Anyone else sick of awkward Zoom family meetings consisting of the same old discussion topics?
Or how about those free-for-all family chats when everyone talks at the same time?
Then there’s the painful meetings when that family member (who shall not be named) hogs the spotlight the whole time.
We can do better. We just need a plan. Here’s one.
“Let’s Elevate this Zoom Call Lest We Die of Boredom” Plan
Step 1: Who’s in charge of this rodeo?
Pick someone to run the show. A moderator is key to keeping the conversation on track, keeping the rambunctious & overly verbose under control, and encouraging the quiet ones to participate. I recommend choosing yourself for this position. Also, remember, the mute button is a powerful tool, don’t forget to use it. It’s perfectly fine to order others to use theirs too because it’s SO annoying when everyone talks at once.
Screen share is available for slides and video clips. Don’t forget to test new technology prior to the meeting because technical difficulties are a buzz kill. Lastly, remember that Zoom Basic (the free plan) has a 40 minute time limit. If a family member has Zoom Pro then you can talk and stare at each other all day.
Step 2: Pick a couple things from this list to infuse spirit, meaning, & jocularity into your Zoom meeting
Kick the party off with a couple group songs! Provide lyrics to maximize participation. Add a tambourine, a harmonica, beat a kitchen pan with a wooden spoon,…make it crazy and wild!
Read (with inflection/passion/humor) excerpts from favorite holiday books.
Takes turns sharing a photo or video of your decorated home or kids. Add snarky commentary.
Family Cook-off. Version 1: Participants make the same item, show it off, then eat it together. Version 2: Participants make a unique dish and eat it together.
Dress up in hilarious costumes and wigs. Pick a theme.
Play a visual game like Charades or Pictionary. (More ideas)
Share a sweet and a funny holiday 60 second memory. (Moderator, you’re the timekeeper. I like to use an obnoxious buzzer app).
Send each other a white elephant gift and open together.
Demonstrate a funny skill you’ve developed during the Pandemic. (I’m proud of my epic sparkling water burps.)
Share a new talent or project you are working on during the Pandemic.
Describe your favorite winter ritual. (fireplaces and hot cocoa, warming up your flannel sheets, chopping wood in your long underwear….)
Tell a joke or show a funny clip.
Share a moving memory of your grandparents. (script it to make it good!)
Dance Party! Play a fun song and direct everyone to stand-up and shake their booty.
Talent show! AND I don’t mean just the performing arts…Anything goes.
Start planning a family gathering for 2022. Assign a leader. (I recommend choosing yourself.) Make a list, delegate the tasks, set deadlines.
Plan a family donation project. Yep, someone does need to be in charge. Why not you?
Karaoke competition! Air guitar?
End with a group prayer/meditation/cheer/laugh!
Step 3: Study up! Zoom tech help resources
Make sure you know what you’re doing and how to trouble-shoot.
Now. You got the information and the power to create orderly, energizing, and, dare I say, memorable Zoom calls.
Go forth and make it happen. Feel free to download and print this cheat sheet. Happy Zooming!