Host your next virtual party in Microsoft Teams with apps and screen sharing games
This post is originally published on Microsoft Teams Blog articles
Whether your team is working hybrid or working around the world, it’s always great to stay connected personally and professionally with members of your team. Many teams use scheduled get-together meetings in Teams to hold book clubs, celebrate a special moment, or just gather together and catch up on weekend plans. Conversations are always central in these meet ups – but we also know that every get together can be more fun and connecting with quizzes and games. Within Microsoft Teams, there are several good options for hosting these events, virtually.
Running Kahoot! Quizzes and Trivia in your meeting
Who doesn’t love great trivia or a friendly competitive quiz? For hosting these for your team, a good option is to use Kahoot! – which is available as a standalone app and with an associated integration directly within Microsoft Teams. Kahoots are engaging quizzes and challenges you can create and re-use within your team. These quizzes can be questions for learning or adding interactivity to presentation experiences, and in addition, you can also use Kahoot! to create team trivia challenges for your next team gathering.
With the Kahoot integration inside of Microsoft Teams, you can see a dashboard of your designed Kahoots, and use them during meetings to spur friendly competition. Before the meeting, design your Kahoots and add questions and answers. In addition to exploring and using questions from popular Kahoots via the Discover option, consider mixing in various forms of general trivia, trivia specific to topics for your team, or maybe trivia about your team specifically.
When it is time for the meeting itself, you can launch a Kahoot from the Kahoot app tab within Teams. Expand the Kahoot! gameplay window, and then share that during a meeting by sharing your screen. Make sure to use the Include computer sound option when you share. Once the Kahoot! gameplay screen is shared, attendees can join in and answer questions from their own devices. Answering question quickly matters, and you’ll soon see a friendly competition bloom. You can find out more about Kahoot! on kahoot.com, and you can add the Kahoot! integration for Microsoft Teams from AppSource.
Using Jackbox Games with Microsoft Teams screen sharing
Jackbox Games are the makers of several party games that are great to play together in person or virtually. From speech games like Talking Points to drawing games like Drawful and witty quip games like Quiplash – there are a wide variety of games and styles to suit every taste. Most games run for about 15-25 minutes with straightforward rules and quick tutorials, so they are easy to pick up and play. Most games support up to 8-10 players, and some have additional audience viewing options if you have extra visitors.
Jackbox Games are available for a wide variety of devices and consoles, but if you want to use Jackbox within a virtual Microsoft Teams streaming session, we’d recommend getting Jackbox on your PC or Mac. The host of the virtual get-together will need a copy; the attendees in the meeting can follow along on their devices. Every player will join the meeting and then connect to the Jackbox game with a room code – which they can do in a web browser or on a separate device, like their phone. It is easy and takes seconds to get everyone started on a game.
You’ll likely want to use Steam – a service for purchasing and installing games – to get Jackbox games. These games come in Party Packs of 5 games each – so each Party Pack provides a lot of choices for different gameplay styles. No one will be bored, and any party pack will work well – the most recent Jackbox Party Pack 7 features both Quiplash 3 and Blather ‘Round which work well in virtual game settings.
As you host your virtual get-together, you’ll want to start up the Jackbox Party pack of your choice. Use the screen sharing option in Teams, and make sure you check the “Include computer sound” option.
From there, start up a game and your room code will be visible, and attendees can join in.
Tips for using Jackbox Games in a Teams meeting
As you start your Jackbox Games, we recommend a couple of options:
In almost every Jackbox Game, there is a “Family Friendly” checkbox – you may want to consider checking that for your work conversations.
In a few Jackbox Games, there is also an option to filter out US-centric content, if you want to have questions or prompts that are more broadly relevant to teammates around the world.
Also, to keep the sound of the game from potentially drowning out your virtual guests and conversation while attending, in some cases you may want to consider turning down the background music.
Also, some more advanced tips can help your virtual party even more:
- If you have it, hosting a game with two screens (e.g., your laptop screen plus a plugged-in monitor) can work better, as you can place Teams on one screen and Jackbox on the other. That way, it is always easy to see your teammates and the game at the same time.
- Using headphones can also help with isolating the sound of the game from the conversation.
We hope you get to explore the wide variety of games and quiz options for having fun, virtually, with your teammates. While the centerpiece of any virtual gathering is the conversations that you’ll have, virtual activities through Kahoot! and Jackbox Games, you can help to break the ice, provide some memorable experiences, and heck – have some fun! - in almost any meeting you run.