For most people, "fun" hardly would be the first adjective that comes to mind when it comes to office meetings. Meetings often are dull and stuffy, with a lot of rattling on about technical aspects of the business and team-building. Add some fun to a meeting by planning a game in advance with coworkers or introducing an idea to a superior that the whole group will enjoy.
During office meetings, certain words pop up more often than others. Get together with a few coworkers and prepare to play "Buzzword Bingo" during the meeting.
Go to http://www.officediversions.com/games/buzzword_bingo/buzzword-bingo.html to print out as many bingo pages as you need. To get a different bingo page, refresh the page. Hand out the pages to the participants before the meeting begins, as not everyone will know about the competition.
When the meeting begins, listen carefully to every word that comes out of your coworkers' mouths. When you hear one of the overused buzzwords, mark off the word on your page. If your boss sees you scribbling, he probably will think you're taking meeting notes.
If everyone in your work environment has a strong rapport, have the person who hits bingo stand up and shout "bingo!" as if it were a regular game. Your boss and some coworkers might look puzzled, but if the atmosphere is friendly, they should chuckle after you tell them about the game.
Perhaps you have a coworker who does some major kissing up to your boss during meetings. If so, playing "Parrot's Echo" provides an opportunity to challenge your coworker in that department.
In this game, you want to be the last person to agree with a point your boss makes and restate the same point ("parrot"). Before the meeting begins, get one or more others involved--do not include the perennial sycophant, who can reconsider his ways afterward.
Have all participants agree on who will start the game. A round begins once someone parrots something your boss says. You receive one point if you're the first to do this, two points for the second parrot and so forth.
You can parrot as many times as you want per round, but you only receive the correlating points allowed for parroting on that turn; in other words, if you earn two points for parroting a particular viewpoint, you do not earn additional points for parroting the same sentiment again.
You can keep track of non-playing people if they parrot the boss' sentiment--this allows participating players the opportunity to score more points in the round. In other words, if a non-player parrots your boss, you get two points for following suit, rather than one for being the first.
If you're the last player to parrot before your boss addresses another topic, you receive three bonus points. If you ignore your boss and parrot again, you receive five bonus points. You receive 10 consolation points (but no turn points) if your boss shouts or calls you out at any time. You may play multiple rounds during a meeting, and declare a winner once the meeting ends.
To get all coworkers actively involved in brainstorming, suggest to your boss a game of catch for the upcoming meeting. Have your boss throw a small ball to one of your coworkers, who must remark on the topic and throw the ball to another person.
If you catch the ball, add your own thoughts and throw the ball to another coworker. Playing catch during a meeting gets even normally quiet people involved and adds fun to what could be an otherwise uneventful meeting.
Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.