If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve probably had your fair share of whiteboard meetings. (A whiteboard meeting is basically a brainstorming session where participants utilize a whiteboard to nurture participation and understanding.) And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found that some of these meetings are more productive than others. So, what makes for a successful whiteboard meeting and how can we achieve this in day-to-day meetings? Today, we’ll show you a few ways in which you can incorporate a digital whiteboard into your meetings to deepen your bond as a team, increase productivity and get creative.
Want to add just a moment of whiteboarding to all your meetings? Icebreakers are an easy way! Here are a few games to play on a whiteboard to start your meetings:
- Draw your biggest motivating factor for what you do for work
- Draw the person to your right without looking at your board
- Draw your biggest personal and professional win for the week
- Draw the timeline of your career
- Draw a timeline 5-10 years in the future of your ideal career/life
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Using a whiteboard in a Weekly Meeting
A regular, recurring meeting is a great place for a whiteboard. This meeting is the most likely to become monotonous and it can be easy during these times to want to zone out when you’re not actively participating. Here are a few ways to add a whiteboard to a Weekly Meeting:
- Timelines—Create timelines for upcoming projects or initiatives, which will help keep everyone on track and ensure deadlines are met.
- Collaborative note-taking—Have everyone take notes on the whiteboard during the meeting to see what was discussed and agreed upon.
- Visualizing progress—Create visuals such as graphs or charts that show what you have achieved in your goals and objectives.
Using a whiteboard in the Bloom virtual Weekly Meeting software
In the Bloom meeting software, you’ll find the Weekly Meeting with dedicated sections for checking in, reviewing To-dos and Goals, brainstorming solutions to Issues and more. These meetings are powerhouses for progress but can get too routine at times… why not hold a Weekly Meeting whiteboard edition? Here’s some inspiration for adding a whiteboard to each agenda section of your Weekly Meeting:
- Check-in: As discussed in the icebreaker section, this is a great place for a whiteboard! Play games, get to know each other, engage with your teammates, and start your meeting right!
- People headlines: Draw your people headlines. If you’re out for vacation, draw a palm tree and write OOO! The possibilities are endless.
- Goal review: This is a great place for a timeline visualization. You can use your whiteboard to give everyone an idea of your progress on the project. For bonus points, draw a roadblock/stop sign if you’re off track and happy faces if you’re on track. Get creative because this session is meant to get inspiration flowing!
- Issues: Try to visualize your solutions and have fun with it. Draw out how your project will flow through the teams in your organization in a flow chart and reach your clients.
Bonding with your team is important in creating a successful and productive work environment. One way to do this is by having casual one-on-one meetings with your colleagues using a whiteboard as a tool to help foster conversation and connection. Here are some tips on using a virtual whiteboard in these meetings to nurture bonds with your teammates:
- Ask open-ended questions—Start the meeting by asking open-ended questions that allow your coworker to share more about themselves. This will help you get to know them better and build trust.
- Brainstorm ideas together—Use the whiteboard to brainstorm ideas together. This will help you both come up with creative solutions and foster collaboration between the two of you.
- Draw out conversations—Drawing out conversations can be a great way to keep things lighthearted and fun while still getting important points across. You can draw pictures or diagrams that illustrate what you’re talking about, making it easier for your coworker to understand what you’re saying.
- Play games—Games are a great way to break the ice and get people talking in an informal setting like one-on-one meetings. Use the whiteboard as a tool for playing simple games like tic-tac-toe or hangman, which can be fun ways to bond with your team and build trust.
Annual business planning
Whiteboards can be a great tool for improving productivity in an annual business planning meeting. Having a whiteboard in the room allows team members to brainstorm and collaborate on projects easily. In addition, the whiteboard also serves as a visual reminder of goals and objectives that need to be achieved. Here are some tips on using a whiteboard to increase productivity during an annual business planning meeting:
- Divide the board into sections for each topic or project being discussed. This will help keep everyone focused on the task and make tracking progress throughout the meeting easier.
- Use sticky notes or markers to write down ideas and tasks that need to be completed or discussed during the meeting. This will help ensure that all ideas are heard and nothing is forgotten during the discussion.
- Keep enough space on the board for everyone’s ideas and comments so no one gets left out of the discussion.
- Keep a whiteboard in the room at all times? Track progress by writing down milestones or accomplishments as they are achieved throughout the year so everyone can see how far they have come in reaching team goals.
- Map out tasks and deadlines in a timeline so everyone knows what needs to be done before the next meeting. This will help keep everyone accountable and ensure tasks are completed on time.
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Whiteboards are great for team training because they keep everyone engaged and focused on the content you are training them on.
- Use visuals: Visuals can help keep people engaged, so utilize the whiteboard to make charts, diagrams or other visual aids to help illustrate and reinforce your training points.
- Get interactive: Make sure everyone is involved by asking questions throughout the training and having participants draw on the whiteboard to answer them.
- Keep it brief: Break up large chunks of information into smaller visual segments that are easier for everyone to digest.
- Utilize color coding: Color-coding information helps add clarity and structure to complex topics while also helping participants spot important details quickly during brainstorming sessions.
- Use exercises: Allowing time for group work and individual hands-on assignments gives everyone an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned.
- Create masterpieces: Design puzzles or activities requiring participants to use their newfound skills together to conclude your team training.
Virtual company-wide events
Looking for ways to revamp your company-wide meetings and encourage participation? Virtual whiteboards are the way. Here’s how:
- Group drawing challenge—Divide into teams and assign each team a theme to draw on the whiteboard. The goal is for each group to create the best drawing based on the given theme within a time limit.
- Word game—Choose a word or phrase that everyone must write down in their own unique way as quickly as possible by writing, sketching, or even doodling!
- Charades—Take turns acting out words or phrases while other players try to guess what you’re trying to say without speaking.
- Collaborative storytelling—Everyone takes turns contributing one sentence at a time towards creating an original story until it reaches its conclusion.
- Picture puzzle—Split into two teams and take turns drawing pieces of an image puzzle on either side of the board while working together to complete it.
- Virtual escape room—Create an escape room challenge using virtual puzzles, riddles, and clues that all need solving before your “escapee” can be released.
- Picture association—Give everyone one picture prompt and ask them to use pictures they draw on their virtual whiteboards to associate them with another image.
Turning any meeting into a productive whiteboard meeting
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before rocking your next whiteboard meeting:
- Try to keep it small, as too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to chaos.
- Set a goal and stick to it. What’s the point of the meeting? Make sure everyone knows what it is and stay focused on achieving it.
- Encourage participation from everyone. Your quiet friend in the corner might have the best idea, so make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.
- Be open to new ideas. Create a column for bold ideas and discuss them one at a time.
- Designate a facilitator: Assign one person in the group as a facilitator responsible for managing conversations, keeping everyone on track and ensuring all ideas are heard.
- Keep it brief: Break up sessions into smaller chunks of time that are easier for people to digest without feeling overwhelmed by too much information being covered at once.
- Set an agenda prior to starting! Give participants clear guidelines about what you expect them to accomplish during each session so they know what tasks need to be completed before the next meeting begins
And last but not least, have fun! If things start getting too serious, take a break and try one of the sillier whiteboard games to lighten the mood. After all, trying new types of meetings in a group can be hectic at first.