Icebreakers are often-overlooked but important parts of group meetings. What is an icebreaker? It's a low-pressure activity at the beginning of the meeting that could be a light personal question or a short game. Every member of the meeting speaks and contributes in zoom icebreakers for large groups, and there's no goal or external pressure involved.
Many people think of icebreakers in the context of in-person meetings, but there are many benefits to adding them to your zoom meetings as well. Here are five reasons to include icebreakers and some ideas you can implement in your next virtual meeting.
Opportunities To Have Fun
Even in creative work environments, there aren't many opportunities to have fun at work. A quick icebreaker is a great way to invigorate a team in the middle of a workday by allowing them to be witty and casual. This small break can free up the mind and help the team with difficult tasks during the meeting.
A few examples of some fun-forward icebreakers include:
- Photo showcase: each team member shares a photo they've taken that week and speaks about it briefly
- Two truths and a lie: each team member makes three statements, and the others in the group guess which is untrue
- Virtual Pictionary: customize zoom backgrounds so that the center of the screen is blank, and each team member takes turns drawing a prompt while the others guess
- Fun facts: each team member shares a little-known fact about themselves
- Show and tell: each team member shows off a personal object on their office desk and talks about its significance
Keeping Teammates Motivated
Very few people look forward to work meetings over the course of the day, even though they're important for team cohesion. Adding fun icebreakers that are different every meeting can provide an incentive and get employees excited about these meetings. Since the team is engaged with the icebreaker, they'll be more motivated in the meeting as well.
Getting Rid of Nervousness
Speaking in groups doesn't come naturally to most people, but in an icebreaker, the pressure is off. Newer or shier team members who may be nervous about speaking on camera or unsure of how the group will perceive them benefit from icebreakers. Once they speak in the low-pressure environment of the game, they naturally begin to relax as they've faced their minor fear.
Encouraging Teammates To Contribute
Meetings work best when every team member contributes and isn't afraid to speak. Since all team members participate in an icebreaker, that sets the tone for the rest of the meeting. By allowing all members a free chance to speak up, you encourage their participation in work topics down the line.
Facilitating Team Bonding
All teams work more effectively when the people involved aren't strangers to each other. Learning small facts about coworkers and seeing how they respond to minor challenges and games brings a team closer together. The team is more likely to cooperate and support each other in and out of the meeting if efforts are made toward team bonding.
Icebreakers are important in virtual meetings as well as in-person ones. Whether it's a fun google meet custom background or a get-to-know-you game, incorporate these activities in your next meeting.