Robert from SessionLab

Virtual Mexican Wave

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A quick and effective activity to energize your group at a virtual meeting by adapting the Mexican Wave to an online setting.

Goal

Energize the group with a bit of movement and feeling of accomplishment

Instructions

You might be familiar with the Mexican Wave from sport events in oval-shaped stadiums, when the the crowd is standing up, raising their arms and sitting down again, doing it in successive sections in the stadium, so the effect resembles a moving wave.

This is fun to do in a virtual setting, especially as many people tend find it surprising that this exercise is doable online.

The key here is to use video conferencing platform where you have a view that allows everyone to be seen on one screen AND to have a view where the order of people on the screen is the same for everyone.

How to set this up

Zoom's Gallery view is perfect for it, as it allows the whole group to be seen on one screen. (Thus, it's important that all participants are joining from desktop so they have enough screen space to see everyone in Gallery view. And it gives a natural limitation around 30-40 people to participate in this exercise.)

The other crucial bit is that Zoom also allows to impose the video order visible on the host's screen to all participants, by using the Follow Host's Video Order feature.

Make sure you rehearse this setup before so don't have to spend time looking for this feature during your meeting.

Steps

  1. Rehearse and check how to use the Follow Hosts's Video Order feature on Zoom before the session.
  2. Ask everyone to switch to Gallery view on Zoom
  3. Enable the Follow Host's Video Order option and confirm that everyone sees the same view
  4. Explain that you'll do a Mexican Wave and agree on the sequence (what happens which you reach the end of the first row, do you continue in the next row from the left side always, or do you want to continue in the reverse directions in a snake shape)
  5. Start the Mexican Wave. You can opt to start light by first doing the waves sitting, and then increase the waves by standing up after a couple of successful round.
  6. After you made enough rounds to master the sequence (3-7 rounds are usually enough depending on the group size, celebrate your group effort of successfully doing it

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