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Best Ice Breaker Games for Your Team Meetings

Best Ice Breaker Games for Your Team Meetings

So you’re planning an important team meeting, and there’s a lot riding on this meeting.

How do you ease everyone into the meeting, and pave the way for a productive discussion? In this blog post, we will share 13 great ice breaker games that you can use to loosen everyone up and start your meeting on a positive note. 

Here’s a quick overview of ice breaker games we are going to discuss:

  1. Pop quiz
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Who did this?
  4. How I communicate
  5. Two truths, one lie
  6. One million dollars
  7. My favorite quote
  8. Pass it on
  9. Things in common
  10. Guess my name
  11. Poker face
  12. Would you rather
  13. Find the shoe

Icebreaker #1: Pop quiz

Picture this: you’ve planned a meeting to present the latest customer service initiatives to the big bosses… but none of them are familiar with what your team does, and they’d rather spend their time and energy on going through marketing or sales strategies instead.

To get these folks interested in what your team does, present them with a series of fun facts as a pop quiz, and get them guessing. Here are some sample questions:

  • How much has the company generated in referral revenue in the past year?
  • What is the company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
  • On average, how many people write to the company every month to compliment it?
  • How many live chat inquiries have our chatbot handled last week?
  • How many customer service tickets are created per month?

Icebreaker #2: Where are you from?

If you have a diverse team, and you want to celebrate said diversity, one easy way of doing this is to get everyone to share where they’re from, or where they were born.

To make this more interesting, get each participant to share clues about where they’re from, instead of outrightly saying, “I was born in France/America/Japan.” Here are some examples:

  • I’m from a country where people traditionally eat KFC during Christmas
  • I’m from the country that has the lowest crime rate in the world
  • I’m from the largest country in the EU

Icebreaker #3: Who did this?

This ice breaker game works great if you’re organizing a meeting that will be attended by two or more representatives from each team. For the game to work, each participant at least has to know a piece of interesting or trivia information about at least one other person in the room.

To play, you simply share a fun fact about someone else in the room. For instance:

  • This person has visited 50 countries
  • This person teaches hip hop in their spare time
  • This person has hiked to the base camp of Mount Everest 

From there, everyone else in the meeting has to guess who the fun fact is about.

Icebreaker #4: How I communicate

If you’re meeting with a bunch of old-school senior executives, these folks may prefer an ice-breaker that’s more serious and related to work (instead of an actual game).

With this type of audience, we recommend discussing best-selling author and leadership coach Mark Murphy’s four communication styles (Analytical, Intuitive, Functional, and Personal), and getting everyone to share which style they identify with the most.

This helps everyone to understand each other’s communication methods and builds a great foundation for a fruitful discussion.

Besides, you can also use project management software to discuss only important things about your business projects. It will save you a lot of time and result in a meaningful dialogue.

Icebreaker #5: Two truths, one lie

Two truths, one lie is a fun game that’s designed to get everyone talking.

In this game, each participant takes turns sharing three statements, two of which are truths, and one of which is a lie. After they’ve shared all three statements, it’s up to everyone else to decide which statement is the lie.

When playing this game, people often discover plenty of interesting facts about their colleagues that they might not have known before. Things can also get pretty heated, as participants debate which statements are truthful and which are not! 

Icebreaker #6: One million dollars

In this simple game, you get everyone to answer the same question: If you had one million dollars to do {X}, what would you do?

If you’re in an HR meeting, the question might be: if you had a million dollars to improve employee engagement, what would you do?

If you’re in a marketing meeting, the question might be: if you had a million dollars to go viral on social media, what would you do?

This icebreaker might not generate realistic, usable ideas, but that’s okay. The key here is to get everyone thinking and get the team’s creative juices flowing.

Icebreaker #7: My favorite quote

This icebreaker is an easy way of starting off your meeting on a feel-good note. In the icebreaker, each participant takes turns to share their favorite inspirational, management quotes, and discuss what it means to them. 

If you want to go one step further, you can even share theme-specific quotes (such as sales quotes as a sales team, marketing quotes as a marketing team etc.)

At the end of the icebreaker, you’ll come away with additional insight into each of your team members’ psyches. 

Icebreaker #8: Pass it on

Again, this is another feel-good icebreaker that helps you start your meeting on a positive note. Participants choose someone else to compliment, and the icebreaker continues until everyone in the meeting has received a compliment. 

For best results, encourage participants to make their compliments as precise and specific as possible. For example, “I admire your work ethic, and I enjoy working with you on projects because I know I can always count on you,” is a lot more powerful than “You’re doing a great job at work.” 

Pro-tip: you can easily create a spinoff of this icebreaker and use it as an employee appreciation exercise. For example, in their weekly team meetings, get your managers to take five minutes to recognize each of their team members, and commend them on something they’ve done in the past week. 

Icebreaker #9: Things in common

To build camaraderie and rapport, divide your participants into small groups, and ask each group to find things that they have in common.

Instead of physical characteristics (e.g. we’re all wearing red today, we all have brown hair), it’s better to focus on shared hobbies, interests, and traits. 

Icebreaker #10: Guess my name

To play this light-hearted icebreaker, write down names of famous celebrities or personalities on post-it notes, then stick a post-it note on each participant’s back. From there, get participants to mingle and ask each other questions, with the goal of figuring out which celebrity they are.

This icebreaker works best if you pick iconic celebrities or personalities (think Michael Jackson, and Barack Obama) who are recognizable by people regardless of their gender, age or country.  

Icebreaker #11: Poker face 

This icebreaker is simple, but a ton of fun: tell your participants that they need to keep a straight face for five minutes and that they may not smile.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but people somehow find it hard to suppress their smiles immediately after hearing these instructions. It won’t take long for the first person to break out into laughter, and soon you’ll have the whole room chuckling. You can also choose this ice breaker game if you’re working remotely. In this case, you can use video conferencing software and you’ll see a wall of straight faces on your screen (which is not necessarily easier).

Icebreaker #12: Would you rather

“Would you rather” is a quick, no-brainer game that functions as a great icebreaker.

To play this game, simply ask each participant to ask the team a “Would you rather” question. To make it more exciting, plan it such that the person with the most challenging question (i.e. the question that gets the evenest number of votes for either option) gets a prize. 

Icebreaker #13: Find the shoe

This last icebreaker gets everyone moving and mingling, and it’s a great way to get those energy levels up before a long meeting.

To start off, get everyone to take off their shoes at the door. You may leave one shoe at the door, but collect the other shoe from each pair, and then redistribute the shoes to everyone so that each participant is holding a shoe that isn’t theirs.

From here, everyone has five minutes to find the owner of the shoe that they’re holding, and learn a fun fact about them.

These games are simple and a great way to break the ice in a light-hearted manner. These light activities are meant to break the stress, tension, and awkwardness which eventually leads to a successful corporate meeting. Keep it fun and set everyone straight for the goals! 

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About the author

Will is the founder and CEO of UpLead, a B2B lead generation tool used by reputable companies such as Google, Salesforce, and Dropbox. UpLead makes it easy for you to build targeted prospect lists, and connect with your ideal customers.