As a meeting host, preparing a strong opening is key. Kicking the meeting off on a high note is especially important, because it sets the tone and expectations of how the rest of it will go.
So how can you make your attendees feel invested and welcome right from the start?
One of the fastest and easiest ways is to begin with an icebreaker question. It can be either light and fun or deep and meaningful.
To go straight to the list of icebreaker questions, click here: List of 200 icebreaker questions
If used purposefully, icebreakers can not only help you improve engagement and collaboration, but also deepen a sense of belonging and trust within your team.
That’s why we’ve put our years of expertise in making meetings engaging to good use and asked our Slido colleagues to come up with this list of the 200 best icebreaker questions for your meetings.
Whether you are designing a team-building exercise, onboarding a new team member or just needing a lighthearted start to your weekly meeting, find your perfect icebreaker question from the list below.
What is an icebreaker?
An icebreaker is a game, an activity, or a question intended for people who don’t know each other to start talking and help them to become comfortable in a group setting, like a meeting.
Alternatively, icebreakers are also used in a team setting, where everyone is already familiar with each other – such as a regular department meeting – but when you just need a little help in setting the stage or loosening the atmosphere.
In either case, in our experience, the easiest sort of icebreaker ideas especially for virtual and hybrid meetings is an icebreaker question.
Why use icebreaker questions in the meeting?
You might work in a team where not everyone knows each other that well, or have a new employee joining you.
Or perhaps, you just became a manager of a freshly formed team. In all of these situations, you need to break down the initial barriers and get to know each other.
Even if you know your team quite well, icebreaker questions can open up a new topic of conversation that will lead to a deeper connection within a team. Generally, both fun and deep discussions will help strengthen your team’s bond.
Here are a few tips on how to use icebreaker questions in the right way
Coming up with the right, work-appropriate icebreaker questions for your meeting is easier said than done. We’ve put together a quick list of key tips to help you pick the right icebreaker for your meeting:
- Use icebreaker questions that are suitable to the specific audience in your meeting. An icebreaker that works in your day-to-day team meeting may not be suitable if you’re presenting something to the senior management team, for example.
- Make sure that people on your team will feel comfortable with your choice of icebreaker questions and be sensitive to their situations. Using meeting icebreaker questions isn’t about putting on a performance, it’s about getting everyone to open up so you can have a productive session together.
- It’s important to make sure that questions are inclusive to your audience, too, for example when it comes to subjects such as religious holidays, or if a question will still apply for parts of your audience who are not in the same country as you.
- Be original and constantly evolve your approach to delivering icebreakers from one meeting to the next.
A few ideas on how to use Slido for the best results with icebreaker questions
From our experience, the key to success and getting truly positive results from icebreaker questions is interactivity, which engages everyone in the meeting regardless where they are joining from. That’s why it’s great to use Slido’s live polling feature.
Participants can comment on the poll results as they come in, and as a meeting leader, you can invite team members to share and elaborate on their poll submissions.
Often, this leads to many fun moments, laughs, and inside jokes. The team gets to know each others’ likes and dislikes, as well as how they spend time outside of work.
The goal is to create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable speaking up and thus avoid a meeting dominated by the presenter. When the group feels at ease from the beginning, people are more likely to engage throughout the rest of the meeting.
Why and how to use live polls for icebreaker questions
Live polls are a great way to facilitate icebreaker questions as they allow you to engage with everyone from your team in a matter of seconds, no matter where they are.
In this way, you can start your in-person, virtual and hybrid meeting with an innovative and fun feature that will set the atmosphere for the rest of the meeting.
Slido allows you to run multiple versions of icebreaker questions. There are several different poll types to choose from: Word cloud poll, Open text, Multiple choice poll, Ranking poll and a Rating poll.
We recommend using word cloud polls for short answers. You can achieve that by framing your question ‘in one or two words’ to get short and snappy answers.
An example of a word cloud poll icebreaker question:
- In one word, how would you describe the past week?
