We're all used to that feeling by now. It's your seventh video call of the day. Six of the same people were on the last one. What new stuff can you say? What have you been up to? Absolutely nothing, same as everyone else.
However, Adam Sternberg, the director of event entertainment agency Sternberg Clarke, has some ideas to liven up your next meeting.
"While Zoom has defined working from home in isolation, staring directly at multiple colleagues’ faces (not to mention your own!) without being able to daydream for even a minute can take a lot of getting used to," says Sternberg.
"Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams often have functions that enable you to change backgrounds to spice things up but you can do better than that by offering virtual entertainment options.
"Not only will these make meetings and their contents more memorable, but can also facilitate learning or just lift spirits at a time when morale may be low, and days potentially repetitive."
Here are Adam's six tips for more entertaining video calls:
1. THE SHOW CAN GO ON
"Various acts can be used for 10-15 mins to just break up the business side of the meeting, to energise people and to add some light relief," says Sternberg.
"Magicians work very well online and are as impressive as in real life. Singers or pianists can be used to do a short piano bar experience with a sing-along at the end."
2. FORESEE THE FUTURE
"If you feel that a glimpse into the future might be useful in these uncertain times then either a numerologist or graphologist is great online."
3. ONLINE DRINKS PARTY
"When the work has been done it's time to grab your own drinks and have a bit of banter. Well, why not enhance the mood by adding a cool sax player or a Café del Mar-style DJ? And if you are really feeling in the mood, there's always karaoke."
"There is a whole range of team-building experiences that work well online. From wine and cheese tasting (where the wine and cheese are sent to the participants in advance), through to live music quizzes where musicians host a music quiz featuring not only recorded snippets but live music. Or a visual artist can be used to create a 'Catchphrase'-style version of Pictionary."
5. TALENT SHOW
"You could have your own Britain’s Got Talent with three different acts. You vote for your favourite and the winner returns for a final performance. They could be acts you book for the occasion or why not unearth some hidden talents among your team?"
6. FAMOUS NAMES
"Famous names who are used to working in live settings are just as unable to work as the rest of us, so there is an opportunity to use them online at a price that would be much less than conventionally booked.
"You could use actors or sportspeople for Q&As or have a comedian like Al Murray host your quiz night."
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