Whether the group knows each other or it is simply a day when no one wants to be in the scheduled staff meeting, using an icebreaker game is a great way to get everyone relaxed and ready to go. Our list of meeting icebreaker games includes those for staff and team meetings, and for groups that know each other and have never met before. We have introductory icebreakers, icebreaker questions, spontaneous icebreakers, and those that take some advance preparation. Our list is complete enough it is sure to provide you with the perfect icebreaker to use in your meeting.
Table of Contents
- 1 Staff Meeting Icebreakers
- 2 Team Meeting Icebreakers
- 3 Introductory Icebreaker Games
- 4 Meeting Icebreaker Questions
- 5 Last Minute Icebreakers
- 6 Icebreakers That Take Some Preparation
Staff Meeting Icebreakers
These icebreakers for meetings help staff members feel comfortable sharing their ideas. They encourage open communication by relieving tensions and work stress, serving as an excellent way to start your staff meeting.
- For this game, arrange office chairs in a circle.
- Label each chair with the name of an animal.
- Staff members enact the gestures and sounds associated with each animal.
- Set a time limit – one minute works well – then have staff members rotate and imitate the animal labeled on their new chair.
This game not only is sure to generate laughs, but also get everybody relaxed and ready for the staff meeting.
This game gets staff members interacting and adds a fun element to your staff meeting.
- Choose names of celebrities – actors, actresses, and athletes for example.
- Tag each staff member on his or her back with the name of a celebrity.
- Make sure they do not know the name on their own back.
- Each staff member asks others for hints about the celebrity whose name they are wearing.
- After asking for clues from all of the group members, each person guesses the name of their celebrity.
No matter how long your staff members have worked together, they probably do not know everything about each other. This guessing game is a sure way to create laughter and break the ice at the beginning of a staff meeting. You will need pens and sticky notes or note cards.
Have staff members write down a statement about themselves that they believe the other staff members do not know. It may be something like, “I am afraid of dogs.” or “I have been to Alaska.” Then take up the statements, shuffle them up, read them, and have staff members guess to whom the statement belongs.
Did You See It?
Every day we walk into work through the same doors and reception area, past the same people, and take the same route to our desk. This staff-meeting icebreaker finds out how much attention we pay to our surroundings.
- Have staff members take turns asking each other about the workplace. For example, “What color is the receptionist wearing today?” or “What was the special in the lunchroom today?”
- The fun of this game is that most people will find these questions difficult to answer. If you wish, define a winner as the one with most correct answers.
Team Meeting Icebreakers
Icebreakers for team meetings are an excellent way to build team relationships. You can also use icebreakers to divide team members into smaller work groups.
This excellent icebreaker game not only helps team members get to know each other, but also allows them to share a talent they have.
- Ask each person to take a turn naming and sharing a talent. It can be anything – singing, storytelling, joke telling, dancing, or drawing. (They can use the whiteboard or paper.)
- Keep the performances short, no more than a minute or two.
- Before they start, have team members introduce themselves.
All Together Now
- Divide your team into groups of three or four people depending on the number in the team.
- Have the members in each group talk about themselves, their likes, dislike, and lives for 10 minutes.
- The goal for each group is to find three things in common to all of the members in the group. It can be anything such as loving to sing, liking the same food, or all having the same favorite movie.
Finding something in common fosters communication. This is an excellent icebreaker whenever you need to divide a large team into smaller groups.
We Are One
In this team meeting icebreaker game, a staff member announces a classification upon which team members are to organize themselves. For example, the announcer can ask all those with the same birth month to get together or those wearing the same color. Make sure you do so in an organized manner to avoid chaos.
If one group is too small, you can combine two categories, and if one is too large, you can either divide into two other categories or number them off and combine even and odds. This icebreaker for team meetings fosters team spirit and a sense of unity.
Introductory Icebreaker Games
Generally, one of the challenges of meetings is that not all of the participants know each other. Our collection of introductory icebreaker games makes sure meetings begin with everyone knowing each other and also recognizing and appreciating differences and similarities.
Who Am I?
- This icebreaker works well when meeting participants are seated around a table, or you can have them arrange their chairs in a circle.
- Ask each person to find out five things about the person sitting to their right.
- Allow three to five minutes for questions and then have each person introduce the person to their right to the rest of the group, telling what they know about them.
Mix It Up
People can meet each other through this icebreaker mingling activity.
