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15 Zoom Icebreakers to Energize Your Virtual Meetings
Zoom icebreakers for virtual meetings

15 Zoom Icebreakers to Energize Your Virtual Meetings

Michael DamAug 31, 20228 mins
3 Principles for Good Zoom Icebreakers

Zoom meetings saved many companies during the pandemic. That said, they may or may not have been something you looked forward to. We’ve probably all attended a Zoom call where the vibe was just off and no one felt compelled to talk.

The remedy is spelled Zoom icebreakers! A good Zoom icebreaker can take any meeting from awkward à la accidentally applying the kitten background to awesome. It can help remove barriers and act as a social lubricant. 

In this article, we’ll look into 15 Zoom icebreakers – which one do you choose for your next meeting?


3 Principles for Good Zoom Icebreakers

Before diving in, there are a few things to consider when choosing an icebreaker for Zoom meetings. A rule of thumb is that Zoom icebreakers should be:

  • Inclusive 

  • Quick

  • Valuable

Inclusive means that the icebreaker should contribute to people feeling more rather than less part of the group. For example, a bad Zoom icebreaker would be to ask everyone to share their favorite web development command when a designer is attending the meeting. 

Quick – the icebreaker activity shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Zoom meeting overwhelm is real, and no one wants the meeting to take more time than necessary.

Valuable can mean either fun or helpful (or both!). The best Zoom icebreakers remove the awkwardness and make everyone comfortable with contributing to the conversation. And what better way to make people feel better than shared laughter – or feel like they’re helping others?

15 Funny Zoom Icebreaker Games and Activities 

Raise Your Hand

Raise your Hand Zoom icebreaker

Raise your hand is a simple Zoom icebreaker. The facilitator shares one statement at a time, and everyone who agrees clicks the “Raise your hand” button in Zoom.

Make sure that the statements are light-hearted, interesting, and help uncover fun facts or hidden talents in the participants. 

  • How many people are suitable: 

This is one of the Zoom icebreakers ideals for smaller or mid-sized groups (10+ people). If the group is too large, the participants won’t be able to see the replies from the other participants on the screen.

  • Rules: 

The game leader reads a statement, for example, “I have gone skydiving at least once” or “I’m a cat person”. The game can take as much or as little time as you want, depending on the number of statements.


Emoji/GIF of the day 

Emoji of the day Zoom icebreaker

This is another game with super simple rules suitable for small or large groups. Emoji of the day is perfect when you have introverts onboard since it doesn’t require participants to share a lot in front of the others but still breaks the ice.

  • How many people are suitable: 

Emoji of the day works for smaller or bigger groups. 

  • Rules: 

Everyone posts an emoji or GIF in the group chat representing their current mood. This will hopefully bring laughter of recognition.


Weekend in a word

Weekend in a word Zoom icebreaker 

This is a good Zoom icebreaker for a Monday (morning) meeting.

  • How many people are suitable:

Like the emoji of the day activity, this is suitable for smaller or larger groups. 

  • Rules: 

Let everyone unmute themselves and share their weekend in one word. Alternatively, you can use the group chat – but it’s more personal and engaging to let everyone speak.


Share a photo

Share a photo Zoom icebreaker

The rules are as simple as the Zoom icebreakers mentioned above – but this activity gets more personal. 

  • How many people are suitable: 

Share a photo is suitable for smaller to medium-sized groups. With big groups, it risks getting too noisy, and there’s no time to react to the images.

  • Rules: 

Everyone shares a recent photo in the Zoom chat. It can be from a recent trip, a family photo, or something they’re passionate about. It’s recommended to let one participant at a time share. The person posting can then explain their choice in a few phrases. 


Guess the acronym

Guess the acronym Zoom icebreaker

This game requires a little more active participation and vivid imagination. In return, it can give rise to much laughter! 

  • How many people are suitable: 

Guess the acronym is a Zoom icebreaker best suited for mid-sized groups. If you have too small groups, less than five people, people can feel stressed about coming up with new ideas. With more people, there’s time to pause and listen to (and laugh at) the others’ responses. 

  • Rules: 

One person at a time shares an acronym (an abbreviation) – for example, “FTW”. The others get to respond. The one with the highest number of correct responses wins. Consider giving bonus points for creative answers, even if they’re technically incorrect.


Fun fact

You think you know your colleague. But do you really know them? This Zoom icebreaker will reveal fun facts probably unfamiliar to most within the team!

  • How many people are suitable: 

Fun fact is great for both smaller and larger groups; however, not more than 15 people to save time. 

