How many of us have dreaded tomorrow’s meeting? Most likely every person reading this has rolled their eyes and huffed in annoyance at the thought of sitting through another boring meeting.
If you are a meeting organizer in charge of training and facilitation, erase those bored stares with positive, energized responses at your next gathering. Here are six fun ways to supercharge your next conference call or face-to-face meeting.
Begin before it starts.
Arriving early puts meeting organizers in a position to greet each attendee warmly and enthusiastically. Personal interactions build rapport and set the tone for the entire meeting.
State the overall meeting goal early and clearly.
Clarity is a beautiful thing. In every meeting you should always begin with the PURPOSE. Include the meeting’s mission in the opening remarks, so the meeting has focus. Each attendee should be able to identify with the goal.
Don’t be a one man show.
We have no doubt you are fascinating. However, instead of one person talking the entire meeting, split the meeting up into sections, and include the attendees as presenters. Multiple speakers increase involvement and add interest.
Offer small prizes for participation.
Buy small prizes in advance of the meeting, and give them out for brilliant idea sharing. Candy, small toys or crowns are fun ways to involve each attendee and recognize active participants.
Defuse negative paths.
Meetings often start off productively, then one person makes a negative comment off the subject, and the agenda plummets into a pointless mess. Meeting facilitators must encourage participation but head off negativity. Steer the collaboration back to the matter at hand as fast as possible to avoid wasted time.
End on time.
The most productive meetings end in a timely manner, showing participants their time is valuable. Five minutes before the meeting is scheduled to conclude, begin wrapping up the conversation. Thank the attendees, and set another meeting if needed
Meetings don’t have to be a drag. Spice up dull meetings with these six training and facilitation strategies to energize participation and keep the agenda moving forward in a positive, productive way.