- Have each person write down on a piece of paper a question to ask others in the meeting. They can use any question they wish, such as what they did on their last vacation or their favorite book or movie.
- The goal is to walk around the room, introduce themselves to each person and ask their question.
Another way to use this idea is to have people walk around the room introducing themselves to each other and finding someone with whom they have something in common.
Meeting Icebreaker Questions
As the name implies, meeting icebreaker questions are short, one-sentence questions used to get team or staff meeting members relaxed and ready to work. They are fun and provide a way for people to share something about themselves. Have meeting members take turns answering the same or different questions about themselves. You can create your own questions, or use one of the following:
- If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
- If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
- What is your favorite color? Why? (How does it make you feel?)
- If you could be friends with a celebrity, who would you choose and why?
- If you could choose to remain one age until you die, which age would you choose and why?
- What is your favorite movie and why?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose to meet and why?
- What are your favorite three foods?
- Is your favorite season spring, summer, fall, or winter? Why?
- If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you want to be stranded with and why?
- What is the favorite material object that you own? Why is it your favorite?
- If you could buy anything and price was no object, what would you buy and why?
- If you could go anywhere on a vacation, where would you go and why?
- What would you pick as a slogan for your life?
Last Minute Icebreakers
These fun icebreakers require no preparation, so they are excellent if you need something at the last minute. Read this section and keep these in mind for times when you need an icebreaker game in a hurry.
Two Truths and a Lie
A familiar game that requires no special planning, this icebreaker for meetings can be used with any size group.
- Have each person tell two truths and a lie about themselves.
- The others in the group must guess which thing is a lie.
- A variation is to have each person tell five facts, four of which are accurate, and one of which is not, and have the group guess the inaccurate fact.
As the name implies, this icebreaker consists of asking meeting participant four questions. You can either ask each person all four questions at once, or ask one question at a time to all participants. You can use any four questions, but the following questions work well:
- Your full name and what you like to be called.
- Tell us why you are here, if you know. If you do not know, say so.
- Did you choose to attend this meeting or were you told to do so? If told to do so, by whom.
- What is one thing you love about your job?
You may wish to have a predetermined individual go first or do so yourself to model what you want participants to do and help them be more comfortable. Keep your responses crisp and to the point.
Icebreakers That Take Some Preparation
These three meeting icebreakers take some preparation, but they are fun and guaranteed to get everyone relaxed and comfortable, and one includes candy – an instant energy boost!
An active meeting icebreaker, this one gets everyone up and moving. Before the meeting, create a list of ten to fifteen work scenarios based loosely upon the work environment. Put each scenario on a separate piece of paper, fold it, and drop it in a bowl or basket. Our list of examples is perfect for those in customer service:
- Dealing with an irate caller
- Having your computer crash in the middle of a phone call
- Spilling a drink on your desk
- Getting a personal call
Have each meeting participant pick a scenario and mime it to the group. The goal is for group members to guess the mimed situation correctly.
A colorful and fun meeting icebreaker, people are encouraged to talk about things they love, an excellent way to start a meeting on a positive note. Begin by emptying a package of M&Ms or Skittles into a bowl. On a sheet of poster board or the whiteboard write down what each color means:
- Yellow – a life goal you are working on
- Green – your favorite book or movie
- Orange – your favorite food
- Blue – one stressful thing about your job you wish you could improve
- Purple – favorite way to revive yourself during the workday
- Red – one thing you love about your job
You may need to vary the color or add categories depending on which type of candy you choose. Make sure you have enough for everyone to take at least five turns. Pass the bowl around the circle, having each person choose a candy and share based upon the color picked. It is all right if they pick the same color twice.
Prepare for this game by creating bingo cards of 25 squares for each person. Each square has a work-themed statement, instead of a number. Examples are:
- I exercise at my desk every day.
- I have a lucky piece of clothing or jewelry I wear to work.
- I bring my lunch to work every day.
- I stay at my desk at lunch most days.
- I know everybody in this meeting.
- I don’t know anybody in this meeting.
The goal is to find someone to whom each statement applies and write names in the squares. For a large group, have the goal to fill in a straight line, and for a smaller group, go with the most squares filled.
Meetings do not have to be boring and drag on-and-on. Adding one of our icebreaker ideas for meetings either as introductory exercises at the beginning or to get everyone energized half way through is an effective way to not only get people involved, but to guarantee participants have fun. Remember that people get more out of activities they enjoy, and meeting icebreaker games can instill fun in your team and staff meetings.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.