Working from home is the new normal. Because of this, more businesses than ever are turning to conference calls to unite their remote-working teams and stay in regular contact throughout the working day. With mass gatherings in public banned, brands are also turning to video to help them move events online and host virtual meet-ups instead.
If you've recently found yourself in the position of having to host a 15+ participant video call either for an event or for a cross-company meeting, why not check out the 9 conference call icebreakers below to help you get everyone interacting and engaged before you officially kick off your call.
Here's Noisy Little Monkey's list of conference call icebreakers:
- Play a game of 'Pairs'
- What's out your window?
- Higher or lower?
- The letter game
- Lunch bunch
- Best background
1. Play a game of 'Pairs'
You know that card game where you have to match two of the same type of card? You can totally replicate this on your conference call.
Pick a participant at random, ask them to select another person on the call (Player 1) and invite them to declare (or even better, show you) what type of footwear they have on their feet.
Once that person has revealed what footwear they've opted for that day, the participant then needs to select another person on the call (Player 2) to reveal their footwear.
If they get a match in footwear, they get to go again (until they lose). Categories for matches could include: shoes, slippers, socks, or even *shudders* bare feet.
If you're not keen on the footwear idea, why not get people to draw shapes on a piece of paper (square, circle, triangle, rectangle) and ask people to find matches this way.
2. What's out your window?
Ask a couple of people on your call to reveal the splendid views out their window. Do they have views of their garden? Or perhaps they can see a bustling city street? This is a great excuse to get people moving around their environment a bit AND a great excuse for you to nose around the inside of their home office...
A lovely garden view outside a window
3. Higher or lower
A nice easy one to play.
The host of your video call can kick things off by declaring a number to the group.
It could be... How many toilet rolls they have left in their bathroom (hot topic right now...) Or how many hot drinks they've had that day.
They then pick a random participant on the call and ask them to reveal whether their number is higher or lower but NOT before putting it to the group.
They could say something like "OK folks, has X had more or less then my 9 cups of tea today?" Get everyone on the call to do a thumbs up or thumbs down to signal their guesses then wait for the big reveal...
4. Ask participants to take part in a poll
If you use a tool like Zoom, you can get your call participants to take part in a poll at the click of a button.
Polls you could ask include:
- Do you enjoy working from home?
- How many toilet rolls do you have left?
- Tea or coffee?
Provide some more engaging answers than just "yes" or "no" and you'll have some fun talking points when you kick off your call.
Example of a poll on a conference call - yes, colour is spelled the American way.
5. Ask your participants some thought-provoking questions
People can be a bit shy on video calls - why not ask a question to the group and invite people to chip in?
Some question ideas for you....
- If you could eat any food right now, what would it be?
- Give an example of something this week you're proud of.
- What was your first job?
- Do you have any hidden talents?
- You can only eat one flavour crisp for the rest of your life, what is it?
6. The letter game
Pick a letter, any letter, and give your participants 30 seconds to find something in the room beginning with that letter. Brownie points go to the person with the most interesting item in their hand at the end of those 30 seconds.
7. Lunch bunch
Hosting a lunch time conference call? Get participants to show off their gourmet snacks.
The person who makes their lunch look like it came straight out of a Michelin-starred restaurant gets bragging rights for the rest of the week.
8. Best background
If you use a tool like Zoom, you can change your background at the click of a button. If you've got people on a call who are familiar with the functions of Zoom, why not set them a challenge to turn up to the conference call with a creative background?
You can even divvy out a prize for best background - e-gift card, anyone?
Noisy Little Monkey's Inbound Growth Specialist, Katie, in her Zoom mansion
Do I need to explain it? Really?
NB: The game of Pictionary works best for smaller groups on a conference call.
All you need to do is nominate someone in your group to be the drawer. The host can email them a list of things they'll have to draw before the call starts.
Then, all the drawer needs to do is stick some paper up on a wall, make sure their webcam is focused on the piece of paper, and get drawing!
Encourage participants to shout out guesses for the drawing - it'll be a bit of a frenzy but a fun one.
Tell us your ideas!
Let us know on social if you have any other creative icebreaker ideas for video calls, we'd love to hear them.
If you're after more tips to engage people with your business, download Noisy Little Monkey's free Conversion Rate Optimisation Audit template - it'll help you figure out the changes you need to make on your website to capture more leads and generate more revenue for your business!