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"I Hate Virtual Meetings!" How To Make Them Fun

"I Hate Virtual Meetings!" How To Make Them Fun

There's no doubt that videoconferencing and online meetings have become increasingly popular in recent years. After all, they offer a convenient way to connect with others without having to physically be in the same room. The recent pandemic has also contributed to this type of communication and remote teams are now part of the reality for many of us and has reduced our desire to have face-to-face meetings. Video calls have also spun niche industries that appeal to the concept of virtual meeting fun such as online team-building games. Still, many people dislike these types of meetings. Let's find out why and how to spice them up.

Why do people hate virtual meetings?

There are some advantages to videoconferencing, of course. For one, it can save time and money by eliminating the need for travel. Plus, it gives people the flexibility to attend meetings from anywhere in the world. However, there are also some potential drawbacks.

For example, videoconferencing can sometimes create a sense of distance between participants. This can make it difficult to build rapport and trust, which are essential for successful business relationships. Additionally, videoconferencing can often be less personal than face-to-face meetings, making it harder to build relationships with clients and customers. In the end, it's up to each business to decide what works best for them. But there's no doubt that videoconferencing and online meetings have changed the way we do business.

Disconnected, Unmotivated and Distracted

With so many people working remotely, it can be hard to stay connected in the traditional sense. And when you're not in the same room with someone, it's easy to feel unmotivated.

Why do people organize weekend activities with family and friends?

Because it creates and nourishes a bond. After all, we are social beings and need direct human contact in order to feel alive and complete. Although working from home in your jammies might appear to be a more advantageous form of employment, the pandemic has exposed its flaws.

Young People Need the Real World to Thrive

Over the course of several months in 2021, Emelie Delage, a doctoral student in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Montreal, and Tania Tremblay, Ph.D. in neuropsychology and researcher-teacher in college psychology, conducted a study amongst college students aged between 17 and 21. The goal was to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of students regarding their reality of online courses who received both face-to-face and distance training during the winter 2021 semester.

The students surveyed had an average of four distance courses of a synchronous or asynchronous nature and two face-to-face courses for what was on average their third semester of CEGEP.

The Results Weren't Pretty

The conclusion was that time spent in front of screens exacerbates the sedentary lifestyle of young people, who were already less active since the start of the pandemic. This sedentary lifestyle is also associated with several physical and psychological health problems, mainly, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, mood alteration, and increased feelings of fatigue and pain. Also, prolonged exposure is associated with manifestations of inattention and hyperactivity, depressive and anxious symptoms, and lower efficiency of cognitive functions that are important for academic success, such as working memory and abilities. A majority of students also admitted feeling less motivated than with real live classes, where they could interact directly with others and participate in tactile and physical projects. Furthermore, a staggering 84% of the students claimed that they easily lost concentration during online classes, the culprit being too many distractions at home.

Awareness and Balance are Key

Certainly, this is an extreme case, but a symbolic one nevertheless. 

The main takeaway is this: spending a huge chunk of your life isolated with your eyes transfixed on your computer monitor is unhealthy, both physically and psychologically. This could explain why so many people dread online meetings: it's yet another computer task that I must perform.

If you're feeling drained and demotivated, know that it's a common symptom of too much screen time, and it's a way for your body to tell you "enough". Now that the pandemic is essentially over and that life is returning to some sort of normality, we should compensate all of our computer time with live meetings with friends and incorporate plenty of physical activities such as bike rides and walks at the park.

Introverts and the Dreaded Video Call

If you're an introvert, the thought of attending another online meeting probably fills you with dread. And it's no wonder - introverts tend to dislike large gatherings of any type - in-person meetings or virtual ones - and they usually prefer to communicate one-on-one or in small groups. Online conferences can be especially challenging for introverts, as they often involve large numbers of people and can be quite chaotic.

Introverts may find it difficult to focus on the discussion or contribute to the conversation. As a result, they may end up feeling drained and even more isolated after attending an online meeting. If you're an introvert, consider scheduling some time for yourself after an online meeting to recharge your batteries. Another tip is to attend a few with friends or family so you can get out of your comfort zone before graduating to professional team meetings or with remote workers.

Camera Shy? You're Not Alone

Being camera shy can be a real pain, especially in our age of social media, where it seems like everyone is constantly posting pictures and videos of themselves. If you're camera-shy, you probably dread your next video meeting just as much as having your picture taken or being in videos. But there's no need to hide away from the camera - there are plenty of ways to overcome your camera shyness. With a little practice, you'll enthusiastically take part in fun virtual team-building games with your colleagues and perhaps even start posting selfies and videos like everyone else in no time. Here are a few tips:

1. Start small

If the thought of being in front of a camera is too overwhelming, start by simply holding a camera yourself and taking some pictures. Once you're comfortable doing that, move on to taking pictures of friends or family members. In the context of video calls such as Zoom virtual meetings, scheduling some with friends before attending an online team building activity with colleagues will accustom you to seeing yourself on screen..

2. Practice makes perfect

The more you get used to being in front of a camera, the less camera-shy you'll be.

3. Don't take yourself too seriously

One of the reasons people get camera shy is because they're worried about how they look on camera. But remember, nobody is perfect.

4. Get your Zs, Eat your Veggies, and Exercise

It's a fact that most camera-shy individuals hate to be photographed because they dislike their physical appearance. If you suffer from an acute case of camera-shyness, you'll be amazed how transformative regular sleep, a great diet, and plenty of exercise will be on your general appearance.

Virtual meetings can be viewed as bad… Here’s why

If you've ever had to sit through a long, drawn-out meeting that could have easily been an email, you know how frustrating virtual meetings can be. Video call and videoconference technology have come a long way, but there are still some major pain points when it comes to meetings. 

