We’ve all been part of that dreary meeting that’s made us groggy by the end of it. And when it’s your turn to conduct a live meeting, no matter how many times you’ve done it before, you are still going to be worried about it turning into a snore-fest.
How often have you seen a lifeless meeting room that brings no productivity to the table? The participants walking out want nothing more than a coffee and some online comic time to wake them up, let alone get started on an inspired work session.
Here are some tips to help make your meetings more productive:
Of course, we all prepare for a meeting if we’re conducting it. Now get everyone else’s mind prepared too!. Send out messages to everyone who’s going to be there. Let them know what exactly the meeting is about and what they should already know beforehand. This way, everyone’s informed about what they should be expecting.
Be the energy in the meeting room
As you begin the team meeting, start on a positive, spirited note, thus inspiring everyone in the room. Maintain the mood throughout if you want the other participants to return the energy. Send out some enthusiastic vibes all over.
Set the goal
Lay the issue on the table right at the beginning. Have everything jotted down in your meeting planner. What’s the meeting about? What should the outcome be? What are you expecting out of it? Defining these objectives will help your discussions from drifting away from the topic and keeps everyone’s focus on the right issue.
Pictures and pie-charts
So you’ve made a presentation to make the meeting more interesting. That pictures and pie-charts should be included go without saying, but let’s be reminded of it anyway. It’s just so much easier to understand concepts, numbers, and figures when they’re explained through images, charts, and graphs. Include as many as you can in your presentation and you’ll notice that everyone is looking more interested.
Do we need a table?
Lose the table if this is a meeting that doesn’t mandatorily require the use of laptops or books. Tables are laze-inducers – they tempt participants to be slothful and not fully alert. Some bodily movement keeps the mind awake! Make a semi-circle out of the seating, and maybe some people even prefer to stand. All ideas are open.
And provide the first answers. The sillier your answer, the better, so everyone is encouraged to talk, no matter how trivial their opinion may be. Asking questions forces one to think. Urge the participants to get involved in the conversation and share their inputs; all opinions matter in effective meetings.
If the meeting is anything more than an hour, it deserves a break in between. Constantly digesting information could get anyone’s brain foggy. Give yourselves a 5-minute break to relax a bit. This practice also helps in bringing in new ideas as some more thinking happens away from the continuous conversation. Step out of the room, get a cup of coffee and talk about other things.
All data and no gossip makes Jack a dull participant. Also, while the examples do help make the meeting more interesting, they also help in putting the point across easily. This is similar to the pictures and pie-charts point we spoke about. Make notes of similar instances that happened before and bring them up at the right times, making comparisons is a great method to make subjects more relatable.
Summarize every conclusion
As a team, you all came up with ideas that are different at many points of the meetings. Give importance to all. Make sure to pick up each idea and talk about it again, summarizing all of them, so they all stay fresh in the minds. Work together on the pros and cons of all the ideas.
A review in the end
Have a review of the entire session during the final minutes of the meeting. Have a talk about all the conclusions, comparing them, take a vote, and ultimately finalize the subject of the meeting.
You might have a whole set of innovative tricks up your sleeve. Pick and choose activities and themes that you are certain your team will enjoy. This way no one will have inhibitions when it comes to participation. Now that everyone has felt involved in the lively, fun meeting, there’s going to be some inspired individuals walking out of the meeting room to seize the day.