The start of a meeting is essential for its progress. Because if you start in a good mood and with a nice mood, the culture of conversation and the rest of the meeting will be positively influenced. In this small, fine list of virtual icebreakers you will find suggestions for easy, medium and rather difficult questions. You can use these differently depending on team cohesion, level of awareness among the participants and the goal of the introductory round. The context of the meeting and timekeeping are very important for icebreaker questions and general warm-ups . So be sure to adapt your questions to the participants and make sure that the round of introductions doesn't last too long! Then nothing stands in the way of a good start to the online meeting.
Simple icebreaker questions for analogue and digital meetings
These simple icebreaker questions are great for teams that don't know each other very well. They are also short and concise and do not unnecessarily lengthen the introduction. Funny icebreaker questions are always a good idea, as they lighten the mood and get people talking. At the same time, the questions on this list are not too personal. You can also consider asking the answers with a hand signal to get a short, fun feedback. In online meetings, these icebreakers can also be queried in the team with the "raise hand" function or with emojis. The advantage of this is that it goes very quickly and there is not much time to greet people with a long agenda.
- Morning person or night owl?
- Tea or coffee?
- Savory or sweet breakfast?
- dog or cat?
- Where did you grow up?
- Where are you living right now?
- For teams working from the home office: How long have you been working from home?
Icebreaker for teams that also work from the home office
This block of questions is getting a bit more intensive and is aimed at teams that work completely or partially from the home office. So they are the perfect icebreaker for online meetings! If the team isn't very familiar with each other, you can link the Icebreaker questions directly to a short introduction to the person and their position. So everyone can briefly name and work context and then answer the question. Important here: Be sure to set a time limit and specify an order so that everyone can prepare for it. If the team already knows each other, these questions are still a nice way to start a meeting differently or to put a little energizer in front of it to loosen it up. If you want to keep this introduction as short as possible, you can turn it into a little competition: the winner is whoever answers the questions the fastest!
- Where would you most like to work from and why?
- What do you like best about working from home?
- Do you prefer to start working early in the morning or late in the evening?
- What's the most interesting thing within reach of your desks?
- What is currently your favorite app?
- What is your earliest memory of the internet?
- What is your wifi name
Challenging icebreakers that work online and offline
This list also includes somewhat demanding icebreakers. The participants may need a little more preparation time to answer them. If you include the questions in the introduction round of your online event, it is best to send them to the participants a few days before the meeting so that they can think about their answers.
- What kind of break routine - in the home office or in the classic office - can you recommend?
- Do you have a good productivity hack for work that also works at home?
- What is the biggest challenge when working from your home? Which routine before or in the home office or in the office works particularly well for you?
- What is your best excuse when you are late for a (virtual) meeting?
This is how the introduction round of your event becomes a success online and offline
Now that we have hopefully inspired you with our favorite icebreaker questions, here are a few more tips on how to make your events both online and offline a success.
Best practice for moderators:
Basically, the moderator plays a central role in events and their round of introductions. He or she should set the order, encourage participants and at the same time not lose sight of the timing. The perfect introduction round is just long enough to be fun and informative. In no case should the participants get the feeling that they are wasting valuable meeting time. So be sure to be clear about what the goal of your introductory round is. The role of the moderator is all the more important in digital team meetings. Because these present you with the challenge that facial expressions and other "analogue" means do not work (so well). You can find more tips on planning and conducting warm-ups for digital events here .
- Set the order: When it comes to speaking in front of the group, it often takes a long time before the first person dares to say something. To avoid unnecessary pauses in silence, simply indicate the order in which the participants answer the questions.
- Get started: Start the question and answer session yourself. This gives the other participants some time to think about their answers.
- Keep an eye on the time: The moderators of a meeting also have the task of keeping an eye on the time. Also, try to steer the direction of the conversation and possibly – respectfully and appreciatively – slow down participants if their answer is too excessive. If time is really short, you can also set a timer that everyone can see.
- Increases the Intensity of the Questions: Start with simple questions to make participants feel engaged and then gradually increase the intensity or level of difficulty.
- Keep the group size manageable: If you have a fairly large group of more than 15 people, you can split them up into smaller breakout rooms for medium and difficult icebreaker questions. In smaller groups, many people dare to say something and the inhibitions to speak in front of the whole team are reduced.
More than just an icebreaker: A (virtual) chocolate tasting
If you want to positively influence the good mood in your team in the long term beyond a single team meeting, company parties and fun events are a great tool for this. Our – not entirely unbiased :-) – recommendation: A (virtual)chocolate tasting . Let our chocolate professionals take you into the fascinating world of fine flavor cocoa, taste delicious, fine, sustainable and fair chocolate and learn exciting facts about the cultivation and processing of cocoa. The Theyo Schoko-Tastings are both digital and classic analog possible. And, of course, a small ice-breaker round can also be perfectly combined with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.
However, it does not always have to be a large organized event. A joint coffee break in the team usually lightens the mood all by itself. And that is also possible from the home office: Here we share creative ideas for the virtual coffee break in the team .
Are you looking for free online games to lighten the mood in the digital space? We have also put together a few ideas for you . Are you really interested in chocolate, but want to find out more about alternatives? No problem - we have put together a small but fine list of ideas for online team events . You have to plan a digital event and don't know where to start? Here you can find out how to get to the perfect online event in 6 steps. Whatever you plan to do: have fun with it!
FAQ virtual icebreakers
What is an icebreaker question?
Icebreaker questions precede an event such as a team meeting and are intended to loosen up the round and warm up the participants. Especially in teams where the group is still a little strange to each other, icebreaker questions are a great way to improve the mood and "break the ice".
What are icebreaker questions in the context of virtual meetings?
Virtual "icebreakers" are activities or questions that you can build into a virtual meeting to give participants an impetus to talk about themselves and thereby break the virtual "ice" between them and other participants. The goal of digital icebreakers is exactly like in real life, to create trust, getting to know each other better and a relaxed atmosphere in the virtual world as well.
What are good icebreaker questions?
Good icebreakers are ones that facilitate getting to know each other and – ideally – reveal small personal details. So they relate to the private life of the participants without becoming too detailed or too private. Good icebreaker questions and warm-up activities are fun, yet memorable, and bring participants a little closer together, even virtually. A good icebreaker is of course always a digital chocolate tasting ;-) .
How do you develop successful icebreaker questions?
Depending on how well the group already knows each other, you can develop your questions according to different "levels of difficulty". If the participants know little or not at all, it is advisable to work with simple and fun questions that everyone can answer without having to think too much about it. For example, you can ask what their favorite food is or what their favorite drink is at work. In any case, it is important that you clearly state the order in which the participants should answer so that there is no awkward silence and everyone can prepare for their assignment.