Ty Collins, March 12, 2021
Many things changed during the pandemic, but perhaps the biggest change was to the workforce. From the loss of jobs to the shift to working from home, people had to adapt. Zoom became one of the most widely used video calling services. By the second quarter of 2020, it had seen a user increase of 4,700% year over year.
With workers needing to connect to work virtually and families trying to stay in touch with each other, video became the best way to stay connected. However, Zoom saw its own issues arise. They had to keep up with the demand and navigate through breach issues to secure their meeting rooms so that the educators and corporate leaders using the software could use the platform safely.
Zoom fatigue is a real thing.
Now, a year into the pandemic, Zoom fatigue has become a real issue. Not only because of the lack of in-person interactions, but because many people have had to use Zoom to the point of exhaustion.
In-person meetings and attending class in person offer a greater degree of connection and engagement. With Zoom, a meaningful connection is harder to establish.
But what if Zoom calls could be more fun and engaging? What if you could play games on Zoom? Teachers probably have the best grasp on this concept, having had to engage even the youngest of students while schools were closed.
Any time you add in games or fun to something, kids pay more attention. Apparently, people don't grow out of that need for engagement because zoom meeting games can also add a necessary element of fun to work conferences. Here are the best games to play on Zoom to keep your audience engaged.
20 Questions is a familiar game to many. It can be played in a variety of ways depending on your mood or the setting. The purpose of the game is to find out more about a topic — whether that's the call's participants or something the team is trying to learn about. Some great ideas for questions to ask attendees can be found online, or viewers can each submit a question they'd like asked.
When learning about a topic, choose one member to decide on the subject and have some information handy regarding that topic to answer any questions. After learning about the subject, each member gets to ask one question to help the team learn more about the subject. An alternative to this would be to have the host prepare a list of questions about a topic, ask those questions, and have the viewers use Google to see who can find the answer the fastest.
Made more for adult Zooms or workplaces that are a bit more relaxed, card games like Cards Against Humanity can add a little happy hour fun to your Zoom call. There's also a free option online called Remote Insensitivity.
Other popular alternatives include Apples to Apples, Exploding Kittens, and Joking Hazard. There's even a kids version of Cards Against Humanity for those that need a safer version of the game.
Trivia games are easy to play online using the Zoom chat feature. You can use random trivia generators found online or even questions from a trivia board game if you have one handy.
Divide the group into two teams where each player on the team takes a turn at a particular question so that two people are up against each other each time. The contestants can put their answers in the chat with the first correct answer getting the point. The team that gets the most points wins.
Kids having fun playing Zoom meeting games with their classmates
This popular game was first developed for kids but can work for all age groups. Each person can play by typing their answer into the chat. The host picks a letter, and each player has to list the name of a famous person, a place, an animal, and a thing that begins with that letter. The first person to answer correctly wins.
You can also do a modified version of Mad Libs or have business-related information serve as the categories, such as client name, sales strategy, product name, and store location.
There are several Bingo board options to choose from online that allow your Zoom call to turn into an interactive game. Adding small prizes can incentivize team members to join the call as well.
You can choose a random board and have someone call out numbers as if it were a traditional Bingo game, or you can create your own board with things that might happen on the call as space fillers and see who gets the most squares filled in. This way, viewers pay more attention throughout the call if there is still business to discuss. The first person to complete a row wins.
This simple dice game divides the viewers into two teams. With the teams alternating after each roll, each team member takes a turn rolling one die. Whatever number the die lands on, the team has to decide if they want to take the number on the die or the number times 10. The goal is to reach 101 without exceeding it. The first team to get there wins.
If you have this classic game, you can use the cards from it or search online for card topics. The host will split the viewers into two teams. As the question is asked, every person will type possible answers into the chat box. Whoever gets the top answer will get the point for their team.
It's a good idea to have an impartial chat moderator to view the comments and determine a winner. After a set number of questions, the team with the most points wins.
