Digital warm-up: Warming up for digital collaboration
Warm-up exercises have their fixed – and justified – place in sports. Warm-ups are also a really good idea in the digital space. Anyone who has ever sat in a video call with mostly unfamiliar people will certainly remember how agonizing the atmosphere and silence can be, especially at the beginning. After all, the usual informal getting-to-know-you over coffee is omitted.
Warm-ups are therefore the right way to loosen social muscles and get emotions going. For the book “99+1 Warm-ups for the Digital Space”, I contributed two articles on how to tackle awkwardness in digital meetings in a constructive and fun way.
Be all ears: A warm-up with sounds
A warm-up that quickly breaks the ice and ignites the creativity of the participants is “Listen and be amazed”. You should plan at least five minutes for this, but if there are more participants, it can easily be 20 minutes. The group should contain a minimum of three and a maximum of 20 people.
The core of the warm-up is a riddle, an acoustic one. Each participant chooses a household or everyday object. This object is waiting to be used, but is not held up to the camera. Then each participant is allowed to produce a sound with the object of his or her choice a maximum of three times, one after the other, of course. After each noise, the participants can use the chat function to give their guess as to what kind of object it might have been, but only to the person who made the noise. This leaves more room for creative answers as everyone comes up with their own ideas instead of seeing the others’ solutions.
Points are awarded as follows: Three points for the first correct answer, two for the next, and so on. So it also pays to be quick and submit your idea quickly.
Pro tips: As leader of the conference, get things started right away. It’s best to take notes on all the points and name the best participants at the end.
Here you can follow the warm-up in picture and sound in German:
Picture puzzle: Which desk belongs to whom?
Now it’s time to use your eyes and your powers of deduction. A little preparation is important for this warm-up. The participants are asked to take a photo of their workplace in advance, but without themselves in the picture. The task of the others is to match the individuals to the correct workplace. Those who want can include a few hints about themselves in their photo: be it their favorite coffee cup next to the computer or gummy bears on the keyboard.
These photos are then uploaded to a shared platform, and the picture puzzle can begin. Of course, there are points up for grabs here as well: Whoever lands the most hits wins.
The special thing about this game is that participants get to know each other and reveal something personal about themselves – but only what they are comfortable with. This helps build trust and closeness, because people automatically get to know each other in a playful way.
Click here for the video of the warm-up in German:
Book tip: “99+1 Warm-ups for the digital space”
These are two ideas to lift and lighten the mood in the digital space. But there are at least 98 more prompts contained in the book “99+1 Warm-ups for the Digital Space.” Sixty co-authors have contributed their experiences and creative ideas. This handbook is published in the series “Design Thinking Coach Academy” and can be purchased on Amazon and in traditional bookstores. This book is my personal recommendation. I do not receive any commission or other shares in possible sales prices for this. Enjoy reading and trying it out!