Have you ever been a part of a virtual meeting where it seemed that nobody wanted to be there? Ever attended a virtual event where you wanted to participate but felt there was little opportunity to do so?
Connecting virtually has its fair share of challenges. Technology issues, feeling bored, disengaged, etc. We found out that it’s possible to lead virtual meetings and virtual events everyone feels excited, engaged, and connected. We would like to share three quick and easy tips that have helped us to create engaging virtual meetings and virtual events.
1) Get people to physically engage
Just because we are all remote does not mean we cannot connect in similar ways as we did in person. With a few activities and by being creative you can get attendees excited to engage and participate. Below are three fun ways to get everyone physically engaged:
– Silent Applause
In February we had the opportunity to work with 400 student athletes from Gallaudet University, the only university in the world for deaf and hard of hearing students. Prior to speaking, Hoan attended a basketball game where he learned the silent applause.
The silent applause is done by simply raising your hands and twisting them back and forth. In a virtual setting this is an easy way to get people moving and a great way to acknowledge one another without causing interruption to the person who is speaking.
– Fist Bump
The fist bump is a universal gesture we have all done in person to say hi or acknowledge one another, but we can also do this virtually as well. During an event we asked everyone to give a fist bump on the count of three. This is yet another great way to keep some of our in person connections active in the virtual world and keep people engaged.
In one of our virtual programs on diversity and inclusion we share an exercise on empathy. Towards the end, we had everyone create a heart with their hands to show a sign of unity. This gesture was a great way to symbolize what we learned. In addition, doing this gesture gave attendees another way to participate during our time while also creating a moment of connection.
2) Always enlist support
Never lead a meeting alone. Collaborate with other team members and delegate tasks so that you can have a meeting with few, if any, interruptions. The speaker or host can focus on talking while another team member focuses on the chat box and answers questions. A third team member can be on point to address any technical difficulties with sound, audio, or lighting. When roles are established among supporting team members and communication is clear, engagement is higher and the meeting or event will be more successful.
3) End on a high note
End your meeting or event on a high note with an activity that involves all attendees and brings your time together to a close. You can invite everyone to share one thing they learned from the meeting or one thing they commit to doing based on what they learned. If you are planning another virtual event, this would be a great opportunity to plug a link to that event in the chat box and have people sign up.
When you have your next virtual meeting or event, remember to get everyone to physically engage, enlist support, and end on a high note with something that brings everyone together. By doing these three things you will experience an increase in your virtual engagement and help people to feel a sense of community during this time.
To see an example of these three tips implemented in a virtual program, watch this short video.
*For those who have expressed interest in our PDF Guide, Engaging Virtually: How to increase excitement, participation, and results for your next virtual meeting or virtual event, it will be completed by the end of this week and in your inboxes shortly afterward.
Thank you for your patience.