Latest News: Remote meetings and teaching: a warm-up method

Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson

Management teacher, University of Sussex

So much is happening remotely now.  We are all having to get used to relating to others at a distance, and participating in meetings, groups or teaching on-line in zoom, teams etc.   Some like this more than others, and we want everyone to participate and get the most out of on-line sessions.  Here is a lovely little warm up exercise that gets everyone to speak and relax at the start of an online session. Give it a go!

Warming up an on-line group-session:

  1.  Ask each person to ask one other person 2 things:  a) ‘How are you’ and, b) ‘What is your favourite thing about lockdown’ or ‘what is your favourite things about…web-writing/comedy performing/cooking’ etc etc – whatever relates to the topic of your on-line session.  I  have experimented with the lockdown question, and it actually produced very rich material to work with in my on-line seminars. Also it really pulls out the positive things and future opportunities to be harvested from this tricky situation.
  2. You work through each person one-by-one, each being asked the 2 questions by a fellow participant.  The group has to listen carefully so that they pick a person to ask who has not been asked before. So the game is good for attending to the spirit of the group, listening skills and getting everyone to say something. It is very equalising. Also it is a fun ice-breaker.
  3. Once you have completed the group-round the convenor can pull out salient points, common experience and relate these to the agenda for their on-line session. The convenor can also remind participants how important it is for each of them to speak and participate.


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