You found our list of unique virtual talent show ideas.
Virtual talent shows typically occur via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, or Google Meet. Online audiences gather to watch amateurs perform entertaining acts. During these competitions, judges or attendees vote for a winning act. The purpose of the event is to provide entertainment for the audience and recognition for the participants.
This list contains:
- virtual talent show ideas for adults
- talent show ideas for Zoom
- online talent show competition ideas
Here we go!
How to host virtual talent shows
Here are five easy steps to host a virtual talent show with friends, family, coworkers, or other online communities.
Step #1: Select a platform
The best video meeting software for the event depends on the audience. For example, if you plan for hundreds of observers in attendance, then select a program with a high maximum participant capability. If you invite only family and friends, then consider using a more accessible and familiar platform like FaceTime, Facebook Live, or Zoom.
Step #2: Choose a date and time
Depending on the nature of your event, you may want to determine the availability of attendees and performers before setting a firm date. If you do this step then provide potential guests with a range of dates, and choose the one that is likely to draw the largest or liveliest audience.
Step #3: Solicit sign-ups
Next, gather your participants. Once you find enough performers, you can arrange the acts into an order that keeps audiences engaged and attentive.
Step #4: Spread the word
You can email guests, post on social media, or use a combined approach by utilizing several online communication tools. No matter which method you choose, designing fun invitations or flyers on Canva helps drum up excitement. Be sure to include a video meeting link in your official invitation or confirmation message.
Step #4: Host the show
When the day of the event arrives, greet your virtual crowd, introduce your digital emcee, and start the show! Be sure to spotlight performers during their acts so that the audience can optimally view the performance.
To turn the virtual show into a competition, ask judges or attendees to decide on a winner by deliberating or voting via poll. Otherwise, just have fun and enjoy the show.
List of virtual talent show ideas
From fun themes to dazzling details, here is a list of online talent night ideas to delight audiences.
1. Combine Online Talent Shows with Virtual Rock and Roll Trivia
Talent shows reveal how well participants can play music, and Virtual Rock & Roll Trivia tests attendees’ music knowledge. The two activities compliment each other perfectly, making for a lively, musical night spent with colleagues or friends online. Virtual Rock & Roll Trivia is a subset of Virtual Team Trivia, a fully-hosted virtual team building event where groups compete in 60 minutes of online pub quizzes. Rock & Roll Trivia centers around music legends and facts throughout the decades. Winners achieve ultimate rock star status, and losers still have a pretty darn good time.
Learn more about Rock & Roll Trivia.
2. Hold a Useless Talent Show
Not everyone can sing, dance, play an instrument, or juggle rubber chickens. Some folks dream of participating in a talent show, but lack conventional talents. A useless talent show reveals hidden abilities and entertains audiences with silly fun.
Here are some examples of useless talents:
- ear wiggling
- talking backwards
- air guitar
- bar tricks
To hold a useless talent show, specify that performers should show-off obscure abilities. At the end of the night, award categories like “funniest talent,” “most surprising talent,” and “I could do that.”
3. Host a New Talent Show
Most performers exhibit talents they have perfected over many years of practice. A new talent show turns this idea on its head. During this activity, participants pick a brand new skill they have never attempted before, then try to hone the act as much as possible in a limited amount of time, such as a week.
Here are a few ideas for new talent show acts:
- play the accordion
- break dance
- build a birdhouse
- pull a rabbit out of a hat
- sing Silent Night in a foreign language
Results are often hilarious and occasionally impressive, as performers have little time to master the act. Either way, the show entertains.
New talent shows are also great virtual talent show ideas for teachers, since they encourage participants to study new skills.
4. Encourage Duets and Group Numbers
Virtual talent show performances do not need to be solo acts. Instead, artists in separate rooms can execute virtual group acts such as song duets, orchestra pieces, or choreographed dances. Simply gather a group, rehearse on the chosen platform, then perform the act and amaze audiences!
Check out this list of teamwork songs you can sing.
