As the world is working for home and leaders are looking for innovative ways to keep remote teams engaged on zoom calls, and there has been a new meeting introduced; Friday end of work “virtual drinks”.
It will be up to the team lead, scrum master, product power to kick start the conversation while trying to avoid it being about work. You want the team to loosen up and have the Friday feeling (FYI forcing people to have a drink in hand does not accomplish this!). We have created a list of options for you to bring the fun to the meeting.
For me, a good ice breaker has one goal of building an emotional connection with an individual so the following engagements will be less awkward. My senior developer once shared that he eats vinegar and cheese sandwiches at the start of one of our estimation session. I have never forgotten it or looked at him the same since but it has genuinely broken done that work barrier sometimes we set unintentionally. The topic of the conversation; “share one thing the team doesn’t know about you”. This broke down a barrier for the team and was a building block for our high performing team. After experiencing multiple awkward cringe-worthy ice-breakers in group sessions this in my mind was the perfect ice-breaker.
If you stick to the following tips you won’t go far wrong when asking people ice breaker questions:
A great way to lighten the mood would be encouraging a fancy dress. it’s funny how even a simple hat can change the tone and bring the fun but most importantly is a great screenshot. Lets not least forget its the perfect LinkedIn most for “look how cool is the place I work” post that a lot of people are a common theme in 2020.
There is a wide range of virtual background you can find online and Tom has listed some of his favourite zoom backgrounds for virtual drinks here. My personal favourite with friends is the Tiger King background. At work for Friday drinks my favourite is the conference Bingo. Mark my words nothing breaks an awkward silence better than calling bingo when it happens.
Zoom bingo is simply setting a background to the below background setting. Anytime one of the following you just simply shutout BINGO. This is really a good way to break those silences with a random “Is Karen on the line”. Nothing wrong with random laughs.
You quickly want to try move on from the ice breakers to a game like https://skribbl.io/ or a YouTube guess the song from the 90s game to try to keep the tone happy. Shawn has listed her top 20 games in the below video which are some great ideas for virtual Friday drinks. Don’t forget to plan a game that works for all ages attending your Zoom call. Zooming with colleagues doesn’t have to be boring. Spice up your virtual online call with a little fun and laughter. We love having fun as a work colleagues in the pub on Friday so Zoom should be no different.
Miro is a really good interactive way of making Zoom meetings fun. Miro comes with an already made board you can use just fill in the names and questions and you have an instant conversation starter.
Having a deck of ice breakers cards brings a fresh way to make Zoom meetings more fun. The facilitator has the deck of cards and picks from the top for each person in a round-robin format.
It’s why I love the Icebreaker Deck. Packed with thought-provoking conversation starters, this tool makes boring, surface-level chatter a thing of the past.
Whether you’re talking to colleagues, attending a networking event, or catching up with friends, this tool helps make every conversation the main event.
Simple & effective.
To get you thinking and have some ready-made examples we have created a list of 20 ice breakers you can use straight away but don’t be afraid to modify them to suit your own needs. As a facilitator open-ended questions are the perfect icebreaker and here are some of our favourites. At the top is COVID as its an easy topic at the moment where everybody has an opinion and are willing to talk about but it can be a small depressing. I would start the meeting with one of these and try to gradually move into the above to keep the conversation flowing.
Here are some of my go-to lists for icebreaker questions:
Kicking off a call with an ice breaker of doing a round table of introducing themselves and answer 1 silly question is a great way to start. One person should facilitate by asking each person on the call to contribute.
Turn on the camera and smile. Start with your name, where you are from, your title and what you would like to get out of the meeting.
When zooming it is essential to create a friendly environment to encourage collaboration. Having a simple ice breaker to get people talking and sharing is always a good way to start a o call
Incorporate games is a great way to get people engaging and being involved in a virtual meeting. An ice breaker is a good introduction if new people but games really up it to next level.
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