There are two reasons you want to make sure meetings aren’t a drudgery. First of all, if a meeting is boring – no one wants to be there and they will most likely get distracted. In turn, this means that the entire meeting ends up being a waste of time. Secondy, time is money, so in order to make sure you’re making the most of your company’s time, you need to plan an approach to staff meetings that’s both engaging but also productive.
Engagement increases productivity. This is especially true if you’re using video conferencing, which is the case with many companies due to the widespread trend of a decentralised workforce. Here are five tips to make your meetings into more of a creative jam than a drudgery.
1. Utilize Multimedia Approaches
Take a tip from the oft-repeated phrase that the key to success is content. Let your content guide customers to your business. Make sure your content speaks for itself. Have your content reflect your brand. Usually this advice is geared toward your customers, but there’s no reason not to adopt this same philosophy while dealing with your own staff. The entire idea behind content sharing is to make an experience more interesting and engage viewers’ attention on multiple levels. If you’re using a multi-person video conferencing provider, such as Bluejeans, these types of features are built directly into the system. Hosting Blue Jeans Video Meetings aren’t like hosting traditional meetings. You can keep your staff engaged and alert by showing them marketing content, sharing video clips from seminars, illustrating your presentation with product images, or live demonstrations of social media sites. Whatever type of content sharing that suits your needs can be found with video conferencing, and functions as a major improvement of how interesting a meeting can be.
2. Keep It Short
One of the worst feelings when you have a busy schedule is a mandatory meeting without a scheduled end time. The duration seems twice as long with the anxiety of not knowing when it will end, regardless of whether it’s actually very short. Although recommended meeting times vary amongst different corporations, Buffer suggests keeping meetings to fifteen minutes if possible. If you’re meeting via video conference, you also need to be prepared and make sure you cover everything you set out to. Plan to be on top of your game and keep the discussion going at a fast pace.
3. Stick to the Agenda
Making a meeting fun also means incorporating some strictness into your approach. Smart Meetings names one of the biggest problems in meetings is getting sidetracked. You don’t want the topic being discussed to start meander into unrelated territory or break down into idle chit-chat. When you’re aiming to keep your staff as engaged as possible, it’s essential to make sure you’re not only offering them a chance to break out of the corporate mold, but also do them the service of making sure of adopting the role of the rule enforcer. The idea is guided creativity and casual discussion, rather than just assuming the meeting participants will regulate themselves. An agenda provides structure, which is very important. What makes a meeting fun isn’t the opportunity to goof off, but to contribute in a meaningful way that makes each employee feel valued.
4. Make It Count
Meetings are much more enjoyable when they really count for something, since it gives participants a sense of accomplishment. When you’re hosting a meeting, if the time feels like it’s being wasted or dragging, then it’s a lost cause. For most employees these days, staff members are often doing the jobs of one or more people and every moment is valuable. Therefore, by making each second of a meeting count, it transforms the entire experience from being a required, pointless corporate exercise into something that yields meaningful results.
5. Give Everyone a Turn to Speak
Everyone wants their voice to be heard, especially when one of the most important parts of business in the 21st century is to stand out. Therefore, you should always ensure that there’s time to speak during your meeting. It’s fun and meaningful for participants to contribute an opinion that’s respected. There’s no better validation than having a captive audience, so you need to make sure that you’re managing the time and talking points very carefully. Sticking to the agenda as pointed out above can help. The experts at tech company Skyline Technologies even suggests limiting each point on the agenda to a specific amount of pre-allotted time. This is a good way to ensure that each of your meeting participants gets a chance to stretch their vocal cords and minds.
Creativity and efficiency are equally as important to having a productive meeting. There’s a lot to be said for making professional interactions fun, since this also lends a personal touch to the proceedings. There’s no replacement for personality, so designing your meeting to flow effectively while still allowing for casual conversation is important.