Using screen share and the whiteboard app in Zoom, you can even play a remote game of Pictionary. First, divide the group into teams. Then, use an online word generator to pick items to draw.
Using this Pictionary word generator, have the first team choose someone to draw for their team, giving the team one minute to guess the item. Teams get one point for each correct answer. To make things more interesting, give the other team a chance to steal if the drawing team does not guess in time.
How many times has a Zoom meeting had audio troubles? Help your team get over those frustrating situations with some lip-reading practice.
To play, have someone mute their mic and say a word or phrase. Players then try to guess the word or phrase correctly within a one-minute time limit. To make it easier, have the turn-taker give clues in the chat box when needed.
Charades can be fun to play online. You can use the actual game to generate the words and phrases, come up with your own, or use an online idea generator.
After breaking into two teams, the person acting out the charade can use the Zoom spotlight feature to play. Their team has one minute to figure out the answer to win the point. The team with the most points wins the game.
This game was a lifesaver for many teachers during the initial lockdowns. To play, the host creates a list of items and challenges their viewers to gather each item and bring it back to their computer. You can do this one by one or list several items at once.
Alternately, you can let viewers tell stories about their items. Typical ideas for things to search for might include something red, a favorite mug, a picture from your last vacation, your favorite book, a pet, and so on. Make sure to mix some harder-to-find items in to make the game more challenging.
Guess Who? is a game where players work to identify their opponent’s chosen person from a lineup of options. For example, a player from team one might ask, “Is your person a girl?” If the opponent says yes, then the player would eliminate any boys' cards, and vice versa.
To play this game on Zoom, start by taking turns choosing a random coworker or team member. When it's your turn, allow the other viewers to take turns guesting traits. If a guessed trait answer eliminates someone on the call, they stop their webcam but continue to participate.
When only one person is left on camera, the turn-taker confirms if the answer is correct. Because you probably know each other pretty well, guesses can be more in-depth, such as how long someone has worked at the company.
This option is a little more free-form than most. Start by dividing the viewers into two teams. Players will take turns competing for 60 seconds at an easily quantifiable task. When time runs out, the winning player gets the point for their team. At the end, the team with the most points wins.
Some popular options include cup stacking, most hula hoop rotations, and most words that start with a particular letter written down.
This game provides a fun way to work on team building. To play, the person whose turn it is chooses a topic and a person. The chosen person has 15 seconds to name five things within that topic.
For example, if the subject was cities in California, the chosen person might name San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and Berkeley.
Finding out what you have in common with your coworkers can be a great bonding experience. Use breakout rooms for this game and divide the group into teams of no more than four people.
In each round, a topic is given, and the players go into their breakout rooms for a set amount of time to determine the answers. When everyone comes back, the teams present their answers. For example, one round could be to find the most unusual thing the group has in common, while another round could be to find one place every person has traveled to.
You've probably had plenty of practice using Zoom, so you know what supplies make a meeting go smoother. Got your charger? Favorite beverage? Something to snack on? Once you've got all the essentials, you're ready to go. Whether you're hosting a business meeting, teaching a class, or just catching up with family and friends, the games above are sure to take your video call to the next level.
Make sure that everyone has the correct Zoom meeting link, knows and understands what game you're playing, and is ready with any supplies they'll need. Just like in person, games can get a bit crazy, so be sure to set some ground rules before starting.
Calendly is a simple, easy-to-use scheduling software that helps teams schedule meetings, share information, and streamline the planning process. With Calendly, users can save time, accelerate sales, and enhance service quality. Whether you're booking one of your team's Zoom meeting games or scheduling a call with an important client, Calendly can keep everyone on the same page. Learn more about Calendly on their website.
Ty is the head of digital acquisition and content at Calendly.
Manage your calendar, schedule meetings, and get updates with Calendly for iPhone or Android.
Lower IT costs, free up employees' time, and bolster your security by using SSO across your stack.