Office Tips

Take the Zzz’s out of Zoom: Learn How to Make Zoom Meetings More Engaging

If your zoom meetings are putting team members to sleep, something has to change. Boring meetings aren’t just a pain to sit through, they waste everyone’s time and hinder effective communication. Effective meetings should be used to improve team coordination, increase company efficiency, and allow employees to connect with face-to-face interaction. If your meetings aren’t doing all of that, then check out these tips for how to make zoom meetings more engaging. 

How to Create Maximum Engagement for Essential Meetings

Not all meetings can be fun and games, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. For those meetings with essential content, here are tips to keep things engaging, efficient, and effective. 

Tips for Structuring Meetings

  • Use time limits: Time limits help encourage meeting hosts to limit their presentations to essential information only. If you need more time for discussions, you can always schedule a follow-up.
  • Identify speakers: Not everyone in your company has everyone else’s names and faces memorized. Make sure people are identifying themselves during discussions and at the beginning of meetings.
  • Share agendas: Send out an email before your meeting that gives detail on what you will be talking about, what attendees should prepare, and what you hope to get out of the meeting.
  • Keep attendance small: Not everyone needs to be at every meeting, and big groups can stifle engagement. Keep groups small and meetings focused so there is time for participation.
  • 5-minute buffer: Require that meetings end 5 minutes early to allow those with back-to-back meetings a brief break to use the restroom or take a breath. This grace period allows people to come in fresh rather than frenzied.

Best Practices for Presenting

  • Don’t monologue: Don’t spend an hour on a single subject. Keep your explanations brief, relevant and specific, otherwise you can lose your audience in the details.
  • Show specific examples: Specifics help engage listeners and make it easier to understand complex topics. For example, if you’re talking about sales, focus on one particular product and how it is performing to illustrate your points.
  • Know your audience: Is what you’re saying relevant to the people attending the meeting? Make sure to avoid giving unnecessary details that don’t affect your audience, or they may mentally “check out” of the conversation.
  • Meeting vs webinar: Should this be a meeting or a webinar? If you have a lot to cover and most of it will be a presentation instead of a discussion, use Zoom Webinars. They offer interactive polling, Q&A, live chats, and more to help keep your attendees engaged.

Questions to Ask Before Scheduling a Meeting

  • Does this require employee input? If you aren’t looking to start a discussion and just want to share information, then your meeting can be replaced with an email or, if necessary, a webinar.
  • Will a summary suffice? If the agenda has all the information you needed to share, then leave it as an email.
  • Who actually needs to be there? Do you need input from everyone you invited, or would some people do better with an after-meeting summary? Inviting too many people can be a burden on discussion and make your meeting less effective.
  • Is this information actionable? What do you expect your attendees to do with the information they get from the meeting? If your meeting is just an FYI that requires no follow-up actions, then that meeting can likely just be an email.

Want more tips to keep your team awake at their desk? Check out our other blog post on boosting virtual employee engagement

How to Make Zoom Meetings Fun

Whether you want to start your meeting off on the right note or have a team-building meeting that’s just for laughs, these ideas are made for getting your team members talking and smiling. 

Fun Team Meeting Topics for Discussion

Having trouble getting participants to talk during your meetings? Start discussion-heavy meetings with something engaging to break the ice. These fun team meeting ideas are made for getting employees talking in an organic way. 

  • Brainstorm big ideas: Most people have big ideas for the company they work for, even if they don’t always share them. Give everyone a chance to talk about their ideas for their team, the company, product features, and more.
  • Big projects and workload: Ask everyone about their work lives. Knowing a little more about the workload of others on the team can build a greater sense of empathy and appreciation, and give employees a chance to feel seen and validated in their hard work.
  • Getting to know you: Learn more about your team members by asking about hobbies, interests, specialties, fun talents, and other things that make your employees unique.
  • Meet the pets: Most work from home employees have pets to keep them company, so take the time to meet them! These cute animal friends are sure to break the ice.
  • Home life: Check in on your employees home lives. How are their families? Friends? Landlord relationships? Crazy neighbor playing drums at 4am? Help your teammates connect personally as much as they’re comfortable doing.

Zoom Interactive Features

Get the most out of your meetings by learning more about what Zoom can do. Here are just a few of the more popular tools to make virtual meetings more interactive. 

  • Zoom Whiteboard: This interactive feature allows attendees to draw on their screens like a whiteboard, making it easier to illustrate ideas and make annotations.
  • Breakout Rooms: If several discussions need to be happening at once, divide up your meeting into smaller groups in breakout rooms. This keeps everyone from talking over one another and they can all rejoin the main meeting when they’re done.
  • Share Your Screen: This popular feature allows participants to share their screen, making it easier to show anything you need from charts and power points to videos and creative content.
  • Filters and Backgrounds: While you don’t want to be distracted through the whole meeting, filters and backgrounds are a fun way to get people smiling and laughing at the start.
  • Incorporating Tools: Zoom allows hosts to incorporate tools like google docs and sheets into the meeting, so participants can all access and update documents with their own information.
  • Games: Scavenger hunts, bingo, trivia, and more are available games you can use on Zoom. These games are great for building relationships within your team and reducing stress from busy workdays.

Hosting a Zoom Party

Team activities can be difficult to host when your employees are remote, but they are essential for building a sense of community within your business. Here are some fun things to do on Zoom as a team 

  • Game day: Call everyone together and set up breakout rooms with different games. This way, everyone can participate in the way they want.
  • Cocktail party: Go around and let everyone show off what drink they’re bringing to the party, and maybe even demonstrate how they made it!
  • Team cooking contest: Have everyone make their best dish and vote for the best! Participants may not be able to taste it, but that just leaves more room for creative presentation.
  • Group exercise: Get an instructor to walk your team through yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or another fun exercise activity that everyone can join in at their discretion.
  • Bob Ross party: You don’t need to be in person to paint! Send your employees to a craft store with the money they need to get their own supplies, then paint as a team alongside Bob Ross.

Looking for more party ideas? Check out our other blog posts on virtual birthday parties and virtual holiday team building

When done wrong or too often, team meetings can be the bane of any employee’s workday. Don’t let bad meetings throw a wrench in your business. Use these tips to evaluate your meeting practices and learn how to make zoom meetings more engaging. 

Katie Yelisetti

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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