Do you recall the days when you and your colleagues would gather for the office talent show and watch everyone perform on stage? Do you remember cheering out loud for that one employee whose singing was simply breathtaking? Well, a virtual talent show can also give you the same experience.
A talent show is a great opportunity for employees to showcase their talents and connect with peers outside of work. They also get to enjoy special recognition from the company and a lot of love and support from the audience.
With the culture of remote-working teams growing rapidly, a virtual talent show is an incredible way to bring remote-working employees on board to connect with each other and take a break from work. In this post, I will share with you some fun virtual talent show ideas for Zoom, so get ready!
1. What is a Virtual Talent Show?
A virtual talent show is a medium for building camaraderie amongst remote teams. It lets staff display their talents and perform acts of their choice in front of a virtual audience. There are a variety of performances such as singing, dancing, mime, stand-up comedy, painting, cooking, etc. and people can present improvised acts as well to make them more exciting!
This takes place on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, Teams, etc., with an option for people to upvote for the performances as a part of cheering for the participants. Polls could also be initiated to pick winners in the show if the host plans to hold various contests.
Employees are also encouraged to join the virtual talent show along with their families and friends for support and adding to the fun. The more, the merrier, right? Guests can take part in ice breaker sessions conducted by the emcee, participate in fun polls, and enjoy the evening to the fullest. They could also contribute to the virtual talent show’s fundraisers and spread the word.
A virtual talent show is undoubtedly a fun way to spend the evening with your colleagues and families, so let me tell you how to set it up in an easy and efficient way!
2. What do you do for a Virtual Talent Show?
For a virtual talent show, the host shares the meeting link to all the employees ensuring that the date and time are added to their respective calendars so that it is not missed. Select an appropriate platform that accommodates a large number of audiences.
Participants can perform rehearsed or improvised acts within the designated time limit, and the host can add in conversational fillers like topical comedy, or launch breakout rooms for short games, or simply conduct ice breaker sessions with the non-participants and guests to keep the audience captivated.
A theme from an era or a movie could be set for people to dress up accordingly such as a Harry Potter theme, or an 80’s theme, or a superhero theme, which will add more colour and mood to the show. The emcee could turn this into a conversation starter and chat with the audience about the ideas behind their costumes. This is your chance to dress up as your favourite Marvel superhero! Is yours Iron Man too?
3. 12 Mind-blowing Virtual Talent Show Ideas for Adults in 2021
3.1 Singing with instruments/ acapella or karaoke
Employees can perform solo or duet acts in singing, and they can choose to sing with or without instrumental accompaniments (cue to look cool while playing the guitar). They could use a karaoke track, or just acapella, or simply play a melody on an instrument. Bring out your inner Andy Bernard!
3.2 Instagram reels
This is a chance for participants to shine with performances on short-video formats like Instagram Reels, where they can either enact a popular movie/ TV show scene or light up the screen with a dance form. They can record the reels and upload them and share their screen for the audience to watch.
Employees can also choose to have their own dance performances with a song track in the background.
3.3 Improv: rap/ poetry/ storytelling
Participants can ask the audience for random words or phrases, and stitch a story or a rap song, or a poem out of it. This will enable audience engagement and they could give funny word suggestions to keep the outcomes interesting.
3.4 Mimicry of celebrities/ employees
This is a good opportunity for employees with acting talent. There is always someone in the office who does a good imitation of actors, celebrities, or even other employees (you know who I am talking about!).
Employees could mimic specific popular scenes from movies or TV shows, or just a harmless impression of a fellow employee or a manager (keep it respectful, though). These turn out to be fun sessions of laughter and take the mood of the talent show up to a whole new level.
3.5 Silly talents
Employees can also engage in ‘silly-talent’ acts, which they would have discovered by accident. Things like:
- Tongue twisters
- Move your eyebrows to beats of a song
- Roll a coin up and down your knuckles
- Twirl/ spin a pen with your fingers
- Make the sound with just your mouth
- Guess the ASMR sound
- Whistle a complete verse of a song – Audience can get to pick the song!
- Spin a book on your finger for a minute
3.6 Stand-up/ improv comedy
This is for all those employees who cannot go a minute without punchlines. Participants can practice and perform a sketch or go fully improve and take suggestions for words and situations from the audience. Netflix better tape this for their next special!
3.7 Monologue in any language
Employees can feel the thespian in them come out as they choose to perform a monologue in any language. These can be selected from any play, musical, or movie. Brownie points if they can perform in more than one language!
3.8 Painting/ sketching
This is a great way to relive your childhood memories as employees can either paint, or sketch, or doodle, or go old school and bring out crayons and colour pencils. They can be given a topic or a theme, and participants can keep their cameras on during the activity to keep it real. Artists of the office, this one’s for you!
3.9 Cooking a dish without fire
Here’s your chance to finally use the recipes that you binge-watched on MasterChef every night. Employees can be asked to make a dish with any ingredients, but without the use of a stove or oven. The use of food colouring can be optional. Some examples are Rice balls, Biscuit pizza, Sandwich combos, Milkshakes, etc. Employees are encouraged to create inventions of their own and come up with cool and exciting dishes. Points could be given for taste, concept, and presentation.
