Participants throw an invisible ball to one another through their computer screen, paying attention to how it changes as it gets passed around.
To create connection between people
To engage physicality on an online call
To establish a speaking order
In this game people pass an imaginary ball around the group.
One person begins with the "ball." They establish the shape and size of it by showing how they are holding it in their hands. They call the name of someone else on the call. That person says, "ready!" and the first person throws them the ball. The person who catches the ball honors the size and shape of it as they catch it. Then they can transform it (either by describing the changes or by simply by showing the changes – e.g. the ball gets heavier, or smaller, or very hot) before they call someone else's name and throw it to them. Once everyone in the group has gotten the ball once, the order is established. The game can continue to be played, keeping the same order with every subsequent round. Once people know the order, calling the names can be removed.
To highlight the sense of connection, have people visualize where everyone is in the world physically before the game begins. You may want to share a map on the screen and have everyone place a stamp indicating where they are located. Encourage players to take in the physical connection they are making with each other and imagine the ball literally flying through the atmosphere and into each other's houses.
Different approaches work for different groups. Some groups may want to describe the ball more, some people may want simply to show what it's like by how they move and what sound they make. For other groups, it may be enough just to get them to pretend to throw an invisible ball to someone else through the computer!
People make a sound as they throw the ball. The receiver copies that same sound or otherwise responds to the energy of both how the ball is thrown and the sound that is made.
This form can be used to toss the speaking turn from one participant to the next. If someone wants to share, they can show their hand on their video and the speaker will toss the ball to them.
Once the group has the rhythm of tossing the ball to each other, the facilitator can add a prompt where people combine the physical tossing and the emotion of the exchange with a word that relates to the session. For example, "now toss one word that sums up how you feel about this new program."
This is a classic improv theater game, adapted for Zoom and for facilitation.
Shared by -
Erica Marx Coaching
Executive, Leadership, and Team Coaching
Design and facilitation of fun and interactive online programs
(607) 279 - 6402