- Where did you spend your summer vacation this year?
- Using an emoji, how do you feel before this meeting?
Open text polls are great for longer or more complex answers, where your team will have a little more time to think about their response.
An example of an open text poll icebreaker question:
- Without using the title of your job, tell me what you do?
- What would you improve in our meetings?
- What was your personal highlight of the past month?
Multiple choice polls are a good fit for meetings where you don’t have much time, as predetermined answers are speedier for people to choose from.
The downside is that participants won’t have the space to creatively think about their input. However, multiple choice is perfect for a quick quiz, or forgetting to know your team, for example with ‘two truths, one lie’.
- Which of these statements about Frankie is a lie? Options: I saw a volcano erupted in Italy, I practiced karate as a child, My first job was in a shoe shop.
- Do you usually manage to meet the deadline? Options: Yes, No
- Would you rather have your browser history revealed before your company CEO or your parent?
A ranking poll is ideal if you wish for your participants to rank options in the order of importance or preference.
An example of a ranking poll icebreaker question:
- What brand of car do you prefer out of these? Options: 1. Mercedes, 2. Ferrari, 3. Peugeot, 4. Lada, 5. Fred Flinstone car
- Which of these Christmas movies do you like best? Options: 1. The Grinch, 2. Home Alone, 3. Love Actually, 4. A Christmas Carol, 5. Die Hard
- What gift would you give to your business partner? Options: 1. Branded socks, 2. Custom Moleskine notebook, 3. Eco water bottle, 4. Bluetooth speaker, 5. Branded power bank
Rating polls are great to get a quick pulse check of your audience or team, and what they’re thinking or feeling.
An example of a rating poll icebreaker question:
- How excited are you about this project? (Scale of 1-6)
- How was your last weekend? (1 – terrible, 10 – the best I’ve ever had)
- Which emoji best describes your energy level? (There’s an option on Slido to set up ratings polls with emojis that participants can choose from)
How we use icebreaker questions in Slido and how our Customer Success team benefits from it
Slido’s Customer Success Manager Team Lead, Mirka Chromkova, has used icebreaker questions extensively to bring her fully remote team together.
We asked her to share some insights about why they’ve been so successful in helping her team to build a strong bond.
‘The Slido CSM team has 17 staff across all regions, so both distance and time zones are against us,’ Mirka reveals. ‘Even though we work in the same team, on the same things, we didn’t really know each other well at first, and many of us have never met in person.’
Mirka says that she started using icebreakers intentionally during meetings to enable her team to get to know each other better. ‘I was choosing icebreaker questions that help people get to know each other and allow me to pick on the answers and dig deeper,’ she says.
You can find the list of the best icebreaker questions according to Mirka here.
‘I would focus on purposefully dedicating 15 minutes of our weekly meeting to these icebreaker questions – sometimes focusing on work-related things, sometimes on fun, outside-of-work topics.’
Icebreakers might seem like a simple concept, but Mirka reveals that the returns have been enormous for her team.
‘By starting on a positive and fun note, people would then be so much more open to speaking up during the meeting itself. They’d participate more and would be looking forward to our meetings.
‘The side-benefit that is even more important is that my team is now much more comfortable with each other and our Slack sharing channel has become much more active.
‘Team members have started sharing their learnings, their knowledge, and experiences in their work with clients. This has benefited our whole team and helped us progress and provide a better service to our clients.’
List of icebreaker questions by category
In this section, you can find a handy list of icebreaker questions divided into categories. Each has a different focus and may be suitable for a different situation.
Take a few minutes to browse the various categories, dive deeper into the one that feels like the right fit for you, and then start trying out our suggested icebreaker questions.
