How to Make Online Meetings Fun

how to make online meetings fun

Online meetings can be boring, but there are plenty of ways to make them more entertaining. From shorter meeting durations to fun games, there are many strategies to engage attendees and keep them on-task.

Begin the virtual meeting with a few minutes of casual banter. Allow your employees to discuss a favorite movie or show, a funny story from their home office, or something else unrelated to the agenda.

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Keep Meetings Short and On-Task

If you’ve ever watched a conference call skit on a comedy show, you know that the results can be hilarious. But when you’re in the middle of a virtual meeting, they can be frustrating and inefficient. Fortunately, by enforcing virtual meeting etiquette, you can reduce distractions and keep your team on task.

Establish the rules of engagement, including muting your microphone when you’re not speaking, and asking attendees to raise their hands to ask questions. Over time, these consistent norms will encourage attendees to participate more actively.

To combat Zoom fatigue, set a short icebreaker at the beginning of your virtual meetings. These quick activities are a great way to get to know your teammates and can boost remote teamwork. Also, choose a virtual workspace software that allows you to add files, apps and websites directly into your meetings. This makes it easy for your teammates to get the information they need without interrupting the conversation.

Encourage Social Bonding

Online icebreakers are a great way to keep participants engaged in meetings and boost team bonding. They can be as simple as asking attendees to submit photos of themselves as children or as complex as a virtual take your dog to work day.

Occupying your teammates’ hands during a workshop not only reduces jitters and awkwardness, but also activates the sense of touch and makes them more thoroughly engage in activities. You can ask teammates to grab random objects during a meeting or send them beforehand to participate in a virtual show-and-tell session or cocktail making.

Live polling is another easy-to-implement way to encourage interaction during virtual meetings. Choose questions that are relevant to your workshop, and allow your attendees to vote anonymously. Depending on the result of each question, you can then choose to reward the winner with kudos or company swag. You can even use this feature to create a trivia game with questions that are related to your meeting’s topic of discussion.

Incorporate 3-D Objects

Virtual meetings may be 2-D, but you can make them more tactile with 3-D objects. For example, you can ask teammates to grab household items like a whisk or book for a scavenger hunt or send cocktail kits so they can mix drinks during virtual happy hours. Having something in their hands engages the sense of touch and reduces jitters and anxiety.

Online energizers are great to bring energy, humor and laughter into remote meetings, but they can also be helpful to create space between more involved workshop tasks. One creative, interactive energizer that’s easy to prepare beforehand or during the meeting is to ask remote teammates to draw an image that tells a unique story about their life.

This creative energizer can be done on paper, in desktop drawing apps, or in an online whiteboard tool. You can even choose to have participants use GIFs instead of pictures.

Keep Meetings Interactive

During virtual meetings, it’s easy for attendees to lapse into monotony. If they can’t contribute to the discussion or aren’t engaging with others in their team, they may tune out and begin checking email, browsing the web, or simply looking at the clock.

Interactive meetings make virtual teams more productive and engaging. Themes, online icebreaker games, and interactive presentations are all great ways to hold people’s attention, build team relationships, and get results from remote meeting attendees.

Simple warm up exercises can be a fun way to get everyone’s attention. For example, a simple vocal exercise or desk stretches can help participants loosen up and focus their minds for the remainder of the conference call. You can even incorporate 3-D objects by having teammates grab household items like a book or whisk for a virtual scavenger hunt, or send out cocktail kits so they can mix drinks during virtual happy hours. These activities occupy the sense of touch, which can relieve jitters and increase engagement.