7 Easy Steps To Making Meetings More Meaningful!
You want your company to run like a well oiled machine-- with all the pieces working productively in a seamless and collaborative flow. Meetings are the gears that make your well oiled machine continue to perform at its best. The thing is, meetings rarely inspire creativity or inspiration, and in turn, new ideas only come once in a blue moon.
Do your meetings...
look like a single presenter talking at the rest of the attendees as they silently hide that they are dozing off along a long conference room table? Well, we’re here to help you out. Meetings can inspire new ideas, meetings can be collaborative, and don’t need to consist of wasted hours and silent rooms any more!
Here at mcSquares...
our company was built on creativity and collaboration, and we like to think we are specialists when it comes to these two principles. We’ve tried and tested a few different ways to keep meeting goers on their toes, and are here to share them so you can keep your meetings productive.
Let’s Talk About Engagement
And while we’re at it, let’s be honest-- when it comes to meetings, engagement is typically not a priority. The thing is, however, that engagement is what keeps your meeting attendees from falling asleep. When you head up to the front of the room and talk for 30 minutes while your slide show streams behind you, it’s more than likely to create a snore inducing meeting.
Here are just a few ways to get your meetings a little more engaging:
1. Pair up
One of the reasons your meetings might be quieter than a wednesday afternoon at the library is because employees are often afraid to speak up in front of groups. Pairs take a little bit of stress off of presenting or speaking up in front of everyone. Having your meeting attendees pair up to present or suggest ideas dissipates that stress. Offer times throughout your meetings for pairs to have 3 minutes to come up with a suggestion, comment, etc. followed by a discussion period for all pairs to share their thoughts.
Sitting in a chair being talked at is a surefire way to make anybody feel disengaged. Remedy this by getting your attendees interacting, whether that’s with each other, the group as a whole, or specific material. Tools like mcSquares Tablets or Stickies allow everyone to participate in a group without feeling intimidated by their superiors. For instance, ask a question or look for ideas, and have everyone respond on their mcSquares tablets. This technique (1) takes away the stress of answering individually because all attendees are responding, and (2) ensures that your meeting is beneficial and yields results.
Utilizing interesting visuals allows your meeting attendees to have something engaging other than you simply standing at the front of the room talking. Powerpoints and posters with interesting infographics are the most basic form of visual aids. At mcSquares, we recommend using Tile Kits in your meetings. Tile Kits allow you to create visual aids ahead of time while incorporating participation, whether it’s graphics at the front of the board you can manipulate during your meeting or individual graphics you can pass out to your attendees. Safe to say, you won’t have anyone falling asleep.
mcSquares are Built to Make any Conference Room Creative
When it comes to keeping your meetings from turning into nap-time...
...engagement isn’t the only element you can incorporate into your plans. We’ve tested a few more ways to keep the gears of your company turning, and allow meetings to be as productive as possible.
4. Change up the Location
It’s no secret that the typical conference room is sleep inducing. Changing up locations, whether sitting outside your building, the downstairs cafeteria, or better yet, heading to a local coffee shop, allows you to shake up the typical routine and keep your employees on their toes while building a sense of camaraderie. Taking your meetings to new locations also says to your employees you’re trying to get them engaged, and they’ll most likely pay better attention to keep themselves from heading back to the dreaded conference room. You can take this a step further by incorporating walking meetings. Forbes recently reported that holding meetings on the go have shown a variety of benefits, including increasing creative output by 60 percent. That’s why the CEO’s at companies like Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google hold meetings on the move.
5. Add Music to the Mix
If you’re confined to a conference room, background music can offer a degree of liveliness to any meeting. Create a communal playlist, and allow participants to add songs they think will help keep your meetings flow. This is a two birds with one stone tactic, where your meetings will be seen as more fun and also allow your meeting attendees to feel involved. Adding music is an easy way to spice up your meeting and keep your meeting goers upbeat. To add a little flare, have a surprise song where your employees have to guess what the song is! Make sure the winner is rewarded-- whether with a free coffee, 10 extra minutes on their lunch, or as the one who gets to pick the surprise song for next time!
6. Bring in Food and/or Drinks
Everyone likes a tasty treat-- whether that's a good meal or a fancy coffee. If you need to talk at your employees for a bit, woo them with a catered lunch, fruit platter, or their pick of a coffee (great for those early morning meetings!). Although they’ll be eating, your attendees will most likely be grateful for their free meal, and are more likely to pay attention to your information. More so, they won’t be thinking about their lunch or rumbling stomachs, and will be sure to throw that attention your way.
7. Create an Accomplishment list
When it comes down to it, the major issue with most meetings is that oftentimes nothing is truly accomplished. You talk for a bit, fill the silence with buzzwords words like “game plan” and “strategy,” but in truth, nothing comes from that 30 minute conversation you all just sat through. Creating a decisions list can remedy this. At the beginning of your meeting, grab a mcSquares Tablet and write “Decisions” or “Things Learned” at the top, then number below how many decisions you’d like. Announce you will not be leaving until all of the decisions slots are filled. This is another two birds with one stone scenario because (1) you are sure to get the decisions you need and (2) your attendees are more likely to pay attention and participate as they won’t want to sit in your meeting all day!
In the end, meetings don’t have to be the reason your employees fall asleep or dread heading into the conference room. There are a plethora of creative and fun ways to keep your attendees engaged and participating, while also ensuring that the gears of your company continue turning in the most productive way possible.