8 Icebreakers for Online Groups

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Just like in-person groups, online group meetings can sometimes get off to an awkward start. Group members may have difficulties getting connected, or you may have to wait a few minutes while everyone logs on. So how can you, as a leader, be proactive and set the tone for an engaging meeting? Here are four icebreaker questions and four icebreaker games to get everyone settled in for a great online gathering.

QUESTIONS: 

  • What is your most embarrassing mishap using a computer?
  • What are you reading or watching?
  • What is one piece of good news you’ve come across this week?
  • When you’re relaxing at home, do you choose bare feet, socks, slippers, or shoes? Why? (If you’re bold you can even have them show what they’re wearing now)

GAMES:

Two Lies and A Truth
This is a twist on a classic game that challenges your group to be a bit more creative. Ask everyone to share three interesting things about themselves. (I collect model trains, I have been to Italy, I enjoy stand-up comedy). Two must be lies and one must be true. Everyone else in the group will vote on which interesting thing is the truth. The person that tricks the most people (receives the most incorrect votes) wins the game.

Related Resource: How To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms

Quizzes
Who in your group is a trivia buff? Print out a multiple-choice trivia quiz or pull it up on your phone. Have everyone in the group get a paper and pen. Ask one question at a time and have everyone write down their answer. Once everyone has an answer, reveal the written answers to the camera. My small group just did a Christmas movie quiz in March just for fun and found out one couple in our group are experts in Christmas cinema. Alternatively, you can create a quiz on kahoot.com and share the link and PIN with your group for a live quiz on your phones or computers. 

Never Have I Ever
This may seem childish, but it can be a lot of fun and bring your group closer together through shared experiences. Have everyone in the group hold up one hand. Then, take turns saying something you’ve never done, but think others in the group probably have (i.e. “never have I ever gone to a live concert”). Whoever has done what was said puts down one finger. The last person with at least one finger up wins the game, though they should probably get out more.

House Tours
Online meetings have one major advantage over in-person meetings. You each have a window into each-other’s homes. Have one group member each week give a brief tour of their home through their phone or computer. Share your favorite space in the home or talk about a recent renovation/home project. We can learn a lot from one another by talking about our homes, so take advantage of the opportunity to see each other’s spaces.