Meeting Icebreakers

5 Easy Meeting Icebreakers for Any Size Group

Never underestimate the importance of meeting icebreakers.  Meeting icebreakers are the first step to building a community in your group.  Standing before a room of eager faces, many of them unfamiliar, you’ll feel more at ease if you’re armed with a ready supply of meeting icebreakers to get the conversation started.

There’s only two tricks when it comes to effective meeting icebreakers:  first, they’re simple—easy to understand, and easy to explain. Second, good meeting icebreakers shouldn’t need a lot of preparation.   Here are five easy meeting icebreakers that require little to no preparation beforehand, for meetings of all sizes.  Use them at your next meeting.

1. Find Somebody Who…

Ideal for: medium- to large-sized groups

As far as meeting icebreakers go, this is a tried-and-true classic.  Create a list of 5-10 personality traits or biographical details, e.g. “Has traveled in a foreign country,” “Speaks more than one language,” or “Enjoys hip-hop music.”  Make enough copies for everybody, and hand it out, asking the group to find someone in the room who satisfies each trait.  Once they find somebody, they should write his or her name down on the list.  You can even offer a prize to the first person who finishes.

Regroup after somebody completes the list.  As a group, go down the list and discuss who fulfills each item.

2. Pick Three

Ideal for: medium- to large-sized groups

Some meeting icebreakers emphasize individual relationships over group-wide teambuilding, but the two are so closely linked, that you can’t go wrong with either one.  With this activity, you’ll break everyone into smaller groups of 3 or 4.  Each group must find three things they share in common.  After they have finished, then have them present to the larger group what they found in common, as well as what they learned along the way.

3. Two Truths and a Lie

Ideal for: small-, medium-, and large-sized groups

Each group member comes up with two truths about themselves and one lie.  They take turns sharing these with each other, but without revealing which is true and which is the lie.  Those listening must try to guess which is the lie.

Because it’s adaptable for any size group, this activity is more flexible than other meeting icebreakers.  If you’re with a large group, break it up into groups of 3 or 4, but if your group is smaller, you can jump right in.

4. Hot Seat

Ideal for: small- to medium-sized groups

This is another favorite choice among meeting icebreakers.  Each group member sits in “the hot seat,” a chair at the front of the room or in the center of a circle (whatever your preference). For 60 seconds, 30 seconds, or any time length of your choice, he or she must answer any question the group asks.  After this person is finished, the next goes.  You can ask volunteers to sit in the hot seat, or go around the room in the order in which people are sitting.

5. Take As Much As You Need

Ideal for: small- and medium-sized groups

Pass around a bag of candy or a roll of toilet paper—it doesn’t really matter, so long as it’s something countable (like Skittles, plies of paper, etc.) and grabs the group’s interest.  Instruct each member to take “as much as they need.”  Once everyone has stocked up, explain that each person must give one fact about themselves for each piece of candy or ply of toilet paper.

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