- The best icebreaker questions according to Mirka, Slido’s Customer Success Manager Team Lead
- Quick icebreaker questions that help build momentum
- Good ice breaker questions for work
- The best icebreaker questions for virtual meetings
- ‘If you could’ icebreaker questions to stimulate hybrid meetings
- Technology icebreaker questions that get the whole team thinking
- Best icebreaker questions for Webex and Zoom meetings
- Team ice breaker questions that reveal hidden talents and progress
- Hobby icebreaker questions that help the team get to know one another
- Funny icebreaker questions that lighten the mood and break down barriers
- Find the ultimate would you rather icebreaker question
- Icebreaker questions focused on traveling
- Deep ice breaker questions that get everyone thinking outside the box
- Awkward and weird icebreaker questions that blow away the cobwebs
- Icebreaker questions for adults
- Christmas icebreaker questions that get the whole team into a holiday mood
The best icebreaker questions according to Mirka, Slido’s Customer Success Manager Team Lead
This is a list of icebreaker questions that works the best for Mirka when she’s meeting with her fully remote team:
- What did you want to be when you were a kid?
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
- If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?
- What helps you to feel better on those days when you feel crappy?
- What’s your go-to guilty pleasure?
- If your job role was made into a movie, what would it be called?
- What is one thing in life that you really disliked and then changed your mind about?
- Do you have a favorite routine at the moment?
Mirka likes to use them in virtual meetings with her international team. Simply put, they are verified by success.
Quick icebreaker questions that help build momentum
Good icebreaker questions are short, sharp, and straight to the point.
Encouraging your team to give the first answer that comes into their head helps remove inhibitions and shyness, allows people to see how their peers think, and gets the ball rolling so much faster. Take a look at these quick and easy ways to do exactly that:
- What’s your favorite place to go on holiday?
- What’s your favorite time of the year?
- What’s your favorite type of weather?
- What’s your middle name?
- What’s the one thing you’re really scared of?
- If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
- Which school subject did you find the most interesting?
- What’s the one skill you wished you’d learned as a child?
- If you could speak another language, which one would you choose?
- Where would you like to retire when you’re older?
- What’s your favorite type of pet?
- What’s the one animal you’d never leave the zoo without seeing first?
- Who’s the funniest person you’ve seen on TV recently?
- What’s the one movie you always watch when you have a sick day?
- What’s the one country you want to visit more than any other?
- What’s your favorite book?
- What’s your favorite color?
- What’s the one song that always gets you on the dance floor?
Good ice breaker questions for work
When you’re in a work situation, you’ll need to make sure your icebreakers are appropriate for a professional setting and audience. Here are some ice breaker questions that we believe are the right ones for any work occasion:
- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- Would you like to know other peoples’ thoughts?
- If you could bring one thing from your home to the office what would it be?
- What’s one work tool you can’t live without?
- What’s your favorite office snack?
- What’s your favorite memory from the office?
- Is there somebody at work who has inspired you?
- What is a small act of kindness you were once shown that you’ll never forget?
- What’s something you wish you’d learned earlier in life?
- What was the last thing you did that gave you child-like joy?
- What’s one activity that grants you pure escapism?
- What’s an adult problem nobody prepared you for?
- What is a lesson you feel you learned too late in life?
- What’s a personal side project you’re working on or want to work on?
- How would teenage you describe your job?
- How will you feel when this meeting is over?
The best icebreaker questions for virtual meetings
Virtual meetings can sometimes feel less personal, as the participants may not know each other, or maybe they have never even met. Therefore, it is good to use questions that are fun, simple, and will lighten the mood.
Ideally, they allow you to get to know each other better. For the ultimate rundown on how to host a virtual meeting from start to finish, have a look at our guide, or you can find a few examples below:
- What was the last movie you watched?
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in the last week?
- What did you do on your last vacation?
- What’s the best way to start off your day?
- What is your favorite hobby?
- What is something you are passionate about?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently?
- What is your favorite type of music?
- What is your favorite comfort food?
‘If you could’ icebreaker questions to stimulate hybrid meetings
When you have some people physically present in the room, and others who are on the screen, it’s important to get them talking together. These simple questions do just that.
