Let’s “Break Virtual Bread” – Virtual meetings with a twist!

Coach a Team through “Our Virtual Lunch”

 

 

Dear TEAM:

Our next meeting will be held April 24th  @ 9:00 a.m. PDT.  The agenda for this TEAM meeting is simple:

 

Agenda:

  1. YOU – On web cam logged in to our @Zoom meeting
  2. ALL – Eating food together
  3. Giggles and personal stories required!

 

A virtual meeting with a twist

 

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to coach a team through this exercise.  This is one of our Top 5 TEAM Building activities.

 

The top five are:

 

1. My Virtual Hat

2. Avatar Guessing Game

3. Which Sign Are You?

4. Our Virtual Lunch

5. Change Your Virtual Name

 

The entire team (no matter how many people) log in to the virtual meeting.  Usually team members are a little nervous when they first log in.  However, with a good Virtual Leader the TEAM will experience a greeting, ground rules, expectations and a congenial kick-off (all within 2 minutes so you don’t lose the attention of adult learners.

 

As soon as the meeting kicks off, the TEAM leader takes the first bite of his/her food ON CAMERA.  Yes, you all eat on camera as though you would eat together in a restaurant or in a conference room during a TEAM meeting. Ergo, breaking “virtual” bread

 

Of course, the first time you experience “Our Virtual Lunch” it will feel awkward.  You will likely wonder how the camera shows your face, your mouth, your food.

  • Will it be gross to the other viewers?
  • Will the other attendees be able to hear me chew my food?
  • Will the other attendees be able to see if I am eating fast food?

These are some of the real time questions I am asked regarding this TEAM building exercise.

 

Yes, your concerns are all valid.  I acknowledge this format may be uncomfortable.  However, as a savvy Virtual Leader, you will phrase the Ground Rules like this:

 

“Hello everyone, today we’re going to break virtual bread.  Dining together is an experience that creates bonds, trust and experiences.  I know we’re hours, time zones and cultures apart, but that will not prevent us from forming the bonds created by sharing food.”

 

This may be a new experience for some of you, so enjoy it!  Have fun with it!  Your feedback at the end is appreciated.

My perspective on “Our Virtual Lunch” was further inspired when I met Avi Tessler.  Avi is CEO of eatNgage

virtual meeting

Avi introduced the concept of pre-ordering a “virtual” meal.  He asked me to join him in a meeting to experience this service first hand.  I was sent a link, I clicked and ordered lunch, picked up the order and joined Avi in a virtual @Zoom meeting.  The experience was not so different from taking a client to breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Sharing food is such a bonding experience.  We were able to see each other on camera, make eye contact, see each other’s body language and react to each other’s business brainstorming LIVE!!!

Quote from Avi “Throughout the twenty years of offering outsourced sales services to SaaS tech companies who catered to the B2B market, one of the biggest challenges faced was to establish a true, personal engagement via web call meetings, which was the primary method of communication. Due to the nature of these remote sales, it was clear that if there were a way to establish the notion of Wining & Dining sales prospects in a remote, virtual fashion, there would be a chance to significantly increase sales while saving considerable time and money on face to face meetings.

eatNgage developed the solution!

eatNgage allows sales and marketing teams to Wine & Dine their clients remotely.

eatNgage is an innovative platform that puts a unique spin on traditional webinars by helping deliver a personalized experience for each attendee. With eatNgage, prospects are able to enjoy a catered meal of their choice, based on an allocated budget, while attending a presentation.

eatNgage makes any online audience feel grateful for the meal, and in return, they will offer their time and attention.

eatNgage subscribers report 3 to 10 times more participation in web calls, while eliminating the “no shows”

If you’d like to test drive eatNgage, please go to www.eatNgage.com

Avi Tessler CEO eatNgage

 

After just one experience, I am an eatNgage fan and plan to use this service with many clients in the future.  Virtual meetings are the becoming the norm; online presentations, webinars, virtual meetings, etc. are not walking backward.  Actually, the expectation of operating as a virtual team member and working remotely is becoming the global norm.

 

I believe we all need to learn to adapt our in-person skills to the virtual environment as we move forward “virtually” together.  Breaking “virtual” bread is one of the easiest skills to incorporate in to your virtual teams.

 

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