Online workshops are quite different to in person workshops. You can't (as easily) feed your participants or together take a walk at lunch.
In some ways they are quite similar though. Focussing on the work for 8 hours is both exhausting and can sometimes be boring. A friend of mine mentioned that if they count 5 yawns from the group, then it's time for action!
So how can you give your workshops and meetings a dose of energy? With an Energiser (also know as warmups or icebreakers). Here's my top 5 ones to always have in your back pocket:
1. Chair Olympics
Notice you've been sat in your chair for far too long? Ask participants to run around their chair twice and sit back down again. Sounds too simple doesn't it, but it really can help add a dose of fun and energy to the group. Ideal for after lunch and for any size of group.
2. Share and Stretch
I learnt this one from Laïla von Alvensleben. As the facilitator, explain to the group that you're going to ask them a question and they're going to reply with their answer, followed by a stretch and then pass on to another person.
Questions could be:
- "what are you looking forward to most this year?"
- "what's your favourite childhood memory?"
- "share something that this group won't know about you!"
This one is ideal for a group sized 4 - 12. Any larger and your energiser may take longer than the workshop itself!
3. Where are you?
This one will require a map in your visual collaboration space. Depending on where your team are based will decide the size of your map.
Invite participants to put their name on the map, maybe putting their photo on the location. As an extra step, write next to it what any visitors coming to their town should visit!
4. Holiday destination
Incredibly simple one. Ask participants to share a photo of where they would like to go on holiday. Then ask each person to say their name (if a warm-up), share where this is and why.
You can customise the photo sharing energisers to anything, such as:
- share a photo of a book that you think everyone in this group should read
- a photo of your favourite drink
- what sport or hobby gives you the most joy
- photo of your lunch (good for checking that people are looking after themselves!)
5. Treasure Find
Find something in your home that you treasure and share it. Give your participants 5 minutes to run and get something. Then invite them to come back, share what it is and why they treasure it.
This could be a pet, an object or a gift that you've recently received.
Hope that gives you some ideas to try in your next workshops!