Breaking the Ice in Zoom Meetings

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
May 10, 2022
Updated on
Aug 4, 2022
Table of Content

As most of the world's workforce moves toward working remotely, Zoom meetings have become increasingly popular. Building a solid relationship with your coworkers improves communication and fosters trust. Teams are discovering that virtual icebreakers may encourage cordial, informal encounters online as more individuals work remotely. This facilitates the dismantling of barriers between distant team members and creates a more open and connected atmosphere.

However, according to statistics, around 65% of virtual teams never engage in icebreakers or trust-building activities during meetings. That's a lot of opportunities squandered! So, the next time you're hosting a remote meeting, try incorporating an icebreaker game to keep things lively.

We've put up a list of five of the finest internet icebreakers. They're all short, amusing, and easy to use, so select your favorite and bring it up at your next online Zoom meeting.

Zoom meetings pros and cons and why icebreakers are needed

Since Zoom became the go-to video conferencing platform for many businesses, using icebreakers in Zoom meetings has become more popular. But what are Zoom meetings without icebreakers? What are the benefits of using them, and why are they so important?

Pros

1. They help participants get to know one another: The main purpose of Zoom icebreakers is to help participants get to know each other. This is especially important for virtual meetings, since participants are unable to see each other's body language and facial expressions. By using icebreakers, participants can learn more about one another and build better relationships with their colleagues.

2. They help break the ice and make the meeting more fun: Another benefit of using icebreakers is that they can help break the ice and make the meeting more enjoyable. This is significant for long Zoom meetings where participants may start to feel bored or restless. Icebreakers can help inject some lifeblood into the meeting and make it more pleasant for everyone.

3. They help keep the meeting on track: In addition to being fun, icebreakers can also be useful for keeping the meeting on track. This is especially important for meetings that are running long or have a lot of information to cover. Icebreakers can help keep participants focused and engaged.

4. They can be used to start or end a meeting: Starting Zoom meetings with icebreakers can be an excellent way to get participants in the right frame of mind and set the tone for the meeting. Conversely, icebreakers at the end can also be a fun way to wrap up the meeting and help participants stay connected.

5. They can be used to introduce a new topic: Icebreakers can help participants learn more about each other and get excited about discussing new topics. It can also be a valuable tool for getting feedback from participants on a new subject at hand.

Icebreakers make it easier for people to connect with each other on a personal level, which can lead to better communication and collaboration down the line. And lastly, icebreakers are just plain fun!

Cons

1. They can be seen as a waste of time by some participants: This is definitely the biggest con of using icebreakers in Zoom meetings. Some participants may see them as a waste of time and feel that they could be doing something more productive instead.

2. They can disrupt the flow of the meeting: If not used correctly, icebreakers can disrupt the flow of the meeting. This is especially true if the facilitators dwell on the icebreaker for too long or if people are not motivated to participate. The agenda should always be considered when planning an icebreaker.

3. They can be awkward and uncomfortable: Icebreakers can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially if they are not well-planned or if the participants are not familiar with each other. Facilitators should always read the group and choose an icebreaker that will be fun, engaging, and appropriate for all participants.

What are icebreakers?

Icebreakers are activities that help create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in which people can get to know each other. They can be games, puzzles, questions or just simple conversation starters.

Icebreakers provide an opportunity for people to learn about each other in a fun and informal way, even in a workplace setting. This can make it easier for teams to build relationships and communicate effectively with one another. In addition, icebreakers can help lighten the mood when people are feeling shy or intimidated, especially in a new environment.

Why are icebreakers in meetings important?

The purpose of an icebreaker is to help people relax and get to know each other. Icebreakers can be as simple as asking people to introduce themselves by name and job title, or sharing a fun fact about themselves. So why is this crucial in a Zoom meeting?

When people first join a Zoom meeting, they may also feel anxious or uncertain. The icebreaker helps set people at ease and get everyone chatting. This can help people feel more comfortable and relaxed, which will make the meeting more productive.

In addition, icebreakers can help build team morale. By getting to know each other better, team members can develop a sense of camaraderie and trust. This can be especially important for remote teams, who may not have the opportunity to work together in person.

Icebreakers can also help to keep meetings on track. If people are chatting and getting to know each other, they may not be paying attention to the agenda. An icebreaker can help get everyone to refocus on the meeting’s goals.

Fun ideas for zoom ice breakers

1. Two Truths and a Lie

This is a game that most of us are familiar with and enjoy, and it allows colleagues to learn some unique, entertaining facts about one another. Everyone participates in this game by sharing three statements: two truths and one falsehood. The rest of the group then tries to figure out which assertion was false.

Even if you believe you know your coworkers or external partners well, this game will almost certainly uncover something you didn't expect or would have expected. Just a word of caution: try to keep things PG. There's no need to go crazy; we want everyone to have a good time, not feel uneasy.

2. "Would You Rather...?"

This is another classic game that's perfect for getting team members  to loosen up and laugh together. It's also a great way to get people thinking about their choices and preferences. The game is simple: the group leader asks a question starting with "Would you rather…," then everyone takes turns giving their answer.

Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • Would you rather take a trip to the beach or the mountains?
  • Would you rather have superhuman strength or the ability to read people's minds?
  • Would you rather eat only pizza or only tacos for the rest of your life?

3. The Animal Game

In this game, everyone gets to share a little bit about their personality by choosing an animal that they feel best represents them. Once everyone has chosen one, they take turns sharing why they picked that particular animal and what characteristics they share with it.

This is a great icebreaker for getting people to think about how they see themselves and what qualities they value most. It's also a fun way to learn more about your colleagues' personalities.

4. 333 Icebreaker Questions by GoRetro

GoRetro is a retrospective tool that helps teams reflect on their work and identify areas for improvement. But it also has a fun icebreaker game that can be played in Zoom meetings.

The game is simple: each person takes turns asking a question from the list of 333 icebreaker questions. The goal is to get to know your colleagues better and have some fun doing it.

You can also randomly generate fun questions from this icebreaker questions generator. It's much easier, and you can share your screen if you are the one facilitating the meeting.

5. The "10 Things" Game

In this game, everyone takes turns sharing ten things about themselves. These can be anything: favorite foods, hobbies, places you've traveled, etc. The goal is to learn more about your colleagues and find common interests.

This is an excellent icebreaker for getting people to share personal information in a safe and comfortable setting. It's also a good way to build team morale and relationships.

Final Thoughts

Icebreakers are a great way to get people to relax and have fun in Zoom meetings. They help people get to know each other better, which can lead to more productive meetings. In addition, icebreakers can help build team morale and keep meetings on track. If you're looking for ways to make your Zoom meetings more enjoyable and productive, try using icebreakers and see how they work for your team.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

Related Posts

Run team retrospectives easily, quickly, and absolutely FREE

get started
retro meeting art
Contact Us
Thank you! Your message has been sent!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Close