First, it's often difficult to gauge nonverbal cues over a video call, which can make it hard to know when someone is ready to move on to the next topic.

Additionally, people tend to multitask during virtual meetings, which can lead to distraction and decreased productivity. Finally, meetings that are held virtually often run over their allotted time, since it's harder to wrap up a discussion when you're not in the same room as the other participants. In short, virtual meetings can be frustrating and less than ideal - but sometimes they're inevitable.

How do you make a virtual meeting more fun?

If you're tasked with hosting another virtual meeting or conference call, there are a few things you can do to make it more fun and engaging.

1. Begin with a Warm-up Session

When it comes to audience engagement, starting off on the right foot is key. And that means getting everyone warmed up and ready to participate. Whether you're leading a virtual meeting or video call, there are a few simple ways to get your audience engaged from the start. One great way to warm up your audience is, to begin with a quick icebreaker. This can help everyone ease into the interaction and feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts. You can also ask questions throughout your presentation to keep people engaged and encourage participation. By taking a few minutes to warm up your audience, you'll set the tone for a more successful and engaging presentation.

2. Change the Format

First, try to mix up the format a bit. Instead of having everyone sit in a virtual "room" and talk, try something more interactive, like a virtual scavenger hunt or trivia game.

3. Incorporate Media

You can also use video conferencing to your advantage by incorporating multimedia elements into your presentation. For example, you could use images,  PowerPoint presentations, or video clips to liven things up. With a little creativity, you can turn even the most boring virtual meeting into a fun and memorable event.

Create Virtual Team Building Activities

Team-building activities are a great way to help virtual team members get to know each other and build team morale, but they can be tricky to organize. Here are a few tips to help you plan a successful virtual team-building activity:

1. Plan your Team Building Activity

First, decide what type of activity you want to do. There are lots of great options out there, from online escape rooms to virtual cooking classes.

2. Design the Activity to Suite your Remote Team Members

Make sure the activity is tailored to your team's specific needs and interests. Not everyone will be interested in the same thing, so it's important to find an activity that everyone can enjoy.

3. Communicate The Required Material

Once you've chosen an activity, make sure to send out all the necessary materials to your team members in advance. This will give them time to prepare and avoid any last-minute scrambling.

4. Debrief

Finally, don't forget to debrief after the activity! This is a great opportunity for team members to give feedback and share their thoughts on the experience. By taking the time to debrief, you'll ensure that your team-building activity is truly successful.

Virtual Team Building Ideas

If you're looking for team-building ideas that can be done virtually, there are plenty of options to choose from. One popular option is to hold virtual meetings where team members can get to know each other better. You can use online tools to create fun team-building activities, such as scavenger hunts or trivia games.

There are also a number of online team-building services that offer virtual multiparty games, such as Teambuilding.com and Teambonding.com. Some activities can even be hosted; this is the case with poker tournaments and other casino-type games. Whatever option you choose, the important thing is to create an environment where team members can interact and bond with each other.

Another great team-building activity is to take a virtual tour: take advantage of technology and explore somewhere new! There are tons of virtual tours available online, from art galleries and museums to national parks and historical landmarks. You could also introduce your home to your partners and colleagues. This is a great way to warm up before tackling more serious topics.

How do be an Interesting Host

If you're looking to add a bit of spice to your virtual meetings, there's no need to look any further than your very own virtual host. That's right, with a bit of effort, you can easily become the most interesting person on your next video call. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Prepare

Make sure you're well-prepared for your meeting or call. Nothing is more off-putting than a host who doesn't seem to know what they're doing.

2. Be personable and engaging

Ask your attendees questions, crack a few jokes, and generally try to make the experience enjoyable for everyone.

3. Be creative

There are all sorts of fun ways to liven up a virtual meeting, from playing games to incorporating multimedia content. If you want to stand out as a virtual host, put some extra effort into making your events enjoyable and interesting.

Tips for a great professional online meeting

As more and more businesses move online, the need for virtual meetings has increased exponentially. While there are many benefits to this type of meeting, there are also some challenges that come along with it. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your next professional online meeting:

1. Create a detailed agenda

This will help to keep your next virtual meeting on track and ensure that all-important topics are covered. Once written, communicate it to your colleagues and ask for feedback and ideas that could be discussed.

2. Have a time frame

When you're setting up a professional meeting online, it's important to establish a timeframe. This will help ensure that everyone stays on track and that the meeting runs smoothly. You'll need to take into account the time zone of all your participants, as well as any other scheduling constraints. Once you've determined the best time for the meeting, be sure to communicate this to all your colleagues, clients, and partners. By taking the time to establish a timeframe, you'll be able to ensure that your meeting is productive and successful.

Also, the length of your professional remote meeting should be long enough to cover all the points on your agenda. Usually, a good timeframe is anywhere between half an hour and two hours.

4. Know your videoconference application

As the host of virtual events, other team members will rely on you to master the video call platform. Appearing lost and not knowing how the virtual tools work is a horrible feeling, particularly in the context of a professional team meeting.

5. Encourage participants to be active

Virtual meetings can be easy to tune out of if you're not careful. Be sure to encourage participants to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

6. Use visual aids

Since people are looking at a screen rather than each other, it can be helpful to use visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations or infographics.

7. Leave time for small talk

Just because the meeting is online doesn't mean you have to forgo social interaction altogether. Make sure to leave time at the beginning or end of the meeting for participants to catch up with each other.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your next professional online meeting is a success. 

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by
Crewdle staff
June 19, 2022
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