If you had a nickel for every awkward moment you’ve encountered on a Zoom call, we bet you’d be a millionaire by now. Don’t get us wrong.
Virtual events are great! They allow remote teams to get to know their other team members.
Even if they haven’t met in person. That’s pretty cool! But there’s no question that online platforms and even technical difficulties can lead to some pretty awkward moments you’d rather not share with your boss.
So how do you overcome those awkward moments? We are SO glad you asked…
See Related: 27 Entertainment Ideas For Virtual Events
What a virtual emcee brings to your virtual event
Bringing in a virtual emcee for your virtual event, virtual party, virtual conferences, or even virtual sporting event will be the best decision you make. In your life.
Okay, maybe not in your life. But your work life – and probably your remote workers – will definitely thank you for it.
Hosting a virtual meeting can be a daunting task. You’re having to entertain folks for roughly two hours across multiple time zones.
And at any given point, something could go wrong with the live streaming technology. And let’s be honest – there are only a select few people who are technical wizards at Microsoft Teams.
But a professional emcee can boost morale with your remote team like nobody’s business. Not only is it their job to do so.
But they’re also coming into these team meetings fresh. Team members who know each other already fall into a kind of rhythm.
And sometimes, that rhythm needs shaking up. So a fun way to get your small teams together and make your next virtual meeting more engaging is by bringing in somebody new.
#2. Team building activities
An emcee will have loads of tools in their back pocket. But perhaps none as important as their virtual event ideas and team building exercises.
Every virtual team – and in-person team – needs these types of activities to stay strong. And we’re not here to say that team building online is better than team building at in-person events.
But anything that can get the entire team to work together is worth the effort and the time spent. Virtual team building events can feel a little tricky to handle at first, especially when there’s a little friendly competition involved.
But your emcee will know exactly how to navigate these waters. And get your virtual team to work through it and accomplish the task of the online game.
#3. Communication skills
Just because you’ve got live streams going on in a Zoom meeting, Google Meet video chats, or other video conferencing platform doesn’t mean you’re actually communicating. Because let’s be honest.
Communicating can be some hard work. Especially for remote teams with family members in the background of their video meetings.
But when you’ve got a team captain like a virtual emcee, your online meeting has a clear guide. Like the captain on the high seas – that is if the high seas are virtual waves and shareable links.
This way, the entire event has a clear direction forward. And team member after team member won’t feel like they have to take over once the online event goes a little haywire from Zoom fatigue.
So do your virtual conferences a favor and bring in a professional. Odds are your team members will likely thank you for it too.
#4. Conversation starters
Sometimes, remote work means that you’ve never met each other in person. Sure, you might follow each other on social media.
And you’ve seen them on a video call here and there. But when it comes to starting a conversation with them, you really don’t know where to start.
Well, a virtual emcee or corporate entertainer will know exactly how to kick off your next virtual event. Because they likely won’t know anybody on the call either!
This way, everyone is in the same boat. And your virtual events can turn into a real good time simply because the video call has someone direct the traffic.
#5. Improvisational skills
Serious question for you: Have you ever witnessed an entire event that had no technical difficulties whatsoever? Come on, there are no wrong answers.
Just kidding. There is absolutely a wrong answer and that wrong answer is “no.”
Every virtual event has had its own trials and tribulations. Whether it’s internet connection, awkward conversations, or more.
And each time, you’ve wondered, “Gosh, how are we going to get out of this one?” Well, you might be surprised to hear this, (sarcasm deeply intended) but a virtual emcee will know exactly how.
It’s some unwritten rule that hosts absolutely are required to have improvisational skills. There’s simply no way around it.
Well, actually there is. And they’re the ones who are going to find it. Through improv.
How do I make my virtual meetings less awkward?
If you’re still not convinced that a virtual emcee can make or break your next event, here are some tips on how you can make the next meeting better. (What? You can’t expect a virtual emcee to be the answer to all of your problems… Or can you?)
What you can do
#1. Set up your virtual space
Before your next event, it’s always a great idea to set up your virtual space. Make sure you have a neutral background.
And any writing utensils or other tools you need are close by. Additionally, adding some nice light with a ring light will make it easier for others to see you (duh).
Unless, of course, you want to look like the Sith Lord from Star Wars, ominously planning in the corner. (We’re not telling you no…)
#2. Consider what’s in frame
You’ll want to consider what’s coming across in your video call the same way you set up your physical space. Are you sitting too close to the camera?
Is it at a weird angle? Are you too far away and it sounds like you’re underwater?