They are ideal if you want to break down the barriers that so often stop great ideas from gaining momentum. Before you dive into the questions, check out our best practices on how to run hybrid meetings in the first place. Now let’s dive into the icebreaker questions:
- If you could change one thing about hybrid working what would it be?
- If you could share some words of wisdom with yourself on your first day here, what would you say?
- If you could work 365 days a year, take the next year off, and repeat, would you?
- Do you prefer working from home, or in the office?
- How many days per week is your preference for working at home?
- What don’t you miss about being in the office every day?
- What word best describes how you feel about hybrid working?
- If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
- If you could employ any historical figure in our company, who would you choose?
Technology icebreaker questions that get the whole team thinking
Creating icebreaker questions for small groups who need to discuss in-depth technical issues can be a little challenging at first.
The key is to keep everyone thinking in an analytical way by asking them to recall something related to their role, or their wider technical skills. Not sure how to do that? Take a look at this quick list:
- What’s the last book you read that related to your role?
- If you could explore a new project for one day a week what would it be?
- Who do you think has the broadest technical knowledge in the team?
- How do you think Elon Musk would change the way we do things if he was part of the team?
- What’s the one thing you would remove from your role to make yourself 10% more productive?
- How can you use tech to strike the right balance between being busy and being productive?
- How do you think we can maintain our momentum in two sentences or less?
- How do you think the world would be different if you had to pay every time you sent an email?
- What’s the one piece of technology you want to see us integrate and adapt over the next 12-18 months?
- If you could work in the metaverse how important would it be for you to have an avatar that looks exactly like you?
Best icebreaker questions for Webex and Zoom meetings
We’ve all gotten used to spending hours of our day on video calls via Webex or Zoom, but they don’t have to all be the same! Break out of the routine and spruce up your next video meeting with these fun questions:
- What was the last concert you went to?
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- What is the one thing you can’t live without?
- What would you do if you had a million dollars?
- If you could work for any company in the world, which one would you choose?
- Would you rather be a bank robber or a policeman?
- What is one thing you would like to learn or do in the next year?
- What is the strangest flavor combination you love?
- If you could be in a movie, which would it be?
- What is your favorite emoji?
- Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
- Are you more of a winter or a summer person?
- Would you rather prefer a couch or table football in your office?
- What is your favorite app for work?
- If you can choose one space from where you can work, which one would you choose?
Team ice breaker questions that reveal hidden talents and progress
Ice breaker questions for work that allow everyone to show what they do best are really worth considering.
They’re also a great way to give everyone who answers that little bit of extra self-confidence. Take a look at your options below and make a start at your next meeting:
- Who will always be on time, even if the meeting is brought forward at the last minute?
- Who is most likely to make the rest of the team laugh with a clever one-liner?
- Which member of the team always has some wise words for new hires who join us?
- If you could be someone else on the team for a day, who would you choose?
- Who has the tidiest home office?
- Who has the craziest home office arrangement?
- Which team member is most likely to make an excuse to get another cup of coffee mid-meeting?
- Who came up with the worst excuse for being late and what was it?
Hobby icebreaker questions that help the team get to know one another
One of the best icebreaker questions, especially for virtual meetings, is to ask everyone to share something about them the rest of the room doesn’t know. Hobbies, favorite pastimes, and even goals for the future will all come to the fore here.
These questions are ideal if you want to get everyone talking and sharing a little bit more about themselves. Take a look at a few of our suggestions and then put them into action:
- What’s the latest hobby you’ve taken up?
- What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
- Who do you think is the most active outside of work?
- If you could master one skill this week, what would it be?
- Who do you think you could teach to master your favorite hobby the fastest?
- What’s your favorite way to relax on a Sunday afternoon if you have the house to yourself?
- Who do you wish to play a team sport alongside?
- How many hours a week do you spend on your hobbies?
- If you had to give up one hobby for a year while all your friends mastered it, what would it be?
- What’s the one thing outside of work you think you can do better than anyone else in the office?
Funny icebreaker questions that lighten the mood and break down barriers
When placed strategically in your meeting between topics, icebreakers can serve as instant mood elevators.
