September 2, 2020 6:29 pm
Let’s face it, online meetings can be awkward, especially when you don’t know anyone on the video call. You might still be waking up with your first cup of coffee while someone else is bouncing with energy in a later time zone. However, these meetings don’t have to be so uncomfortable. With the right exercises, you can make any remote participant feel at ease within seconds. The key is to find a simple way to form an emotional connection that will help people bond, regardless of where they are or how well they know each other.
Online Warm-ups: Ideal to introduce new team members and get participants to learn more about each other
Online Energizers: Great for reloading energy, having fun and can involve some form of physical activity
Below is a list of some lighthearted, engaging activities taken from our How to Launch a Successful Virtual Meeting micro-workshop that can be prepared ahead of your next videoconferencing session to use with your team.
Ask everyone to start the online session by taking turns saying how they’re feeling today. Answers should be limited to one sentence or one word (tip: the facilitator can go first). If you notice any patterns, you can discuss more about the general vibe and how the session’s agenda will impact it.
Alternative: Ask people to share their expectations for today’s outcome. For more inspirational check-in questions, explore this check-in generator – http://hej.today/.
- Sketch Your Neighbor
- Assign each team member with another person’s name and send them a direct message to let them know—it’s important to send it privately so the others can’t see the names. Use pen and paper, and then share your drawings by showing them on the webcam. The facilitator should make sure everyone has pen and paper ahead of the session
- Give everyone 1 minute to silently draw their assigned person (tip: play music during the silent moment in the background and make sure the sound can be heard by the participants through your microphone)
- When everyone has finished drawing, take turns guessing who drew whom
- Team Tour
- Each person has 1 minute to give a tour of the place where they’re currently located using their webcam
- Describe where you are (coworking space, office, home, outdoors), who else is there and what it’s like to work there
- Let other participants ask you questions
- Show and Tell
- Ask participants to take a photo of their current workspace before the video call and upload it and send it to you
- During the warm-up show each photo and have the group take turns guessing which workspace belongs to who and why
- Alternative: Take photos of your shoes, meal, or personal object and let others guess who it belongs to
- First Job
- Ask everyone to describe their first job
- Take turns telling stories about how you got the job, what you liked/didn’t like about it, what you learned from it, etc.
- Alternative: Describe your worst job and what made it so bad
- Genie in a Bottle
- Ask the following question: “If you had three wishes, what would they be?” (choose either personal or professional wishes)
- Where Are We?
- Show a world map pic and ask people to identify where they’re located. Place a dot or their name on their location
- Take turns sharing how long you’ve lived there and what you like about the city/country
- Talk about time zones and how they impact the way you work remotely with your colleagues and clients
- Alternative: Ask people to point out where they’d like to travel and why
We hope you find these useful and fun for your next virtual session. Share some of your energizer ideas with us!