3.10 Fashion show
Employees could be asked to pick common items of clothing such as an oversized t-shirt, white shirt, pyjamas, sweatpants, hoodies, and style it in the best way possible. The theme could also be “Zoom call meeting” where there is a mix of professional and casual wear. Participants can show present themselves and the audience can vote for the best ones.
3.11 Create a picture on MS Excel
A picture can be circulated to the employees, and they are asked to recreate the picture on MS Excel. Participants can share their screens for the audience to witness the process. Pictures can be a comic character like Spiderman, or a cartoon character like Pokémon’s Pikachu, or even the company logo to make it more interesting.
For all the computer science geeks out there, a hackathon can be conducted. Participants will be presented with a computing problem with an adequate difficulty level, and they must code a solution in a programming language of their choice within the stipulated time limit. I know right, Mr. Robot is impressed by this.
4. How to set up a virtual talent show?
The host can design beautiful invitations which would be impossible for anyone to decline. You can choose from a variety of templates and simply add your details and images to it.
The details must include the date, time, and the meeting link This must be emailed to employees and added to their calendars well in advance so that they have time to prepare for their acts.
The show could be set on a theme based on an era, culture, movie, TV show, or anything that is trending. Employees could dress up accordingly and the host could also give out a ‘best-dressed’ award in the end, to give attendees something to look forward to in future meet ups!
The talent show ideas for Zoom or any other video conferencing platforms of your choice have the capacity to hold a large number of members and also has sufficient/ unlimited meeting duration. Choose a platform that also contains features like reactions and polling in case you want the audience to engage and have them vote in various polls after the acts.
4.4 Prizes and rewards
To make things more interesting, you could arrange for exciting prizes and rewards that are digitally emailable, such as vouchers, coupons, subscriptions, or even prepare for the winners to get a recognition post on your social media pages.
The host could ask the audience to pick a winner with the help of voting on the platforms if the talent show contains contests. This would ensure that the participants compete with spectacular acts to win the audience’s votes, and the audience remains hooked to the talent show throughout. If it is not a contest-based show, the host could engage the audience with performance-based polls such as picking a word for the improv comedy/ storyteller/ rap/ poetry participants, choosing a genre for an improv singer/ dancer’s act, and other similar activities.
4.6 Duration of the acts
The host can decide the duration of the performances based on the kind of acts and the time available for the talent show. They must inform the participants well in advance and ensure the conference platform has ample or unlimited duration so that it does not cause any hindrance to the show.
4.7 Muting of mics during the acts as required
The spectators must ensure that their mics are muted during a performance so as to not disturb the participant in their act. This can be arranged as required depending on the kind of act. For example, a stand-up comedian would prefer the mics to remain on for the sound of the audience’s laughter, and a fashion show can use the sound of cheering and applause of the audience. The host could pin the performer’s profile as a spotlight so that everyone is able to view them clearly.
4.8 Cameras on/ off as required
The show host can ask the participants and audience to switch their cameras on/ off depending on the act or level of comfort of the participants. For example, an employee may feel comfortable singing in front of an audience with their camera off. Or, an employee who is narrating a story might require people to switch their cameras off and just listen attentively.
4.9 Order of performances
This is an important step while setting up a virtual talent show, as the host must plan the order in such a way that there is a mix of different kinds of acts. The participants, too should have sufficient time to get ready to perform. The emcee or host can add conversation fillers in between the performances to engage with the audience until the next performer comes up.
4.10 Emcee for the show
The Emcee can warm up the audience before the performances begin and ensure that the show transitions smoothly between different segments. You can come up with an effective opening segment to set the tone for the audience, so that the show kicks off on a good note.
Spread positive and energetic vibes throughout the show so that the audience remains hooked to the event. To avoid any sort of ‘dead air’, keep some light-hearted banter or jokes handy till the next performer is ready to go. Think of it as the Oscars night, and you are the emcee! Pretty neat, right?
At the end of the show, thank the members and guests for attending and mention the process for redeeming coupons or vouchers won during the event, if any, and that you look forward to them joining in future events as well.
5.1 Which is the best platform for a virtual talent show?
The best platform for a virtual talent show is Zoom. There are multiple plans for users to choose from. For a virtual talent show, it can be most efficient and effective with its paid subscription. It has features such as:
- Easy joining with a link from laptop/ mobile/ tablet.
- 100/ 300/ 500 participants based on the plan, and unlimited duration of meeting – which is useful in the event of a virtual talent show.
- HD Quality – good for screening performances.
- Integrate Gmail/ Outlook calendars to schedule meetings.
- Cloud recordings with transcription – in case an employee misses the show.
- User experience: change background, add filters, reactions, advanced lighting option, appearance touch up – members have the option of adding funny and interesting images related to the theme as their backgrounds.
- Interactive – polls, surveys, raise hands, chat, breakout rooms up to 50 sessions – great for audience engagement.
- Analytical and Admin features such as permissions, security, user control, etc.
5.2 How do you make a virtual talent show fundraiser?
Virtual talent shows bring employees together and build connections that go a long way at one’s place of work. These can also be helpful in serving a good cause. The virtual talent show can also be open for the employees’ families and friends as guests, to create a larger donor base.
Some virtual talent show fundraiser ideas are:
- Donations in exchange for access to the virtual talent show.
- Vote for winners by making donations.
- Hold a raffle for digitally emailable prizes such as gift cards, subscriptions, online services, etc.
- Engage with song/ story requests to the performers by making small donations.