5. Design Unmissable Invitations
Organizers typically advertise traditional talent shows with flyers, but spreading the word about virtual talent shows happens entirely online. By using Canva or a similar design platform, you can create eye-catching invitations unlikely to get lost in potential guests’ inboxes or social media feeds.
You can incorporate the video meeting link into your invitations. To facilitate easy sign-ups, consider making and including a Google Form, too.
For more information on creating enticing online event emails, check out our post on invitations for virtual holiday parties.
6. Plan Virtual Talent Show Fundraisers
Virtual talent shows are useful for building camaraderie amongst remote teams or entertaining friends and family members, and these events can also serve a good cause. Hosting a more formal virtual talent show is a great way to solicit contributions from a dispersed donor base.
To host the show:
- Recruit performers
- Set a date and time
- Advertise the event
- Send confirmed guests the meeting link
- Host the show
Consider asking guests for a donation in exchange for access to the online show. Keep in mind that folks may be hesitant to commit to spending money on a virtual event, and make donations minimal or optional but strongly recommended.
Here are some good virtual talent show fundraiser ideas:
- Enable attendees to vote for winners by making donations
- Hold raffles with emailable digital prizes like e-gift cards and subscriptions to online services
- Encourage guests to use the reaction feature in the video meeting platform and to interact with “offstage” performers in the chat
For more tips, check out our article on online fundraising ideas.
7. Pick a Fun Remote Talent Show Theme
Picking a fun theme can help set the tone for the event. Simply announce the theme in the invitations and advertisements, and instruct participants to incorporate the theme into their acts.
Here are some good virtual talent show themes:
- Around the world
- Faux reality show
- 80’s or 90’s
Choosing a widely-interpretable theme sparks creativity. For instance, at a “blues” show, a saxophone player might play a Blues number, while an artist paints a mural in different shades of the color. Or, go the ultra-specific route and shape the show around a certain book, movie, TV show, or band.
8. Facilitate Voting Via Polling Features
Most video meeting platforms have a polling feature, enabling audiences to instantly vote for winners of virtual talent competitions. To create the ballot, fill out the poll with participant names. Then, launch the poll towards the end of the event, and display the results.
Here are some online talent show categories to consider:
- Best musical act
- Best group act
- Most moving performance
- Most unusual talent
- Best use of technology
- Best in show
- Funniest performance
To make voting even more fun, dream up creative categories like “Beyoncé would be proud,” or “most likely to go viral for the wrong reasons.”
9. Offer Enticing Prizes for Winners
Prizes make victories even sweeter. While bragging rights are enough to satisfy some folks during online talent competitions, the addition of prizes incentivizes participation and adds a tactile element to the online event.
Here are some suggestions for virtual talent show prizes:
- Personalized trophies, mailed to contestants post-show
- Social media spotlights
- E-gift cards
- Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, or CashApp payment
- Online subscriptions or memberships
- Chance to headline a virtual event
- Ability to make non-winners do something silly
- Wireless earbuds, tablet, or other tech device
- Gift baskets
10. Launch Lip Sync Battles
Lip sync battles are one of the best virtual talent show ideas for adults. Lip syncing is the act of mouthing along to popular songs. Battles take the exercise to the next level by incorporating costumes, choreography, and props. When competing virtually, contestants can also use Zoom backgrounds and special effects in the performance.
To launch a lip sync battle, tell participants to choose songs and develop routines, then watch the acts perform the songs during a video call. At the end of the event, name a champion.
Here are a few suggestions for good lip sync battle songs:
- Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benetar
- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
- Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
- Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
- Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
For extra fun, record the meeting, edit the footage into a highlight video, and send the reel to guests.
11. Tell Light-hearted Icebreaker Jokes
Emcees play equally important roles to performers during virtual talent shows. While improvisation masters and natural comedians can keep the show flowing with ease, less seasoned entertainers might need help. Virtual showmasters can refer to lists of icebreaker jokes to warm up audiences at the start of the show or to fill time between acts. Or, hosts looking for a break from speaking can show funny videos by sharing the screen.
