Two Tips to “De-Awkward-ify” Your Virtual Meetings

How many times has this happened to you… You hop on virtual meeting and… *crickets.* No one is talking. The silence is deafening.

We’ve attended a few networking events like this, and *phew* yeah. It’s awkward. And it sets an awkward tone for the entire meeting.

A client recently reached out to us after they hosted a happy hour event with a new team where this happened. And it makes sense. Because it can be hard to develop rapport in a virtual setting, especially for a newly formed team.

So… what do you do? Well, besides hiring us? *smiles*

Here are two tips to help “de-awkward-ify” your next virtual meeting:

1. Crank Up the Volume! Play Music As People Enter the Room

Eliminate the awkwardness by eliminating the “crickets!” If you’re on a Zoom call, here’s how to do it:

– Share Your Screen
– Go to the “Advanced” Tab
– Check “Share computer sound”
– Select “Music or Computer Sound Only”

– Hit “Share”

We really like these play lists: Disco Hits and Guardians of the Galaxy

Pro-Tip: Put the music on low (1/3 volume on YouTube is typically good) and be sure to make sure the early birds can hear the music as they hop on.

2. Kick Off the Meeting With a Quick Ice Breaker

Here are a few examples of ice breakers. Tell us about your group, and we’ll be glad to suggest a couple in particular that you might like.

*Bonus Idea* Say “HELLO” when people hop on the call

People LOVE hearing their own names, plus it lets them know you’re happy to see them, and it sets a positive and welcoming tone for the meeting. If you’d like our help in “de-awkward-ifying” your virtual meetings or if you’d like to host a fun and engaging team event that will make your employees feel valued and energized, contact us.

A Message from Lauren: What’s in a name? I’ve changed my business name to “Lauren Ansley Presents” (from Lauren Ansley Comedy Productions) to better reflect the breadth and depth of our virtual meeting and event services.

I’ve also given myself a promotion to “Virtual Event Concierge.” I keep telling myself the raise is coming… but so far, crickets… HA!

Let’s connect and talk about the ways we can impress your team or your clients. Contact us and let’s get your party started!

Energize Your Team With Virtual Music Bingo!

What if you could give your team a fun and creative mid-day energy BOOST to help ward off those afternoon productivity slumps? Virtual Music Bingo is an incredibly fun game full of ENERGIZING music with a Professional DJ!

We handle all the details – bingo cards, music selection, and game play. Plus, we’ll happily host the event on our Zoom account! Simply provide a handful of prizes, and we’re in business! DJ Jeff will even take song requests in advance if you ask nicely. *smiles*

Activity Length: 30 minutes

Bonus Idea: Couple this with another activity, like Team Trivia or a Scavenger Hunt to round up a full hour of entertainment.

Recommended Group Size: 10 to 100+ people

Why It’s Perfect: Music is a natural mood booster that instantly invigorates! It’s also been shown to help improve both cognitive performance AND productivity, ESPECIALLY in adults.

You’re Invited

Join us at our Virtual Music Bingo sampler event on Thursday, May 13 starting at 12 noon EDT!


Interested in giving your team a mid-day energy boost? Contact us today.

A Message from Lauren:

When you find the RIGHT virtual entertainment, your team is energized – not drained – and everyone can actually have FUN and be totally engaged because they get to play along!

I love “thinking out loud” and brainstorming with my clients to come up with unique and tailored events that work well for THEM.

We take care of everything – selecting and booking the talent, coordinating and hosting the event, and ensuring all goes smoothly so YOU can have fun, too.

For more information about the different ways we can work together to bring more joy and laughter into your next virtual meeting or event, click here.

Our 3 Entertainment Packages: Emcee, Feature, Showstopper

With vaccinations on the rise, we’ll soon be seeing the emergence of in-person meetings and events!

The virtual space remains a valuable and relevant method for communication, especially for remote and global teams. That’s why we’re now offering three flexible virtual event packages for small or large groups. Here’s more about each of them…

Here are our three (3) entertainment packages:

1. Our Emcee Package includes a variety of interactive games and activities: scavenger hunts, assorted ice breakers, murder mystery or *brand new!* alien abduction games, fun conversation prompts, and speaking engagements.

Sample Emcee Package Event: “My Favorite Thing” ice breaker + Murder Mystery Game for a fun and thrilling client appreciation event.

2. Our Feature Package includes stand-up comedians, music bingo, mixology, team trivia, improv games, team building, and more.

Sample Feature Package Event: Mixology + Virtual Music Bingo games (and prizes!) for an engaging and energizing team happy hour session.

