5 Tricks to Run Highly Effective Meetings
The meeting from hell: Let’s face it, we’ve all sat through enough of these.
Whether it’s a board meeting, annual retreat, company outing or staff meeting, every get-together in a professional setting presents an opportunity to grow and develop. Too often, however, the opportunity is squandered due to a number of factors, including stale programming, lack of tempo and absence of collaboration.
Organizations can avoid that by making a conscious decision to be the leader and the team that get the most out of every opportunity to bring people together. Keep these simple suggestions in mind, and make every meeting a chance to do something great:
1. Think inward.
When planning a meeting, think about your own ideal meeting. What would it look like? How would it make you feel? What would you be saying to yourself and others after it was over?
2. Think outward.
Put yourself in others’ shoes. If presenting to a group of people you’ve presented to in the past, think about aspects of the meeting that worked well or that didn’t work so well. If possible, get feedback from them before the meeting. If it’s a new crowd, consult friends and colleagues. It’s amazing how willing others are to lend advice and ideas when you ask!
3. A/V in advance.
Like an oxygen tank when scuba diving, we don’t pay much attention to the audio and video systems until they conk out. Setting up and testing A/V in advance will (in most cases) iron out issues and ensure a smoother experience.
4. Communicate the “why.”
Why did you call this meeting? What are your reasons for bringing these people together? What are your goals? Make this clear to the meeting participants. Doing so helps frame the meeting and begins to rally them around the vision. For that matter, first consider whether you really need to have or attend that meeting to avoid what David Grady called Mindless Accept Syndrome in his Ted Talk, “How to save the world from bad meetings.”
5. Engage attendees emotionally.
Through emotional engagement, individuals are more likely to focus on the important aspects of the meeting. Regardless of the meeting topic, if you can align attendees’ intellects with their emotions, you will see a group that is hungry to share ideas and information. To capture this level of engagement, you must create an environment where people feel empowered to participate and comfortable doing so. In the best meetings, participants see each other not as job titles or rungs on a ladder, but rather as fellow human beings.
What do you do to keep your audience engaged? What do you think makes meetings highly effective?
Formed in 2004, Studiothink is a full-service marketing firm, offering clients the benefit of true strategic partnership for all forms of internal and external communications, brand management services, and culture/internal branding with a focus on employee experience and engagement. A certified FBE (Female Business Enterprise), Studiothink is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.