25 Zoom Icebreakers To Start Your Next Team Meeting

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many professionals like to start meetings and other virtual discussions with an icebreaker. Icebreakers are activities that teams can perform to learn more about each other and establish a positive mood for a meeting or discussion. If you are planning to lead a group activity or meeting via a video conference call, you might benefit from choosing an icebreaker with which to lead. In this article, we explain what Zoom icebreakers are and provide 25 ideas for your next team meeting.

What Are Zoom Icebreakers?

Zoom icebreakers are exercises that professionals can complete to help begin conversations or meetings over video calls. Icebreakers can help professionals feel more comfortable and may be a good opportunity for team bonding. Typically, icebreakers involve employees answering a specific question or sharing information about themselves, but you can customise the exercise to fit the needs of the team. The type of icebreaker you complete can also depend on factors such as:

  • Setting

  • Group dynamic

  • Time limits

  • Intention

Related: 10 Skills You Need For Team Building (And How To Develop Them)

25 Icebreakers To Try

Consider the following icebreaker ideas:

1. Quiz

Consider creating a quiz to send to participants. The quiz may be about a variety of topics, such as what you might discuss during the meeting or what you covered in a recent training session. Another option may be to make the quiz unrelated to work. You can make the quiz interactive and prompt participants to take it together during the meeting or send it beforehand so the professionals can share their results.

2. Silly joke contest

You can also start your meeting by asking participants if they know any silly jokes. These jokes can help improve the moods of the employees and encourage participants to laugh. Ensure that anyone who tells a joke knows to be work-appropriate and only jokes about trivial topics.

Related: 30 Icebreaker Games To Play With Your Team

3. Drawing challenge

Leverage the whiteboard feature on the Zoom app to ask team members to create drawings. Provide everyone with the same prompt of what to draw, then invite everyone to share their drawings. Another option may be to play a guessing game where an employee draws something, shares the picture and has everyone guess what it is.

Related: A Useful Guide To The Most Popular Video Conferencing Tools

4. Virtual workspace tours

Invite team members to give a virtual tour of their workspace. Encourage them to highlight their favourite aspects about their space or ask for advice about what they dislike. This may help people feel more connected to their workspaces and receive helpful feedback on improving their spaces.

Related: How To Work From Home Online

5. Alliteration game

Choose a random letter from the alphabet and select a team member to say a random word that begins with that letter. Once they say the word, they choose another team member to do the same. Aim to keep the chain going as long as possible until someone is unable to think of a word or provides a repeat answer.

6. Praise circle

Consider asking everyone to share something positive they admire about another professional on the team. This can help raise the self-esteem of employees and create an opportunity for feedback. To do this, you might use the gallery view feature and assign each team member to praise the person to the right of them on the screen.

7. Alien invasion

Divide your team into smaller breakout sessions and tell them to imagine aliens invaded the planet. As a team, challenge them to draw pictures of what your company does to help aliens understand its purpose. Bring the teams back together to share their drawings and try to find common themes among the drawings.

Related: 11 Ways To Collaborate With Your Team (With Benefits)

8. Fun questions

Asking fun questions is a simple way to encourage conversation. Try to pick a different question for each of your meetings and consider choosing questions relevant to particular themes or your meeting topic. You may ask random questions, such as each team member's favourite childhood TV show or what kind of food they like best.

Related: A Useful Guide For Sharing A Fun Fact About Yourself

9. Essentials

Learn more about what professionals consider the essentials in their lives. Give them a prompt about something essential in their life, such as their most essential kitchen appliance or app on their phone. Invite everyone to share their answer and explain why it's important to them.

10. Future headlines

Challenge everyone to write a news headline for the company in ten years. Provide them with a few minutes to brainstorm ideas and write their headline. Ask everyone to share their headline and how they chose it.

Related: Writing About Your Career Goals In A Scholarship Essay

11. Personality tests

Choose a personality test that you want everyone to complete. You may have everyone take the test before the meeting to reduce the time required or complete the test in real-time to watch their reactions. Survey the team to learn about their results and how they feel about them.

Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types

12. Themed backgrounds

Before your meeting, determine a prompt for virtual backgrounds. Challenge everyone to set their virtual background to something that aligns with the theme. Consider including a contest that allows everyone to vote on their favourite background from the meeting.

Related: What Is A Zoom Interview Background? (With Ideas And Tips)

13. Fast facts

Invite each team member to share a fun fact about themselves or something others may not know about them. Share your fact first to help reduce any pressure, then encourage others to share theirs. This helps everyone learn more about each other, even if the team already knows each other fairly well.

14. Deserted island

Prompt your team to imagine they get stranded on a deserted island. Ask them which five items they might want to bring with them. This may help show what each team member values and allow employees with similar interests to find each other.

15. Emojis

Emoji of the day is a simple icebreaker. Ask each team member to type the emoji that best describes their day into the chat feature. This engages everyone quickly and allows you to move on to other topics easily.

16. "Yes, and"

"Yes, and" stems from improvisation. It involves saying yes to the prompt someone else gives you and adding to it to continue the story. This may be helpful for stimulating creative thinking before a brainstorming session.

17. Sales pitch

Begin the meeting by asking everyone to choose a nearby item. Then explain they can try to sell the item to everyone else. Give each team member one minute to pitch the product and one minute to answer questions.

Related: How To Give An Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

18. Guess the song

Play short clips of songs and ask team members to guess the name of the song. You may also choose to play instrumental clips rather than the regular clips to make the game more competitive. Whoever guesses the most songs correctly wins.

19. Riddles

Provide your team with riddles or brain teasers to resolve. This may help stimulate creative thinking, making it particularly helpful before brainstorming sessions. It may also prompt friendly competition among team members to be the first person to determine the answer.

20. ABCs of gratitude

Assign each team member a letter of the alphabet. Ask them to talk about something or someone that starts with that letter that they are grateful for in life. This allows employees to reflect on their own experiences and learn more about each other.

21. Favourite polls

Ask everyone to share their favourite aspect from a particular topic. This may be a helpful way to discuss non-work-related matters before beginning the actual business of your meeting. Icebreakers like this one can help your team bond over shared interests.

22. Scavenger hunt

Prepare a list of items commonly found in homes and send your team on a virtual scavenger hunt. Set a time limit of approximately five minutes or less. Then ask everyone to show their findings.

23. Photo sharing

You might also prompt team members to share pictures that relate to certain topics. For example, you might ask that everyone share a picture of their pet or favourite animal. This is a quick icebreaker that can allow you to move on to other activities quickly.

24. Would you rather

When playing the game would you rather, participants choose between two options and explain their choice. For example, you might ask 'Would rather never eat your favourite food again or eat your least favourite food once a month?'. This is a fun, low-stakes exercise than can encourage professionals to consider situations they may not normally.

25. Crafts

If you have more time to invest in an icebreaker, you might consider completing a craft with the team. This can allow professionals to express their creativity and take time to complete an activity that they might not usually plan. If you plan this icebreaker, you might inform the team of the plan at least a week prior to give others the opportunity to gather supplies.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Explore more articles