3. Our Showstopper Package includes award-winning magic + mind control, custom comedy performances, virtual casino games, custom themed packages and more.

Sample Showstopper Package Event: Vegas, Baby Vegas – a themed event package with an award-winning magic + mind control performance and virtual casino games (Black Jack, Roulette, Three-Card Poker, Horse Races) for an exciting and impressive company celebration.

Let’s create the ideal experience together. Contact us to get your party started!

For more information about all the different kinds of ways we can enhance your next virtual meeting or event, click here.

Interested in hosting an event? Contact us.

Thanks for reading, and keep smiling!

The 5 Minute Ice Breaker

The 5-minute ice breaker is called “Take a Stance,” and here’s how it works:

Set It Up: Everyone starts with their cameras OFF. Explain that you’ll be asking a series of questions and everyone has to pick between two options with their cameras. For example:

  • Does pineapple belong on pizza? Yes or No?
    Turn your camera ON for YES… (cameras off) Turn your camera ON for NO.
  • Do you prefer the mountains or the beach?
    Turn your camera ON for mountains…(cameras off) Turn your camera ON for the beach… (cameras off)
  • Would you rather have a horse’s tail or a unicorn horn?
    Turn your cameras ON for horse’s tail… (cameras off). Turn your camera ON for unicorn horn… (cameras off) etc.

Have fun creating your own questions, and make it as silly or as serious as you like! You could also use it as a quick virtual opinion poll.

Note: This ice breaker works best for environments where everyone can have their camera on and be visible at the same time.

We hope you enjoyed this quick ice breaker idea. Looking for more ideas? Click here for the 3 coolest ice breakers for virtual meetings.

Let’s talk about how we can work together to enhance your next virtual meeting! Contact us.

Thanks for reading, and keep smiling!

The Funny Thing About Resilience

I recently presented on the topic of “Resilience” with a group of incredible business owners. When I did an image search online for “resilience,” I started seeing all these flowers blooming in harsh conditions – mostly concrete.

I’m sure the flowers didn’t WANT to have to push through the concrete. And I’m sure they didn’t. They worked their way around it. They struggled to find a way. It wasn’t easy, but They. Kept. Going.

Funny thing is – resilience is only perfected as a result of having to BE resilient. You can’t go to the store and pick up a pack of resilience. Resilience isn’t something we’re all born with. It comes and it grows with experience.

I recently had an epiphany that caused me to adapt a mindset of abundance vs. scarcity in my own business, and it’s been an absolute game changer. And it’s helped me to be more resilient as a result.

This past year has been a HUGE test of resilience for all of us. Here are some other intentional ways we can work to enhance our resilience:

Eight Ways We Can Build Up Our Resilience

  1. Focus On the Good – Yes it’s a little bit “woo woo,” but hear me out: You get more of what you focus on. And by focusing on what we have to be grateful for, we will generate more joy on our lives.
  2. Acknowledge Your “Overwhelm” – Treat it as a temporary emotion, because it’s how you’re feeling. Keep in mind your overwhelm is not YOU.
  3. Take Decisive Action With Confidence – Life Hack: Play a few rounds of Tetris, and you’ll see what I mean! As the blocks speed up, you have less and less time to react and less and less time to regret certain moves. The items in the rear view mirror are behind you for a reason. Focus on the now and keep moving forward.
  4. Calibrate Your Moral Compass – Make sure you’re in check with your integrity. Be certain that you’re being honest – with yourself and with others – and ensure that you’re being consistent and ethical.
  5. Keep a Handle on Your “Why” – Passion begets passion. Keep your eyes on the prize to focus on your WHY. Struggles will come and go. Your reason for continuing should remain steadfast. (Or better yet – it will crystalize and evolve with you.)
  6. Gain strength from the support of others – Iron sharpens iron. Ask for help when you need it.
  7. Help Others – Volunteer your time and expertise to benefit others. Did you know that giving someone a compliment activates reward centers in our brain? The same is true when you help others.
  8. Let Your Positive Emotions Rule – gratitude, humor, love, productivity. Doctors are prescribing laughter moments to their patients – get your daily dose of funny and the other positive emotions. Ask yourself, “Where do I find joy?” and go out and get it!

Seven Skills of Resilience
How to Build Your Resilience To Be An Entrepreneur
Why Compliments Make Us Feel So Good – and How to Get Better at Giving Them

Thank you for reading! ~ Lauren Ansley, Chief Comedic Officer

We hope you enjoyed these tips on how to be more resilient.

For more information about the different ways we can work together to bring more joy and laughter into your next virtual meeting or event, click here.

Interested in having Lauren present with your organization? Contact us.