Virtual energisers


17 November 2020

In a real-life setting, most facilitators use energisers as an essential way of boosting energy and creating a relaxed atmosphere. But what do you do if the meeting is virtual? And how can you take analogue energisers and use them in virtual facilitation?

When facilitating meetings, we know that it is important to create positive energy and emotions among the participants in general. Being physically active increases brain activity, which will help move your meeting swiftly forward. This applies to virtual as well as analogue meetings.

However, when hosting a virtual workshop, it may be challenging for the facilitator to engage the participants. In a virtual setting, it can be draining for the participants to be seated all day, which may have an impact on their energy levels. Many of us have back-to-back virtual meetings, and we tend to forget to move our bodies and create that natural energy in between (or even during) meetings.

Energisers to boost energy and effectiveness during virtual sessions

To help boost energy and effectiveness during virtual meetings, we have tested a number of different approaches to doing energisers in both analogue and virtual settings. And we have some great news: With some small adjustments, you can take analogue energisers and use them in your virtual meetings.

Below, we have listed some of the different energisers we use:

Social energisers

You use social energisers to bring the participants together.

  • You can simply ask the participants “How is life?” and give them 10 minutes to answer.
  • You can use a “speed dating” exercise as a social energiser, asking people to go out in breakout rooms for three minutes to answer a question and then come back to the main session.
    • What would you take with you to a desert island?
    • If you could be someone else for a day, who would that be and why?
    • If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be?
    • What would be your ideal holiday destination?

Funny energisers

Funny energisers are designed to make people laugh, and you use them to bring people out of their comfort zones.

  • You can use an exercise called “two lies and a truth” where each person has to tell two lies and one truth about themselves, and the other participants have to guess which is the truth. This is also a good opportunity to make the session a bit more personal.
  • Another fun energiser is to do a mime of celebrities or situations. Get the participants to write down a few things they want to mime, set a timer and then they have 5 minutes to guess as many celebrities as possible.

Competition energisers

Most people like to play games or quizzes, and you can use such competitions as energisers. The competitions can be run in e.g. Menti or Kahoot.

  • You can do a quiz on anything you want, e.g. a quiz on the participants’ knowledge of music or company policies.
  • Another way is to set up a competition that gets the participants to move physically. You can do a competition where you ask people to return to their webcam with a specific item (e.g. a pen, something round or something green) as quickly as possible. Here it is important that you also get up on your feet and encourage everyone else to do the same so that you bring a bit of energy to the competition yourself.

Physical energisers

You use physical energisers to engage people physically. For example, you can do breathing exercises, stretching or you can ask people to jump around.

The key to physical energisers is to make sure that everyone has their webcam on so that you can follow each other’s progress and cheer for each other. It is also a good idea to play some music to support the energy that you are trying to create with the energiser.

  • Get everyone to stand up and do a two-minute squat exercise.
    • We recommend that you use the song “Flower” by Moby. When they sing “bring Sally up, bring Sally down”, you move up when they sing “up” and squat down when they sing “down” and so on. You can find the song "Flower" by Moby here.
  • Guide the participants through some stretching or breathing exercises for one minute.
  • Do a one-minute plank together.

We hope this provided you with some inspiration on how to use virtual energisers as part of your virtual facilitation skills.

We have also gathered some inspirational exercises you can use as energisers:

If you want to know more about how to design and execute a virtual session, you may be interested in reading our book Virtual facilitation.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions, please reach out.