41 Ways to Engage Your Team During a Virtual Meeting

Posted by Kristin Arnold on May 5, 2020

Virtual meetings are all the rage during this COVID-crisis.  Yet many of them are one-way communications with little interaction from the team.  As leaders, we often rely on one or two techniques to keep the virtual team engaged, however, there are myriad ways to keep the conversation moving.  Here is a list of ways that you can engage your team during a virtual meeting:

Send the signal that this is going to be an engaging meeting:

1) As team members come in, start talking!  Ask them how their day is going, what they did over the weekend.  When a meeting starts out with awkward silence, it stays pretty silent!

2) Start with an icebreaker – a quick, light question or activity that engages everyone.

At any time during the meeting, you can:

3) Take a formal poll (using the polling feature in the system) to baseline key information

4) Take an informal poll using a literal raising of hands (if you can see everyone)

5) Take an informal poll by using the “raise hand” feature in the system

6) Take a poll using external software/app and display the information in a word cloud

7) Ask a provocative question

8) Ask a polarizing question

9) Ask them to comment using one breath!

10) Ask them to comment in the chat box

11) Ask them to comment on what they see in the chat box

12) Ask them to share the themes they have heard during the discussion

13) Share a funny and engaging picture

14) Share two funny and engaging pictures that compare and contrast

15) Share a funny and engaging video

16) Share a funny and engaging cartoon

17) Call on a person to answer a question

18) Call on a person to comment on what has been said

19) Call a “Lightning Round” where each person has to quickly and concisely comment

20) Call a “Rapid Fire Round” where each person has to add to create a list

21) Call a “Check-In” to gauge how everyone is feeling/doing on the topic

22) Call on a person and ask them to “lob” the question to the next person

23) Play a game such as Bingo, Would You Rather, etc.

24) Pose a statement and ask if it is true or false (fact or fiction)

25) Pose a statement and ask if they agree/disagree

26) Clap (or do something) if someone says a designated word

27) If you have more than five people, send to a breakout room to discuss

28) Prioritize a list using a poll

29) Prioritize a list using annotations

30) Crowdsource a list using external software/app

31) Inject a bit of fun and humor to the mix

32) Share the leadership role

33) Assign each person a topic/responsibility on the agenda

34) Assign someone to be the timekeeper

35) Assign someone to be the “recorder” and keep track of all comments

36) Assign someone to be the “Yoda” – to keep the team focused and on track

At the end of the meeting:

37) Have each person share their key takeaways/impressions of the meeting

38) Have each person share their action items and due dates

39) Have each person “check out” on how they are doing/feeling about the meeting

40) Have each person share one thing they liked about the meeting

41) Have each person share one thing they would do differently next time!

 

This is just a partial list….what else do you do to engage your teams virtually?

 

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

Recent Articles:

How to Facilitate a Virtual Meeting: Roles, Tips, & Responsibilities

What to Look For When Hiring a Meeting Facilitator

Stretch your Leadership Team’s Ability to Think Strategically

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