  • Rules:

In a round-table fashion, everyone gets to share a fun fact. Keep it short and succinct, especially if you have a larger group. 


Virtual background challenge

Get ready for another simple Zoom icebreaker that can yield many laughs! 

  • How many people are suitable: 

The virtual background challenge is perfect for smaller or mid-sized groups. Ideally, the number of participants fit on one screen so that everyone can see the others’ options without clicking.

  • Rules: 

The rules are easy – everyone chooses a funny/silly/weird background! Get ready to laugh. Optional: take a screenshot and share it in the company chat or newsletter. 


Deserted island

You get to bring 1 thing to a deserted island – what’s your pick?

  • How many people are suitable: 

Since this Zoom icebreaker requires everyone to speak, it’s suitable for smaller or mid-sized groups.

  • Rules:

One by one, the participants unmute themselves and share their fictional choice. Optional is to provide a short motivation for their deserted island-essential.


Two truths and a lie

This is a classic activity to get to know each other – now in Zoom icebreaker format!

  • How many people are suitable: 

Two truths and a lie is ideal for smaller groups since it requires each participant to share, followed by a round of guessing. 

  • Rules: 

Participants take turns sharing two truths and a lie about themselves. The others can then guess which ones are truths and what the lie is.


This or that

This or that is another simple yet fun Zoom icebreaker activity. 

  • How many people are suitable: 

Thanks to its neat format, this is one of the Zoom icebreakers suitable even for large groups.  

  • Rules: 

The facilitator states two options like “cats or dogs?” and the participants get to vote. You can use the built-in poll feature to quickly engage everyone. 


Would you rather

may work better in a smaller group where people know each other more intimately, for example, a team or project team that’s been working together for a while.

  • How many people are suitable: 

This is suitable in a smaller group – the activity becomes more interactive if everyone can simultaneously unmute themselves.

  • Rules:

Each meeting attendee takes turns in sharing a statement on the form “would you rather {x or y}?” – for example, “would you rather have more time or more money?”. Encourage everyone to use light-hearted statements that are not too controversial – that can have the opposite effect. After the phrase is shared, everyone gets to share their choice. In a smaller setting, let everyone unmute themselves and say what they chose and maybe why.


Salesperson

This fun Zoom icebreaker game reveals the most skilled salesperson on your team!

  • How many people are suitable: 

Salesperson is suitable for smaller groups – it’s a perfect icebreaker activity for weekly team meetings.

  • Rules: 

Take turns letting the participants unmute themselves and “sell” one object of their choice – ideally something they have on or near their desk. This icebreaker often gets funnier the more mundane the object is. It can be a pair of scissors, a house plant, or a stapler. Optional is to gamify it and let everyone vote after each explanation whether or not they would buy the object.


Common ground

This Zoom icebreaker is suitable for larger groups. It's a fast and efficient way to get people to open up since everyone needs to share about themselves to complete the challenge. Perfect when you want an interactive icebreaker without wasting too much time!

  • How many people are suitable: 

This is suitable for larger groups since it will make it more of a fun challenge to find common ground. It may be done in pairs.

  • Rules: 

Divide participants into breakout rooms (smaller Zoom calls away from the main meeting). Place 2 to 5 people in each room and give a time limit of 3-5 minutes, depending on the group size. The goal is to find something that all participants have in common. Have you all been to another country or continent? Have you all had a pet at some point in your life? Everyone gathers in the main call and shares their findings when the time is out.


Work from home fails

Many of the previously mentioned Zoom icebreakers work fine even for people who don't know each other well. We saved this one for the (second) last since it requires participants to be much more comfortable with each other. 

  • How many people are suitable: 

This is one of the Zoom icebreakers better suited for smaller groups where people feel relatively comfortable opening up. Depending on your company culture, it may be best for teams that have worked together for a while.

  • Rules: 

Everyone gets to unmute themselves and share a work-from-home failure. Rightly done, this Zoom icebreaker invites laughter and gives the relief of knowing no one’s perfect behind the facades. We all make mistakes – time to celebrate them!


Happier hour

As the name suggests, this icebreaker activity comes in the form of a virtual happy hour! While it’s not one of those short icebreakers you throw in to warm up a Zoom meeting, it can break some serious ice and get participants to know each other. Consider having it on a Friday afternoon or after you’ve achieved a milestone. 

Happier hour lets everyone bring their beverage of choice (alcoholic or not) for some casual socializing. You can arrange breakout rooms for a few minutes of small talk if you have a larger group. 