Or is there a pile of dirty laundry just to the right of your head? We know this is a lot to think about.
But when you welcome other teams into your own home, you want the place to look nice, right? Or at least not as chaotic as it normally looks.
#3. Test your audio
Testing audio before your next event is a surefire way of ensuring that no snafu’s go off. There’s nothing worse than getting into a passionate point, then realizing you were on mute.
Or having to yell your ideas over others just to get a word in from your spotty Internet connection. Either way, make sure you can be heard loud and clear.
Even call on a family member to help you out. (We’re sure your kids love when you Zoom call them in their bedrooms from the living room.)
#4. Make appropriate eye contact
When you’re talking to someone in person, there are certain social cues we’re expected to uphold. One of which is making appropriate eye contact.
Eye contact shows the other person that you’re engaged and attentive. Not distracted or thinking about other things.
We’re not suggesting you look directly into the camera when you speak. (Sometimes, that can look a little creepy.)
But when someone else is speaking, be sure to demonstrate that you’re engaged by making eye contact. Even if it’s only with their image on the screen.
#5. Be an active listener
Additionally, you can use body language to exhibit your attentiveness. Nothing says, “Great job” or “I agree” like a passionate head nod.
And let’s be real. There’s quite a lot that can be said simply through body language.
So don’t close yourself off when others are speaking by crossing your arms. Or busying yourself with something else lying around on your desk.
You wouldn’t do that if you were talking to them in person, right? … Right?
What a virtual emcee can do
#1. Work a video call
Sometimes, even after all that prep work above, the meetings are still a little awkward. And that’s when you bring in the big guns.
Or rather the emcee who may or may not have large biceps. (We have no guarantees on that front.)
They’ll be the first person on the call to make a greeting. And the last person on the call to graciously usher everyone out.
Not to mention they’ll know how to work a room throughout. Even a virtual room at that.
#2. Get virtual teams to open up
You know, they say a comedian is very much like a therapist. They just have a knack for opening people up.
Okay, you caught us, nobody says that. But there’s got to be some truth to it!
Whether it’s opening people up with a laugh or simply by charming them, a virtual comedian or host can do wonders to get teams to share their inner feelings. You may even feel like you went to therapy after a session with them!
#3. Host a virtual team building event
If you want an even playing field, hire an outside person. It’s simple, really.
Let’s say you’re playing a team building game and the winning team is the one with the most points. It’s only fair to bring in an outside third party participant to judge, right?
Besides, you know that so-and-so who gets a little too competitive in the office. Maybe this will help to tamp down any tensions…
#4. Host virtual social events
The nice thing about a virtual emcee is that they can be formal or casual, and still entertaining. Maybe you’re looking to host a social event and you simply want there to be someone else in charge.
That’s great! A virtual emcee will be right there to help you out.
That way, you can focus on the people at the virtual event. Not whether the Internet connection is spotty or whether everyone’s snacks are getting (virtually) cold.
#5. Come up with happy hour activities
And if you really want to go casual, ask the emcee if they have any games in mind for happy hour. Maybe they’ll even get families involved!
You never know what tricks they’ve got up their sleeve. But it’s always worth it to branch out and be brave while getting to know your colleagues just a bit better.
How do you make virtual events more interesting?
Okay, fine. This is for those of you who are determined to gloss over those awkward moments without a virtual emcee…
#1. Virtual team building activity
Consider holding a poll amongst your officemates to see what kind of activities they like to do! Or browse through social media to get some ideas on how to bring your team members together.
#2. Virtual happy hour activity
This one probably boils down to starting some small talk. Because depending on what everyone’s drinking, you might not be able to accomplish an activity to the best of your abilities. (Or maybe that’s what makes it more fun?)
#3. Online games
The world wide web is here to help you find that one game that’ll bring your coworkers together. Whether it’s online Scrabble or even comparing Wordle results with one another!
#4. Virtual scavenger hunt
You can make this as easy or as difficult as you’d like. But try to keep in mind that the sharing portion of what folks found is a great opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another.
#5. Virtual dance party
When all else fails, dance it out. Things are already awkward enough, right? Why not dance about it?
Awkwardness is normal, as awkward as that sounds. And while we’re getting used to virtual events, there is still some rocky terrain that folks are having to manage.
So don’t let the awkward get you down. If anything, give into it.
A virtual emcee might even commend you on your willingness to do so! But if the awkwardness is simply too much, spare yourself the heartache and bring in a professional.
We really are here to help you! So help us help you help us help you! (That wasn’t awkward, was it?)
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