Trainer Support Materials

Innovative ways to liven up a Zoom meeting

Zoom has become a core part of day to day working life. What can we do to make Zoom calls more engaging?

14th April 2024

Innovative ways to liven up a Zoom meeting
Do you remember a time before Zoom calls? Feels like a long time ago. Zoom meetings have become a staple in our work lives. The 2020 pandemic felt like a permanent change in how we learn and work that left us all too often in a constant loop of video calls. Most people will agree that these calls can sometimes feel monotonous, with participants often hopping from one meeting to another. The challenge then becomes: How do we inject some energy and engagement back into these virtual gatherings?

We've collated some of our quickest and most enjoyable virtual learning activities that can transform any Zoom call from "drab" to "fab". Also its worth remembering that these tips are not exclusive to Zoom. They can be applied to other video conferencing tools like Whereby, Teams and Google Meet as well.
Seeing The Point is a dynamic online activity tailored to enhance problem-solving and creative thinking within teams. This digital adaptation of a classic physical exercise that has been used for decades challenges participants to not only innovate individually but also to harness collective creativity. 

By navigating through a series of tasks that require both individual and collaborative innovation, participants experience firsthand the power of diverse thinking and the potential of synergy.

The activity can be used with as few as 2 participants and as many as 20 in the one session. Time wise an average session lasts an hour but this can be condensed and completed in around 15 minutes.
Broken Squares is a classic team-building exercise adapted for the virtual world. Each participant receives a puzzle with pieces that, when combined, form squares. The catch? They cannot speak and must figure out how to solve the puzzle together by offering and receiving pieces non-verbally. 

This activity encourages non-verbal communication and teamwork, making your Zoom call an interactive and collaborative space.

The activity emphasises the principle of 'giving' and encourages participants to translate the lessons learned into actionable workplace behaviours.
Workstations is an immersive virtual team challenge designed to hone team communication and problem-solving skills. Participants, armed only with verbal communication and unique task details presented on images of playing cards, must collaboratively interpret and strategise to deduce answers to posed questions. 

Beyond mere problem-solving, this game delves deep into the intricacies of team dynamics, making it an invaluable tool for groups aiming to enhance their collaborative efforts.

You can conduct this session with as few as 4 participants and as many as 20 in the one session. 

Celtic Cross is a variant of the Workstations activity. It is again a discussion-led activity that encourages deep thinking and reflection.

All communication is verbal; strategic thinking skills are essential. Each participant is provided with a link to view their individual task information contained on images of playing cards.

This exercise demands both task and group leadership. It also requires critical thinking - simply sharing the information will not uncover the answers, rather the information contained on each information card must be combined, and then used to deduce the answer to the question posed in the activity brief. This allows the group to be involved in a significant virtual team-problem solving activity, and quickly mirror problems that real-life teams face in the workplace.

This is a perfect early team exercise or ice-breaker to establish how a team works together and is ideal for groups not previously experienced in working as a virtual group or team.
This creative brainstorming session involves participants selecting an image based on a prompt by the session host or facilitator. The image selected can be anything from a beehive to represent teamwork and structure, to a sports team to symbolize competition and collaboration. 

Participants then explain their choice, leading to insightful discussions about how the team views the organisation and what it stands for. It's a reflective exercise that can bring to light different perceptions and foster a stronger team identity.

Some ways this activity can be applied are:

  1. Icebreakers: If your Zoom call is bringing together new people this kickstarts discussion allowing participants to select an image that resonates with their current feelings or perceptions about the organisation.
  2. Team Development: Use the images on your video conferencing call to identify and discuss team dynamics, strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement.
  3. Performance Reviews: During one-on-ones, have employees select cards that represent their journey, challenges, or achievements over a period.
  4. Activity Debrief/Review/Retro: Post-activity or project, use the images to facilitate reflection on what went well and what could be improved.
  5. Closing Activities: Conclude workshops or sessions by having participants select images that encapsulate their takeaways or feelings at the end.
  6. Feedback Sessions: Encourage open dialogue about team or organizational dynamics in a non-confrontational manner using the images as conversation starters.

Applying These Activities Beyond Zoom
While we've focused on Zoom, it's essential to note that these activities can be seamlessly integrated into other platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. The underlying principle remains the same: engaging participants in a manner that goes beyond the conventional meeting format. 

Each platform has its unique set of features that can enhance these activities, from breakout rooms for smaller group discussions to integrated apps that support interactive sessions. If you would like to explore how to you Experiential Learning Tools with your IT infrastructure book a demo and a member of the team can help.

Make Zoom Great Again
Now that we've explored a handful of activities to spice up your video calls, we'd love to hear from you. Do you have a go-to game or exercise that transforms your virtual meetings?

Perhaps a success story where an activity led to a breakthrough moment for your team? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below. Let's create a repository of fun, engaging, and meaningful ways to liven up our digital gatherings. Even if these activities aren't part of the ELT platform we would still love to collate and share them We're all about HR and training innovation so together, we can redefine what it means to meet virtually, turning routine calls into memorable moments of connection and creativity.

To talk to a team member about online learning and training send us an email at or Book a free demo or consultation today.


Michael Hayes @_mdhayes

Head of Product at Experiential Learning Tools

Why not check out some of our other articles?

Unlock your learning potential with our free eBook

Subscribing to our newsletter not only keeps you updated with our latest activities, tools, and learning strategies, but also gives you a free copy of our eBook - "How to Use Experiential Learning Methods Online: A Comprehensive Guide".

The eBook is packed with insights and strategies to enhance your learning skills.

Subscribe & Get Free eBook
eBook Cover Image

Ready to get started? Sign up for instant access or book a free demo at a time that suits you.