Optional: Have a virtual wine/tea tasting (if you choose wine, remember to have alcohol-free options!). Everyone gets a small tasting kit sent home, and you try the beverages together.

Best Zoom Icebreaker Questions 

An alternative to a Zoom icebreaker game or activity is simply asking a question. Let everyone reply by unmuting themselves or in the chat, depending on the group size.

What’s Your Favorite

  1. What’s your favorite animal?

  2. What’s your favorite color?

  3. What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

  4. What’s your favorite book you’ve read?

  5. What’s your favorite Netflix show?

  6. What’s your favorite Harry Potter character?

  7. What’s your favorite season?

  8. What’s your favorite Zoom background?

  9. What’s your favorite toilet paper brand?

  10. What’s your favorite coffee shop? 

  11. What’s your favorite comfort food?

  12. What’s your favorite way to waste time online? 

Share

  1. Share the latest emoji you used on your phone!

  2. Share a picture of what’s inside your fridge

  3. Share a photo of your home office

  4. Share a GIF representing the Monday morning feeling (or Friday afternoon)

  5. Share a link to your favorite song 

  6. Share a picture of yourself as a child

  7. Share your best tip for de-stressing!

Would you rather

  1. Would you rather be able to get invisible or fly?

  2. Would you rather spend a month without Instagram or Facebook?

  3. Would you rather live in the desert or mountains?

  4. Would you rather steal someone’s lunch or have your lunch stolen?

  5. Would you rather time travel to the past or the future?

  6. Would you rather work from the beach or a mountain hut?

  7. Would you rather listen to only one song or eat only one dish for the rest of your life?

  8. Would you rather get rich or famous?

  9. Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?

Either-or questions

  1. City or countryside?

  2. Dolphins or sharks?

  3. Robots or dinosaurs?

  4. Road trip or flying?

  5. Running or walking?

  6. Early morning or late night?

  7. PC or Mac?

  8. Pause time or rewind time?

  9. Painful truth or comforting lie?

  10. Overly optimistic or overly pessimistic?

Food-related

  1. Do you eat breakfast? / What’s your favorite breakfast food?

  2. What’s your favorite restaurant?

  3. What’s the first thing you drink when you wake up?

  4. What’s the weirdest food combination you enjoy?

  5. What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten?

  6. What is the best meal you’ve ever had?

  7. What’s your favorite cuisine?

  8. Name a healthy food you enjoy

  9. What’s your favorite junk food?

  10. If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be? 

Zoom ice breaker questions for work 

  1. How would you describe your job to a 5-year-old?

  2. What do your family and friends think that you do every day?

  3. What’s your favorite part of your work?

  4. What is the weirdest job you’ve heard about?

  5. What is your standard lunch?

  6. What was your first job?

  7. Who was the first person you remember meeting when starting this job?

  8. What part of working from home do you enjoy the most? 

  9. What is the most challenging part of working from home?

  10. What helps you stay productive while working from home?

  11. Do you prefer to work in silence or with music?

  12. What is the weirdest place you’ve been working from? 

  13. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

  14. What common thing have you never done? 

  15. What compliment do people give you the most?

  16. What are you really good at?

  17. How would you describe yourself in three words?

  18. What’s the next item on your bucket list? 

  19. What’s something that instantly puts a smile on your face?

Zoom icebreaker questions for students 

  1. What is something you’re grateful for as a student?

  2. What is your favorite subject?

  3. If you had to write a textbook, what would it be on?

  4. What’s your dream job?

  5. Do you prefer multiple-choice or open-ended questions at exams?

  6. What do you miss about kindergarten?

  7. What’s your best study hack?

  8. Which class is both challenging and fun?

  9. What do people not get about studying (whatever their major is)?

  10. How did you choose college/university?

  11. How do you celebrate passing an exam?

  12. How do you motivate yourself to get stuff done?

  13. What is the first thing you will do when graduating?


Wrapping It Up

There are many ways to energize Zoom meetings with virtual icebreakers. The size of the meeting and how well people know each other are two main factors in choosing the best Zoom icebreaker. Ultimately, it's up to you to know your people and what kind of icebreakers would be appreciated.

Remember that a good icebreaker should be inclusive, quick, and valuable – either by being entertaining or educating. You can do it as an activity where everyone shares or answers a question or as a game. 

With a good icebreaker, people look forward to it instead of dreading your next Zoom meeting!

Michael Dam

Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.

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