Humor is powerful. Why not start your meetings with something light and entertaining? A little bit of comedy in the workplace goes a long way when it comes to building closer relationships, improving corporate culture, and accomplishing shared goals more efficiently.
When individuals come together for a meeting, help them transition into group thinking more quickly via a fun shared exercise, a silly task, or a humorous live poll. Priming your team with a fun shared task lets them know that it’s okay to relax as they settle into their flow as a team.
Use Feedback Software to Set the Tone
A light approach works particularly well if you are utilizing technological presentation tools or live feedback software in your meetings. Your employees may have some initial resistance to opening up that browser or getting that meeting app up and running, but as soon as you give them a fun exercise to complete, everyone will be on board before you know it.
In itself, feedback software and presentation tools have the potential to be dry, but when used creatively, they can add a lot of color to a meeting.
Lighten the Atmosphere with Group Exercises
Creating a light atmosphere has the power to soften heavy boundaries or tensions that participants may carry into a meeting. If heavy topics are going to be on the table, consider balancing them out with a light introduction or exercise.
As a meeting facilitator, you have the power to set the stage for any gathering. Doing so mindfully allows you to guide the tone and outcome of the meeting in a more positive direction.
Conduct Entertaining Polls and Raffles to Break the Ice
If you are using MeetingPulse software or another live feedback system that has a polling option, consider integrating the following approaches to increase engagement at the beginning of meetings or events.
- A funny picture poll. If everyone came from different parts of the city or world to attend your event, ask your audience how they arrived. For example, you might use a multiple choice polling platform to show a picture of a car, a train, an airplane, and a unicorn with a saddle. Let each member of the audience choose their method of travel. Including a unicorn sends the message to your audience that it’s okay to relax and laugh a little. It lets everyone know that there’s no need to be overly serious, thus puts everyone more at ease. Additionally, it encourages everyone to open up that app or browser that they will need for the remainder of the meeting.
- A raffle. Disrupt the room a bit by introducing the opportunity to compete and win a prize. Bring a bit of play into your event and shift the emotional experience of your audience through a raffle. Raffles quickly focus a group, as everyone has something to potentially gain from participating and opening up that interactive platform on their device.
- A free text poll. Begin your meeting by asking the group an open question and allow each participant to submit three words in reply. The resulting group of words will be presented as a word cloud for everyone to see. For example, you might request your audience to submit three words that describe how they feel today or what they hope to get out of the meeting. Lighten the tone by answering the live poll yourself anonymously, for example, by saying that you hope to get cookies, coffee, or a raise out of today’s meeting.
- A light self-deprecating poll. Do you have a nickname? Share your funny nickname – or the nickname of another leader present – and pose a question to the group: How do you think I got my nickname? Ask the group to choose from the multiple choice options. Include a few absurd, funny options along with the real answer.
Work is a serious matter, but there is always room to increase employee satisfaction and to lighten tone with a little bit of appropriate humor.
Take care to create a fun and congenial atmosphere on the front end of your meetings and events, especially if things are getting a bit too serious or stressful for members of your team.
As a leader, you have the power to create a better experience for your employees. All it takes is a small gesture that makes them smile to change the course of a meeting — or a whole day — or even a whole week.