20 Quick Icebreakers for Meetings
Meetings don't have to be all work and no play. If you're looking for a quick and easy idea to liven up your next meeting, refer to these 20 icebreakers for inspiration. They'll have your team bonding in no time.
- Name That Throwback - Make a playlist of songs that were popular when your employees were in high school and college. Split into teams and play a short clip to see who can identify the hit tune the fastest.
- Five Things - If you have a weekly meeting, split up the weeks and give each employee five minutes at the beginning of the meeting to recommend five things they've recently discovered — a new favorite food, a book they've read, or music they like! You'll learn a lot about each other's interests.
- Best Prank Ever - Go around the table and ask employees to recount the best prank they've ever played — or that someone else played on them! You'll be sure to get everyone laughing — just make sure no one gets any ideas.
- Encouragement Circle - Go around the circle and have everyone say one encouraging thing to the person next to him or her. It can be a characteristic they admire, a project or task they completed admirably or something they've learned from that person.
- In Company History - Help employees understand more about the company by holding a quiz competition. You can break into teams or ask people to answer questions individually. Some possible questions: year of founding, busiest month, largest client, company motto, number of employees, etc. Award points based on accuracy, speed or both.
Coordinate exit interviews with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Match the Fact - Have employees write a silly fun fact about themselves on a scrap of paper. Read each fact out loud and see if everyone can match up the fun facts with the people who wrote them.
- Mash Up - Ask for two volunteers to stand up. They must count to three, then each say the first word they think of. Then, they must go again, both saying a word that meets in the middle for the two from before (for example, if the words were banana and animal, then they might both say monkey). Keep going until they get the same word.
- Who Am I? - Pin the name of a celebrity, character or even someone in your own office to the back of each employee. Set a timer, and each person must figure out who they are by asking the other employees only yes or no questions.
- Baby Picture Game - Ask for staff members to email photos of themselves as children dressed as a profession — maybe from Halloween or playing dress-up. Then, guess which person is pictured. You'll learn more about your employees as children, and get to laugh at some silly moments.
- Worst Job Stories - Go around the table and have co-workers tell a funny story about the worst job they've ever had. Then, ask everyone to share what they learned from that job. You'll get laughs and understand more what your employees value in their work environment.
- Keep Them Listening - At the beginning of each meeting, have someone (who is not running the meeting) give each person a word not commonly used in meetings. Each person marks down how often the word is used, and they can ask questions during the meeting to get the moderator to say their word. Whoever's word was said the most at the end wins. This game is sure to have your employees listening to your every word — literally.
- Jenga Questions - Buy a large Jenga set and write icebreaker questions on each brick. As each employee pulls out a brick, they must answer the question. Play until the tower falls!
- Egg-cellent Teamwork - Break your employees into teams. Give each team a random assortment of items (make sure each team has different items) like balloons, bubble wrap, popsicle sticks, etc. Each team must build a parachute/package for their egg so that when dropped from a tall height, the egg survives.
- Name That Reaction - Write a series of things that might happen in your office — for example, "The Wi-Fi goes out," "someone forgot to clean the office microwave," or "casual Friday" — and put them all in a hat. Then, have each employee pick a paper and act out how they would react to the news, while everyone else tries to guess the phrase or situation.
- Wacky Interview - Label three hats — Jobs, Adjectives and Miscellaneous. Have your employees place silly suggestions in each hat. For example, someone could put "rapper" for job, "smelly" for adjectives, and "Grandma's favorite" for miscellaneous. Each employee must draw one piece of paper from each hat. If someone drew the three things mentioned above, they would have to explain to the group why being "smelly" and "Grandma's favorite" qualifies them to be a "rapper."
- Drop the Blanket - Hold up a blanket between two random employees so that the other people can see both of them, but they can't see each other. Quickly let go of the blanket, and whichever employee says the other's name first wins. You'll be surprised how easily people will crack under the pressure! Play over and over until one person wins.
Organize a team-building event at an escape room with a sign up. SAMPLE
- March Madness - Turn the idea of "trashketball" on its head. Create a bracket of your employees, and have everyone fill one out, predicting who will win. Then, match up employees against each other throwing paper balls into a trashcan until you have a winner, and see whose bracket was the most accurate.
- Funny YouTube - Great for weekly meetings! Start off each week by letting one employee show his or her favorite funny YouTube video (make sure the video is work appropriate and under three minutes long).
- Funny Pet Stories - Almost everyone has a crazy pet story. Go around the circle and ask your employees to tell his or her funniest pet story, and you'll have everyone laughing.
- Match the Brand - Perfect for a marketing meeting, this game involves taking the words off of company logos and having your employees guess the company the logo belongs to. You can even make it into a competition to see who can identify it the fastest. Afterward, lead a discussion on the importance of brand recognition.
With these 20 icebreaker games, your team will get to know each other better, morale will be boosted and your next meeting will be off to a great start!
Kayla Rutledge is a college student who spends most of her time writing, singing for her church and eating quesadillas.
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