Meeting Tech Talk: Using YouTube in Your Meetings

It is often helpful to start a meeting with an ice breaker exercise or a bit of humor to give everyone a chance to relax and start to bond. Especially in a virtual setting, a humorous video clip can be an effective way to relax the group.

In the past folks would use a video clip from a film or TV show. To do so involved recording it on a VCR or downloading it and inserting it into a PowerPoint presentation. YouTube offers us more readily available and searchable resources to use. We can use videos from YouTube not only as ice breakers but also as humorous or serious examples to help make a point during a meeting.

From a technical perspective, the advantage of YouTube is that the meeting host doesn’t have to worry about bogging down his or her local internet connection with multiple people trying to download a video from one of their servers. Participants go straight to YouTube on the internet to download the video.

Inserting a video is easy. Go to the YouTube site and locate a video you want to embed. To the right of the video frame, there is basic html code for embedding the video on a web page. Click on the little icon next to the code to select from various options such as frame color and size. Then copy the html code which you can use to embed the video in a page as I do below or you as a link in your presentation or meeting invitation.

As an example, here is a humorous clip which could be used as an ice breaker exercise in which you ask folks to share the funniest thing which ever happened to them during a meeting. Enjoy.


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  1. TL #

    Funny video…I do have to say that I’m shocked you didn’t mention legal ramifications of downloading / posting some material that has been added to Utube!

    Downloader’s beware… Legal council has suggested to me in the past that we should always get approval to copy / transmit content when downloading from anywhere on the web!

  2. Good point. As a rule of thumb be careful to only use YouTube videos which are posted by the copyright owner. Sometimes that is clear but unfortunately other times it is not. If there is any doubt and it isn’t practical to get legal advice, don’t use the video.

  3. Stevo #

    I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on You Tube. Original posters have to certify at the time of upload that they are the copyright owner. It seems to me that violators who knowingly post material they don’t own are culpable, not folks who simply view the material.

  4. There may also be a distinction between downloading a video and hosting it on your own site versus merely embedding a link to the video on YouTube. The latter would likely be legally safer since the video file does not physically reside on any computer you own. Again, when in doubt, either obtain the advice of a lawyer or just don’t use videos if you’re unsure whether there may be a copyright issue involved.

  5. Here is a good set of motivational videos researched by Alan Collins at Success In HR.

  6. Paula #

    Your video will be useful as an icebreaker. Thank you! Also, I want to thank Julia for providing a link on the motivational videos. I just spent a very nice part of my afternoon watching them. I will definitely find a place in my work where there is a good fit for each of them! I am very thankful I checked the comments today!

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