Article series on creativity methods for your daily business

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How to work more effectively – innovative – productive

Energize your online meetings & webinars with creativity

In today’s world of zoom calls, webinars, and online meetings, there is a real need to keep things fresh and engaging. Changing up the way you do things and building on standard formats using creativity methods can be an excellent strategy to look into using.

A few months ago, I started to expand on the training methods I was using in client webinars and online meetings, and it proved to be an amazingly positive decision.

After reading an excellent book by Zamyat M. Klein on 150 different creativity methods, I came across 2 techniques that stood out to me. I recommend the book as it gives a good general overview of a wide variety of creativity techniques you can easily apply to your online meetings and Webinars.

I also implemented card sorting as another creativity method, and I particularly want to share this as it is a personal favorite of mine, and what I find most effective especially in online team meetings.

Implementing these creativity methods in my webinars and online meetings has been one of the best practices I’ve recently been utilizing, and the results my clients have seen have proven to me that it is worth applying creativity techniques to remote communication channels.

Feel free to apply these to any of your day-to-day online meetings, particularly when you need to give your attendees a creative boost, and bring some fresh energy to the table!

Let’s get started.

1. Sound Guessing

This is a fantastic creativity method to energize your participants at the beginning of an interactive webinar or online meeting. It can also be beneficial for breaking up a long meeting with a lot of information, allowing you to restore concentration, and bring renewed focus mid seminar.

There are various ways you can utilize this creativity method, depending on your audience.

The basic framework of the game is that you play, (or even make your own), different sounds and have the participants guess what they are. A good number of sounds to play is around five, which is just enough for some variation but avoids the attendees becoming bored.
However, you can make the game last as long or short as you need, depending on how enthusiastic your audience is.

Here are several different variations you can use, to keep things fresh and exciting:

  • While each of the sounds is played, the participants take note of their different guesses. Once all of the noises have been revealed, they must enter their guesses within the chat window and compare their results.

  • To make this creativity method more interactive, you can use a multiple-choice format, with five different possible guesses. Through using a third-party website, you could even carry this out interactively. This is a great option if you are using more complicated or abstract noises.

  • To make a clear link between the creativity method, and the topic of the webinar or online meeting, you can use sounds related to what you are presenting. These could be things such as a phone ringing, an alarm clock sound, or an email notification.

  • For the final variation, you could use a chain of different noises, played one after the other. Participants are instructed to use the sounds to write a story involving each of them. After 5 to 10 minutes everybody reads what they have come up with to the group, and then votes on the most creative story.

Benefits

Like any creativity method, the main benefit of this is that it presents a fun and exciting change from the often, serious topics discussed within online webinars and meetings. Participants get a chance to do something informal and feel closer together, due to carrying out the same task.

Additionally, this method may also help your audience take in subsequent information better, as it encourages them to use their brain differently by listening to sounds, rather than spoken words.

2. “How well do you know our course platform?” exercise

This creativity method is best suited for use at the beginning of an online seminar, particularly if you are using a new online tool, interface, or platform as a means to get your message across.

To carry this exercise out, you present screenshots of icons and features of your platforms to your audience and ask them questions about the interface for the webinar or online meeting.

Each participant chooses a screenshot and explains to the others what they associate with a
particular icon or feature of the platform. As a presenter, this gives you a great opportunity to make sure your attendees comprehensively understand the platform during the webinar or online meeting. It can also open up valuable discussion, which can then springboard the conversation towards the main topics of the seminar in an effortless way.

Benefits

The main benefits of this method are that it allows you to make sure your audience fully understands the features of your platform, informally. It also fosters a much higher level of attendee engagement, as rather than passively listening to instructions, they have the opportunity to explain their thoughts behind the interface.

This activity also has the benefit of allowing participants to ask questions in a low-pressure and more relaxed environment, likely to make everyone feel at ease within the group setting.

online meeting creativity methods

3. Online Card Sorting

Card sorting is a useful creativity method for when you have a substantial amount of information that needs to be organized.

There are two different subtypes of this creativity method. These are open card sorting, and closed card sorting. In both of these activities, participants are presented with many topics or pieces of information and are tasked with arranging them into categories that make sense to them.

Open card sorting involves the participants in the webinar or online meeting, coming up with their names for each category.

Example: In a group of seemingly unconnected words, participants may choose to sort them into nouns and adjectives. This type of card sorting is a more abstract, and creatively open way of approaching the task.

Closed card sorting is where participants are given pre-assigned labels to sort things into. For example, for a meeting related to planning an event, there may be different categories such as, ‘experience’, ‘location’, and ‘timeline.’ Participants would then have to take specific data and group it together under these headings. This type of card sorting is more useful for webinars or online meetings with a specific agenda or end goal.

This technique can be applied to online spaces as a way to develop ideas and categorize information relating to a specific task, while also encouraging discussion, new ideas, and group teamwork.

The best number of participants for this activity is between 4 to 6 people, as it is enough to spark conversation, but not so many that things become confusing, or take longer than necessary.

Within an online space, such as a webinar or online meeting, conducting a card sorting activity is particularly easy when done through a specific interface, an application, a card sorting online tool.

One example you can find on OptimalWorkshop.com. This website offers many creativity supporting features for online meetings and webinars. The card sorting feature is available via OptimalSort tool.

Benefits

The main benefit of card sorting is that it allows your participants to open up their minds and think more creatively, while also accomplishing a task together and sharing ideas. It can also be used as a way to gain insight into how your group understands or thinks about a particular topic, and what they associate with the different pieces of information.

Alongside functioning as a creativity method using critical thinking and encouraging teamwork, it can even be applied during recruitment, as a way to choose the best candidate.

Most of all, it provides a welcome break from the often, rigid structure to webinars, and online meetings, and encourages collaboration in a similar way to the kind of organic brainstorming that takes place in person.

Would you like to share your most effective and innovative Creativity Techniques with us?

Please share by leaving a comment!

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