. Not only does this get employees more acquainted but also presents an opportunity for management to show employee appreciation.
5. Name Game
For an easy icebreaker game for quick intros that get people on a first name basis, go around the room and have everyone share their name and something they like that starts with the first letter of their name (ex. Hunter likes hamburgers). To spice up this icebreaker, have everyone repeat the names and ‘likes’ of all the people that preceded them before adding theirs to the list (ex. Hunter likes hamburgers. Adam likes astronomy. Rachel likes rollercoasters). Make sure the last person to go is up to the challenge!
6. Meme That Photo
Pick a photo that everyone can relate to. Maybe it’s a photo of someone using your product/service. It could be an ongoing joke in the office (just try to make sure it’s inclusive). After a few minutes of deliberation, have everyone share how they would caption the photo.
7. Egg Drop
Team building activities double as great icebreaker activities by forcing people to work together to solve a certain task. In this case, each team is given an egg and an allotment of craft material (paper, straws, glue, pipe cleaner, cotton balls, tape). The goal is to create a cradle for your egg strong enough that the egg won’t break from a six-foot drop.
Divide the group into two teams. Have them order themselves by superlative from left to right. Examples might include shortest to longest names (letter count), least to most amount of time with the company, closest to farthest birthday (from today’s date), or least to greatest number of siblings. The fastest team to finish each round gets a point.
9. What am I?
Everyone writes down a single word on a notecard that describes themselves or something they like to do. The instructions for what category of word to write is up to the discretion of the meeting’s conductor and the card could even be pre-written using words relevant to the meeting or event if desired. Collect and/or redistribute those cards, ensuring that no one received their own. (They cannot look at the card!) Everyone takes a turn placing the card on their forehead so that the rest can see the word. Non-cardholder’s help the cardholder figure out the word on their forehead by taking turns giving hints and descriptors.
10. Favorite Character
Pick your favorite character from the predetermined category (movies, television, books, history). Share with the group why you chose this character and what traits attract you to them. Lead into your discussion by asking how these characters would go about solving certain issues, then use those comments either as comedic relief or genuine insight to transition into how the team can troubleshoot those same talking points.
11. Pocket Items
As everyone enters the room, ask them to place one item from their pocket, wallet, purse, or bag into a basket (don’t worry, this is not a hold up). Everyone picks an item other than their own and has a few minutes to figure out who it belongs to. Return the items after explaining to the other person what your pocket item says about you. It may be a receipt from your favorite restaurant or explaining the screensaver on your phone.
12. Two Truths and a Lie
This is a classic “get to know you game”. After present three personal facts to the group, they get to guess which one of the three is the lie.
13. Q&A Mingle
Some icebreakers require a degree of forced participation. Use a question as a prompt for discussion. Have the participants mingle among the group sharing their thoughts and answers to the question presented. After reconvening as a group, have people share what insights they learned from other group members. A lot of people are too intimidated to share their thoughts in front of everyone but feel more comfortable sharing what they learned and admired about others.
14. Theme Song
Pick out your “theme song” and do a brief 30-second introduction to the group with your song playing in the background. Close out your intro by explaining your song choice or leave it open to interpretation.
15. Would You Rather
For smaller groups, have everyone write down one “would you rather” question that will be asked to the group. With larger groups, for the sake of time, prepare some questions ahead of time like “would you rather be fluent in every language or have a photographic memory?”
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