This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Riya Sander.
Most employees dread office meetings because they can be quite boring. As a manager, you may have to conduct a few meetings here and there to go over your team’s objectives and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
However, that cannot happen if you conduct long boring meetings that eventually turn into battles of supremacy where some employees compete to show that they know more than others. If you want to have productive staff meetings, you have to make a few changes.
Let’s learn the tips on making meetings more effective and less boring below.
1. Engage Your Audience from the Start of the Meeting
In many cases, how you start the meeting will set the mood for the rest of the event. One strategy that you can use is to give a quick survey to the attendees a few minutes before the actual event. Then start the meeting by announcing the results of that survey.
Alternatively, you can begin the forum with an interesting video and ask the participants questions based on the video. When you engage your audience from the start, they will actually gain interest in the meeting.
2. Avoid Chairs
If employees enter the boardroom and sit on those comfortable seats, there are high chances that they will easily get bored at a meeting. Try to spice up the meeting space by using bean bags instead of chairs.
Alternatively, you can use high tables and conduct a stand-up meeting. Or you can ask the participants to stand up if they have a question or just raise their hands. That way, they don’t get too comfortable sitting down.
3. Change the Venue
Instead of using the boardroom like you always do, why not try to change the scenery? You can arrange training and workshops outside the workplace to engage the participants in a different way.
A change of environment can inspire your workers and make them more enthusiastic about the meeting. If your budget allows it, you can rent a space for a meeting.
4. Create a Relaxing Environment
When people come to a meeting room, they have different things on their minds. Very few will come to the forum ready to learn and gain something out of it.
As a result, you are encouraged to introduce some toys into the meeting room. It doesn’t have to be serious toys, something as simple as a fidget spinner can do the trick. These toys help those that are stressed to refocus their energy to the meeting.
5. Incorporate Some Informal Elements
Instead of being serious all the time, try to add some playfulness to the meeting. For example, you can ask someone to lead the group in singing a popular song or teach the team some dance moves.
Alternatively, you can just crack a non-condescending joke to get people laughing. A bit of playfulness brings people together and gets rid of all the seriousness. That way, people become energized for the next part of the meeting.
6. Use a Display Board
If you want people to focus on what you are saying during the meeting, you have to pay particular attention to their needs.
Before you begin the forum, ask them about how they felt during the previous meeting. Attach picture cards to the display board to encourage the participants to talk about their feelings. Alternatively, you can use the display board to show what different participants think about the discussion topic.
As you conduct the meeting, make sure that you remain silent midway. Silence gives the participants time to digest what you are telling them. It also allows them to prepare a response if you had asked a question.
People will give you well-thought-out responses because they have had enough time to analyze the question, work-out the possible solutions, and pick the best answer.
8. Let it be a Learning Experience
Within the meeting, have a slot where the participants can learn something new.
You could pick an employee that is currently undergoing special training paid for by the company. That worker could use the forum to teach what they have learned to their colleagues. This activity will get the participants thinking and return their focus to your meeting.
9. Maintain a Positive Attitude
As much as people should be allowed to speak their mind during the meeting, don’t allow negative comments to spoil the mood. A good strategy that you can use to counter criticisms is to ask participants to say three things they like about someone’s comment before they give a counter argument. That way, you keep things positive.
If you want to make things better and less boring, you can hold a meeting outside the office or use any other strategy mentioned in this article. That way, you will have workers that always look forward to your next meeting.
About the author:
Riya Sander is an inspired writer writing in several areas of expertise. With spending her years working marketing communication, Riya is delighted to work with aspiring small business owners. Apart from her marketing expertise, Riya always enjoys reading pocketbook, cooking, and traveling. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya