5 icebreaker ideas to get a meeting off to a good start

Laura Nieto
Laura Nieto
4 min2024-01-25

Starting a meeting is not always easy, especially when participants are meeting for the first time and are not necessarily comfortable in public…

An icebreaker is a great way to break the ice interactively and build confidence.

Are you about to host a meeting and want to put everyone at ease? Do you want your meetings to be more productive and enjoyable? Deskeo has come up with five icebreaker ideas to help you turn your meetings into real moments of sharing and collaboration!

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What is an Ice Breaker in a meeting?

An icebreaker is a fun, interactive activity that can be used at the start of a meeting to facilitate communication and create a relaxed atmosphere.

It helps to :

  • break down barriers,
  • encourage even the shyest participants to get involved,
  • stimulate creativity.

In short, it helps participants get to know each other and puts everyone at ease.

There are several types of icebreaker, adapted to different meeting contexts and participant personalities.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Physical icebreakers: get participants moving and help them relax.
  • Intellectual icebreakers: stimulate reflection and the exchange of ideas.
  • Creative icebreakers: encourage innovation and risk-taking.
  • Introductory icebreakers: allow participants to get to know each other.

5 examples of Icebreakers to kick-start your meeting

Want to energize your meetings before the agenda? Here are five fun and effective icebreakers that will put everyone in your meeting at ease:

  1. The roll of the dice.
  2. Gluttony in color.
  3. 2 truths, 1 lie.
  4. Guess me if you can.
  5. Cross-presentation of superpowers.

But be warned, each icebreaker has its own rules and its own purpose, so choose the one that best suits your needs and your team.

The roll of the dice: leave it to chance

The dice-rolling game is an interactive icebreaker that serves to lighten the mood and allow participants to get to know each other.

Ideal for kicking off a meeting, it allows each person to introduce themselves in an original and spontaneous way.

The principle is simple: participants take turns rolling a die and answering a personal question corresponding to the number they roll.

Particularly suited to meetings of 5 to 10 people, this game generally lasts no more than 10 minutes.

Gourmandise en couleurs: a treat for the senses

"Colored Gluttony" is a fun activity that should appeal to everyone.

The concept is very simple: each person chooses a candy of a different color and shares an anecdote or personal information linked to that color.

It's a fun and original way to introduce yourself and get to know others. Popular with both small and large groups, this icebreaker takes no more than 15 minutes.

2 truths, 1 lie: test your intuition

"2 Truths, 1 Lie" is an icebreaker that stimulates both imagination and intuition.

Taking turns, each participant announces three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie.

The others then try to guess which of these statements is the lie. It's an excellent way to foster communication and cohesion, and to enrich knowledge within the group.Designed for a maximum of ten participants, this game generally lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.

Guess me if you can: time for creativity

In "Guess me if you can", each participant draws something that represents him or her on a sheet of paper, and the others have to guess what it is.

This stimulates creativity, facilitates mutual knowledge and creates a friendly atmosphere.

This game works equally well with small or large groups, and usually lasts around 15 minutes.

Superpower cross-presentation: let your imagination do the talking

The "superpower cross-presentation" is perfect for stimulating the imagination. The idea is to form a pair with another participant and chat to discover the "superpower" the other would like to have, and introduce themselves to their interlocutor by playing that character.

It's a fun way to introduce yourself, while fostering bonds between participants. This game is suitable for groups of all sizes and takes about 20 minutes.

As you can see, there are plenty of fun ice breakers to be had. But not all of them will be suitable for your meeting. So choose yours carefully.

How to choose and integrate an Ice Breaker into your meeting?

Choosing the right icebreaker and integrating it into your team meeting are key steps in creating an atmosphere conducive to productivity.

Want to be sure you're making the right choice? Here are a few factors to consider.

3 factors to consider when choosing an Icebreaker

A good icebreaker must be adapted both to the context of the meeting and to the participants. It's therefore essential to take certain factors into account to avoid making the wrong choice:

  • Meeting objectives: The first thing to consider when choosing the ideal icebreaker is the objective of the meeting. For example:
  • Participant profile: Adapt your icebreaker to participants' level of mutual knowledge, age, interests, etc.
  • Number of participants: Some activities are better suited to small committees, while others work better with large groups. You'll need to gauge the size of your group before choosing your icebreaker.

The facilitator's role in the activity

The animator plays a crucial role in the icebreaker. He or she is responsible for :

  • setting up the activity,
  • managing the timing,
  • and creating an environment conducive to dialogue and participation.

In addition to giving instructions, the icebreaker must ensure that all participants feel comfortable and involved.

How to limit the duration of an Ice Breaker?

An icebreaker is a form of introduction to the meeting that should last no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This is long enough to create a friendly atmosphere without losing sight of the main objective of the meeting.

You need to make sure it doesn't encroach on the scheduled working time. To do this, you need to :

  • Set a time limit,
  • Time the activity,
  • and announce the time remaining at regular intervals.

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The pros and cons of ice breakers in meetings

Ice breakers are invaluable tools for encouraging participation and commitment in meetings. However, like all methods, they have their advantages and disadvantages.

The benefits of ice breakers for boosting commitment and participation

According to various studies, ice breakers offer a number of advantages:

  • They facilitate exchanges: Ice breakers help break down barriers and create a climate of trust. They encourage participation and create a productive work environment.
  • They stimulate creativity: They prepare the mind to come up with innovative ideas and to step out of its comfort zone.
  • They encourage group cohesion: By strengthening the bonds between participants, these small activities encourage teamwork and collective intelligence.

The risks of choosing the wrong Ice Breaker

However, the wrong choice of icebreaker can have the opposite effect.

For example, an icebreaker that is too complex can confuse rather than bring participants together.

Similarly, an inappropriate icebreaker can make some participants feel uncomfortable. So it's essential to choose your icebreaker carefully, taking into account the context and the participants.

Ice breakers in meetings: what you need to know

In short, ice breakers are indispensable tools for energizing your meetings, stimulating creativity and fostering cohesion within your team.

But remember, the success of these little activities depends on the right choice for the situation and your participants.

  • Ice breakers are fun little games to play at the start of a meeting to facilitate exchanges and create a pleasant atmosphere within the group.
  • To choose the right icebreaker, you need to take into account the objectives of the meeting, the profile of the participants and the number of participants. The moderator plays a crucial role in the flow of the game. He or she must orchestrate the activity, manage the timing and ensure that everyone feels at ease.
  • These little games have many advantages, including facilitating communication, stimulating creativity and strengthening group cohesion.
  • A poorly chosen icebreaker can, however, create confusion or make some participants feel uncomfortable.

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