You’ll need to be able to read the room, though, in terms of if humor is appropriate depending on who is in the meeting.
Here are a few ways to try adding a little humor to break the ice:
- If you could create your dream band, who would be playing alongside you?
- What’s the first thing you would do if you were invisible in the office and no one could hear you?
- Which computer game do you think you’d beat everyone in the office at?
- If you had to play Tetris for 24 hours, how would you stop yourself from going crazy?
- If you run for president, who would be your vice president?
- Describe something that’d made you laugh or smile today
- How would you rate your skills with a yo-yo from one to 10?
- You’re now a pro wrestler. What’s your ring name going to be?
Find the ultimate would you rather icebreaker question
Nothing gets people thinking like these ice breaker questions. There is something very enjoyable about having to choose a side and debate your stance in a playful manner during the meeting.
Discovering others who share your opinion on a topic helps to create instant connections, no matter where your teammate is.
We are such huge fans of ‘would-you-rather’ questions, that we even dedicated a whole article to them. Here we include our favorite ones for you to choose from:
- Would you rather have super strength or x-ray vision?
- Would you rather be the world’s biggest person or the world’s smallest person?
- Would you rather be the world’s richest person or the world’s most popular person?
- Would you rather be president for a year or a medieval king for a year?
- Would you rather be able to swim as fast as a shark or run as fast as a cheetah?
- Would you rather have free car travel for life or free airfares for life?
- Would you rather be incredibly famous or incredibly respected?
- Would you rather have brains or beauty?
- Would you rather be Rocky or Rambo?
- Would you rather find some hidden treasure or win the lottery?
- Would you rather be a pirate or a knight in shining armor?
- Would you rather eat junk food every day or have a single pill that gives you perfect nutrition and never eat again?
- Would you rather be a child for 10 extra years or be exactly how you are now for 10 extra years?
- Would you rather be able to read minds or live in a world where no one can tell a lie?
- Would you rather be a cat or a dog?
Icebreaker questions focused on traveling
Travelers tend to be open-minded and eager to learn, and often develop unique perspectives on the world.
If you have people on your team who love to travel, don’t forget to include these icebreaker questions in your meeting session.
Once the responses start rolling in, you can ask people why they answered that way and really break the ice.
- Sea or mountains?
- Swimming or hiking?
- On holiday are you a culture vulture or a beach bum?
- What city have you had your best night out in?
- Favorite country in the world?
- Which country has the best food?
- Which country has the worst food?
- What’s the most interesting place you have ever traveled to?
- What place has made the biggest impression on you?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten while traveling?
- Have you ever missed a train or a plane while traveling? If yes, what was the reason?
- What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?
- What’s the best thing you’ve learned about a different culture?
- Do you remember the best thing about your most recent trip?
- What’s your favorite travel memory?
- What’s the most memorable photo you’ve taken while traveling?
- Would you rather stay in a 5* hotel or in a tent somewhere in nature?
- What has been your favorite travel experience so far?
Deep ice breaker questions that get everyone thinking outside the box
If you want to get the creativity flowing, it’s all about asking meeting icebreaker questions that are deep and meaningful.
Here we recommend using open text polls that allow for longer answers, or opening up the conversation and getting your audience to discuss after they’ve answered the poll.
- What’s your personal definition of success and how will you make sure you achieve it this year?
- Why do you think some people are particularly suited to remote working and hybrid roles?
- How do you think the world would be different right now if we had had the internet 100 years ago?
- What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a new hire joining our team for the very first time?
- Are there any mental preparation secrets you’d like to share for hybrid meetings, and how do they differ from in-person meetings?
- Do you think people talk more freely online over video than they do face-to-face and in person at the office?
- To what extent do you think that reducing your commuting time would improve your productivity during working hours?
- If you could work 4 x 10-hour days – the four day work week – instead of the regular 9-5, do you think you’d get more done?
