By: Melissa Lagowski
Big Buzz Idea Group
Routine “bored” meetings have transitioned from conference rooms to Zoom rooms for today’s remote workforce (and many are still a challenge to get enthused about…). Video conferencing is here to stay, so if you want your meetings to stand out while you increase engagement and avoid contributing to your staff’s zoom fatigue, you’ll want to pay attention.
Whether you are using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or one of the many other online video platforms, it is always a good idea to look for ways to increase the engagement of your meetings. Here are some tools to help you foster more creativity and collaboration for your virtual events.
Share a whiteboard for shared input. Choose the option to assign names to each annotator to know who is contributing which ideas during your discussion. This feature can easily be turned on and off as desired for meeting discussions so that you can limit when guests are posting on the Whiteboard.
Setting up a Google Doc will allow you to easily drop a link in the chat for participants to add their ideas to a shared document for all attendees to see. Or you can have your team behind the scenes – working remotely in real time – to drop in text from a discussion while editing a live document in real time.
Text can be color coded by theme or author for easy tracking or to copy/paste to other pages in the presentation. For example, if you have a brainstorming session about three key items, you can color code the items and then easily add those ideas to separate pages for further discussion during the meeting. When finished, you all have the meeting notes at your fingertips!
This is another Google program that is more sophisticated than the first two programs. You can insert images from an online file collection or your own files. Those in the Jamboard can add colored sticky notes for items that you want to tag and utilize a laser pointer during your discussions to emphasize certain discussion points.
With a brief tutorial at the start of the meeting, this tool allows for a variety of uses to engage your attendees in virtual exercises during a presentation. You can also brand the Jamboard which is an added bonus.
Simply log into your Google account and click the Jamboard icon to get started:
Slido allows you to easily ask your audience questions and participate in polls so that they can share feedback during your presentation. This product has a free version as well as some reasonably priced packages for extended use.
Kahoot! Delivers interactive training and sharing through an engaging game format so you can assign challenges throughout a presentation or event. The program interacts seamlessly with many other technologies to allow you to have seamless gamification from start to finish.
You can utilize this program for polls and word clouds as well as setting up quizzes and puzzles. And the reporting system on the backend can help you receive valuable feedback and measure learning objectives.
This is another program that allows you to upload a variety of file types from your own computer for project collaboration. You can organize the layout of the screen to be a bulletin board, a feed of information or an open canvas. You can create diagrams, maps and other design layouts to foster collaboration. Padlet offers a free 30-day trial and then offers nominal monthly pricing with a discount if you subscribe for a full year.
Miro is a more creative style whiteboard that allows for the use of workflow diagrams, spreadsheets and storyboarding. This platform supports Agile principles and design thinking to foster team collaboration. If you are looking for a more robust program to ignite your team’s creativity, Miro has many options available to help, with a variety of templates that can easily be utilized in any number of ways.
This program has a free version available, and each upgrade offers additional features.
Mural fosters more creative templates for interactive and engaging meetings, allowing team members to work in an innovative fashion for problem solving. It is a more sophisticated program that allows teams to visually walk through their solutions and engineer a plan. It integrates with many common apps for seamless workflow, and qualifying nonprofits can obtain free access to the program.
If you are looking for a unique end to a meeting, consider creating a word cloud created from everyone’s takeaway from the meeting. Word clouds can be a creative way to capture the energy of your meeting while helping to keep everyone inspired to achieve the meeting goals after the meeting has ended.
We hope that you will check out some of these tools so that you can continue to foster the engagement of your staff, board, donors and even the volunteers at your nonprofit association. By incorporating a cool app or two to keep them engaged, your audience will soon be clamoring for next week’s zoom meeting!