The start of a meeting is essential for its progress. If you start in a good mood and with a nice general 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 simple, 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 get-to-know-you session. When it comes to icebreaker questions and general warm-ups, the context of the meeting and time keeping are very important. So be sure to adapt your questions to the participants and make sure that the introduction doesn’t take too long! Then nothing stands in the way of a good start to the online meeting.
Simple icebreaker questions for analog and digital meetings
These simple icebreaker questions are great for teams that don't yet know each other well. They are also short and concise and do not drag out the introduction unnecessarily. Funny icebreaker questions are always a good idea because they lighten the mood and get people talking. At the same time, the questions on this list are not too personal. You could also consider asking for answers using a show of hands to get short, funny feedback. In online meetings, these icebreakers can also be queried in the team using the “raise hand” function or with emojis. The advantage of this is that it happens quite quickly and with a long agenda there isn't much time left for the greeting.
- Morning person or night owl?
- Tea or coffee?
- Hearty or sweet breakfast?
- Dog or cat?
- Where did you grow up?
- Where do you currently live?
- For teams working from home: How long have you been working from home?
Icebreaker for teams that also work from home
This block of questions is a little more intensive and is aimed at teams that work completely or partially from their home office. So they are the perfect icebreaker for online meetings! If the team is not yet particularly familiar with each other, you can link the icebreaker questions directly to a brief introduction to the person and their position. This means everyone can briefly state their name and work context and then answer the question. Important: 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 add a little energizer to loosen things up. If you also want to keep this introduction as short as possible, you can turn it into a little competition: the winner is whoever answers the questions 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 work early in the morning or do you prefer to start later and work late into the evening?
- What is the most interesting thing within reach of your desks?
- What is your favorite app currently?
- 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. Participants may need a little more preparation time to answer them. If you include the questions in the introduction session 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 type 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 home? Which routine before or in the home office or in the office works particularly well for you?
- What is your best excuse for being late to a (virtual) meeting?
Icebreakers ensure a relaxed and productive round
This will make the introductions to your event a success online and offline
After hopefully inspiring you with our favorite icebreaker questions, here are a few tips on how to make your events a success both online and offline.
Best practice for moderators:
Basically, the person moderator plays a central role in events and their introductions. He or she should indicate the order, encourage participants and at the same time not lose sight of the timing. The perfect interview session is just long enough to be fun and informative. Under no circumstances should participants feel like they are wasting valuable meeting time. So be sure to be clear about what the goal of your interview session is. The role of the moderator is even more important in digital team meetings. Because these present you with the challenge that facial expressions and other “analog” means don’t work (as well). You can find more tips for planning and conducting warm-ups for digital events here .
- Specify the order: When it comes to speaking in front of the group, it often takes a while before the first person dares to say something. To avoid unnecessary pauses in silence, simply specify an order in which participants answer the questions.
- Get started: Start the question round yourself voluntarily. This way you give the other participants some time to think about their answer.
- 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 becomes too verbose. If time is really short, you can also set a timer that is visible to everyone.
- Increases the intensity of the questions: Start with simple questions so that the participants feel included 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 divide it into smaller breakout rooms for medium and difficult icebreaker questions. In smaller groups, many people are more likely to say something and the inhibitions about speaking 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 cocoa, try delicious, fine, sustainable and fair chocolate and learn exciting facts about the cultivation and processing of cocoa. The Theyo chocolate tastings are possible both digitally and in the classic analog format. And of course you can also combine a small round of icebreakers with delicately melting chocolate afterwards.
However, it doesn't always have to be a large organized event. A coffee break together as a team usually lightens the mood all by itself. And this 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 improve your 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 about alternatives? No problem – we have put together a small, fine list of ideas for online team events . Do you need to plan a digital event and don't know where to start? Here you can find out how to create the perfect online event in 6 steps. Whatever you plan to do, have fun!
A chocolate tasting is also a good way to break the ice
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 group and warm up the participants. Icebreaker questions are a great way to improve the mood and “break the ice,” especially in teams where the group is still somewhat unfamiliar with one another.
What are icebreaker questions in the context of virtual meetings?
Virtual “icebreakers” are activities or questions that you can incorporate into a virtual meeting so that participants get 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, get to know each other better and a relaxed atmosphere - even virtually.
What are good icebreaker questions?
Good icebreakers are those that make it easier to get to know each other and - ideally - reveal small personal things. So they concern the private lives of the participants without becoming too detailed or too private. Good icebreaker questions and warm-up activities are fun, memorable and bring the participants a little closer together - even virtually. A good icebreaker is of course always a digital chocolate tasting ;-)
What icebreaker questions are good to ask in a meeting?
This depends on the meeting context: If it is a more informal meeting between colleagues who already know each other (a little), you can ask more personal questions. If the context is very professional and the team is relatively unknown to each other, you should ask more general questions. You can find a list of suggestions in the previous article.
What are some fun check-in questions?
Funny icebreaker questions can help lighten the mood at the beginning and guarantee a positive atmosphere in the meeting. Funny questions can be work-related (“What made you laugh out loud in the context of work this week?”, “What is your favorite anecdote that you tell in private about work?”) or, if the team knows each other better, also Move private (“What would you do now if you had already finished work?”).
What icebreaker questions are there for team building?
Good icebreaker questions for team building are ones that foster mutual appreciation among team members and highlight shared goals. For example, you can ask what quality one member particularly values in another, and the praised person moves on to another team member.
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 each other little or not at all, it is advisable to work with simple and funny questions that anyone can answer without having to think about it too much. For example, you can ask about their favorite food or what drink they like to drink at work. In any case, it is important that you clearly state in which order the participants should answer so that there is no awkward silence and everyone can prepare for your intervention.