Awkward and weird icebreaker questions that blow away the cobwebs
Meeting icebreaker questions that make everyone in the room do a double take and wonder if they heard right are sure to get people talking.
Here are a few suggestions:
- What’s the one thing you hope no one is going to ask you in this meeting?
- How would you cope if you found out this meeting was going to last 24 hours?
- Have you ever joined a meeting from the comfort of your bed?
- Have you already made your lunch and got it waiting for you just out of shot so no one on this call knows?
- Who do you think is the most likely to say something silly during the meeting?
- If you suddenly ended up in the Stone Age after this meeting what’s the first thing you would do?
- Who would you most like by your side if this meeting suddenly turned into Squid Game?
- Have you ever screen-grabbed a meeting and sent it to a friend?
Icebreaker questions for adults
This list of icebreaker questions for adults will let you know more about your colleagues’ childhoods, history, and backgrounds, and what they dreamed of when they were little.
It will help to know your teammates better, and give them the space to feel comfortable and maybe a little nostalgic.
- What’s something you rebelled against as a kid?
- What were some of your favorite activities as a kid?
- What’s a landmark, popular destination, or local hangout spot that you either frequented when growing up?
- What are you nostalgic about recently?
- What’s something you were really into as a kid?
- What’s the naughtiest thing you got away with in school?
- What do you think has been the most important invention in your lifetime?
- Are you a morning or a night person?
- What is your earliest childhood memory?
- Have you worked in more than three jobs so far during your career?
- What will you do in retirement?
- Who is your childhood hero?
- What was your favorite subject in school?
- What was your favorite cartoon character as a child?
- What’s a dish that always reminds you of childhood?
- What was your favorite ice cream as a kid?
- What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- What cartoon would you get up early to watch when you were young?
- How would you describe your job to your parents?
- What is one thing you wish you’d been taught in school?
Christmas icebreaker questions that get the whole team into a holiday mood
The best ice breaker questions for small groups are often ones that resonate with what the team is going through right now.
By keeping things cheery and positive, and focusing on something like the holidays (if it’s the right time of year), you can really bring everyone out of their shells.
Here are a few festive icebreaker questions to ask so that everyone can get involved:
- What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
- What’s the best thing about the Christmas buildup?
- How do you feel the morning after Christmas?
- You can only have turkey or presents. Which would you choose?
- What’s your earliest Christmas memory?
- Have you ever been carol singing?
- What’s your favorite Christmas Eve tradition?
- What’s the best Christmas song you’ve ever heard?
- What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever been given?
- Who bought you the worst Christmas present ever and what was it?
- If you could only buy one person a gift this year, who would it be?
- Do you do any charity or volunteer work over the festive season?
- What’s your favorite part of Christmas dinner?
- If you could swap out the turkey for one meal, what would it be??
- Artificial Christmas tree or real Christmas tree?
- What’s the one Christmas decoration you cannot do without?
- What’s on your Christmas list this year?
How to facilitate icebreaker questions
After deciding on your poll type, here are three tips to help you prepare for icebreaker facilitation:
- Slido has a handy ‘typing indicator’ feature, which means you can easily check if participants are still typing their answers before you move on
- After collecting the votes, you can get the conversation going by following up on the answers and asking your audience ‘why’ they responded in a certain way
- Watch for your audience’s cues and be prepared to answer the question first to create a safe space for your attendees to follow with their input
When it comes to icebreakers, one of the biggest struggles we hear about from leaders is how to find the time and inspiration for this ‘fun’ activity during their meetings. With so much content to cover, aren’t icebreakers just yet another distraction?
We believe the opposite. The time invested in getting to know your teammates as people and creating a sense of connection will not only enable you to work together better in the meeting, but can also prove fruitful in the long run.
As a result, a purposeful use of icebreaker questions can improve your team’s collaboration, communication, and team culture, which ultimately leads to better work results.
Want to get the most out of our new library of icebreaker questions for hybrid meetings? Sign up for your free Slido account and integrate the icebreakers seamlessly into your next meeting.