12. Hold a Virtual Improv Talent Night
Talent show performers typically prepare acts weeks in advance, but one fun variation on the concept is to ask participants to perform on the spot. Improv is the art of acting and reacting to suggestions and surroundings with no prior rehearsal or memorization. You could either host an evening of traditional virtual improv where participants act out sketches, or combine virtual improv and talent shows so that artists show a sample of their skillset based on audience suggestions.
For instance, a dancer might choreograph a routine to a song another guest suggests, a comedian might instantly write a joke set about a particular subject, and musicians might mash up two recommended tunes. Either give performers five to ten minutes to prepare the act, or ask them to improvise immediately. The quick thinking and moving is likely to impress the online audience!
13. Host a Virtual Happy Hour Talent Show
One of the best virtual talent show ideas for adults is to pair the show with a remote happy hour. After all, performers could use liquid courage, and a cocktail or two creates a cabaret-like atmosphere. Virtual happy hours give attendees a chance to mingle between acts, in the chat, and at the beginning and ends of the event, turning the evening into a social outing instead of just a performance.
Covering the first round of drinks for guests is a nice gesture. Or, send attendees kits with dry ingredients and equipment to whip up fancy cocktails.
For more tips, check out our post on virtual happy hour ideas.
14. Recruit Celebrity Judges
While some online talent shows rely on the audience to vote for a winner, the addition of judges can add an extra wow factor to your event. When organizing the event, recruit a panel to rate the acts. The panel can consist of high-ranking members of an organization, local celebrities such as artists or business owners, or your funniest friends or relatives. After all performers finish, ask the judges to rate the acts and select a winner. Be sure to announce your illustrious judges on your event posts and invites to spark interest among attendees.
Or, if you want judges to merely entertain, then use YouTube clips of real celebrities like Simon Cowell or Gorden Ramsey for funny commentary.
Though the roar of applause might not seem as loud online, there are plenty of virtual talent show ideas that make these events successful. The internet enables participants from all over to attend, and on-screen performances are much less intimidating to performers with stage fright. Plus, you can easily record the show.
Virtual talent shows are a fun way to shake up your online social routine and have fun with your crew. With the tips on this list, your guests will have so much fun, that you might just have to make virtual talent night a reoccurring event!
Next, check out our list of activities for virtual retreats.
FAQ: Virtual Talent Show
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about virtual talent shows
What are virtual talent shows?
Virtual talent shows are online events where participants take turns performing acts. For example: songs, dance numbers, or magic tricks. These events typically occur via video meeting software such as Zoom, Skype, or WebEx.
How do you host a virtual talent show?
To host a virtual talent show in five easy steps:
- Select a video meeting platform such as Zoom, GoogleMeet, or FaceTime
- Choose a date and time, preferably one that will attract a sizeable audience
- Solicit sign-ups from interested acts. Once you gather performers, you can determine exact runtime and schedule your act order.
- Spread the word by emailing potential attendees and/or posting on social media
- Host the show in a video meeting room. Recruiting an emcee for the evening ensures the show flows smoothly. Remember to spotlight each performer during their act.
An optional last step is to vote on a winner. If you do not recruit dedicated digital judges, then ask the audience to vote via poll. Announcing winners online publicly post-event or awarding prizes makes the event more momentous.
Feel free to put a fun spin on the basic virtual talent show format by selecting a fun theme or choosing an unusual cabaret variation like useless talent or new talent shows.
What are some good virtual talent show ideas?
The best virtual talent show ideas energize the crowd and hold the audience’s attention. Some good virtual talent show ideas include inviting celebrity judges, offering digital or mailed prizes, and picking fun themes. Using fun talent show variations such as useless talent shows, new talent shows, improv nights, and lip sync battles is another fun move.
What are the benefits of virtual talent shows?
Virtual talent shows are more cost-efficient and easier to coordinate than in-person events. Attendees can join from the comfort of their couches. No travel is necessary, meaning faraway family and friends can enjoy the festivities too. Since appearing on screen tends to be less daunting than facing a physical audience, folks with stage fright are more likely to appreciate and participate in a virtual cabaret.
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