Meetings are a necessary evil for many business owners. How can you make them more bearable? How do you get people to actually pay attention in meetings? How do you keep people engaged when they are bored out of their minds? In this post Something With Numbers will give some tips on how to increase engagement in meetings.
Make it interactive :
The key to increasing engagement and productivity is making sure that everyone has a voice. How you choose to do this depends on the size of your company and what tools are available. But one way or another it’s important for all employees at all levels of every department to be able-bodied communicators who actively listen and contribute ideas during meetings. The best way I’ve ever seen this done was when we sat around a table without any devices (phones were put away).
Instead, each person had their own whiteboard where they could write down questions/comments then after discussion about an issue, people would circle back through them asking if there was consensus on how we should proceed with our next steps. If something was still up in the air, we would circle back and hash it out.
Keep the topic interesting
A meeting can be an effective way for team members to communicate, brainstorm ideas and remain updated on the work that is being done. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure your meetings are engaging enough. So all attendees feel they get something out of them. How you structure a meeting will have a big impact on engagement levels. So if you want people attending every time there are discussions about how best to keep everyone interested!
Do your homework:
Come prepared, and know the purpose of the meeting. Think about what you want out of this meeting and how others can help you get it. If they don’t see value in attending or participating, chances are they won’t show up.
Set a goal for yourself:
Make sure that everyone is on board with your plan before starting off so no one feels lost during the conversation! This way there’s less room for them not knowing where we’re headed when things start getting heated.
Keep it short and sweet:
No need to drag meetings on too long without achieving anything substantial. Keep them at least 15 minutes (or under) so that people don’t lose interest. But I also have enough time to get things done.
Use a timer:
If you’re worried about going over your set time limit for the meeting or conference call, use a physical or digital timer and try not go past it! A brisk pace of conversation will ensure everyone is being heard and gets their chance to share what’s important with those involved.
Enlist an objective person as moderator:
Keep the discussion running smoothly by designating one person who can be responsible for controlling how much each participant speaks throughout the course of the gathering via moderated questions and topics added into or onto agenda. This way, everyone has equal opportunity to provide input, and no one is left out.
Create a designated area for face-to-face communication:
If you’re on an e-meeting with multiple people who are spread across the globe (or even around the corner) try having them all log into Google Hangouts or Skype at set times that work best for your group. So that they can communicate visually AND audibly! It’ll create more of an impact than just using audio alone; give yourself something to look forward too by simply logging in!
Keep the meeting to a reasonable amount of time:
Don’t over-schedule people’s time! Instead, have a set ending point for your meeting so that they can plan their day accordingly. People are more likely to attend if it doesn’t take up too much of their time or interfere with another important obligation on the books.
Ask attendees to hold themselves accountable:
Let everyone know in advance how long you expect them to speak/listen during the course of the gathering and remind them before any start times begin. This will keep things moving along nicely (and save face) when there’s no need for rambling conversations; make sure everyone is allotted equal opportunity throughout by keeping track ahead of time! Meetings don’t always go as planned, but be flexible enough to roll with the punches and adapt as needed.
Share your goal with participants
One way to increase engagement in meetings is by sharing a goal with participants. By making the meeting about achieving something, it becomes more purposeful and people will be more motivated to participate. You may also want to make sure all participants know what’s expected of them for the meeting. So that they can come prepared and ready to contribute towards reaching their common objective. Another helpful tip involves using an agenda template like this one. Having everyone on the same page and knowing exactly how long each item should take ensures that no time gets wasted or important topics fall through the cracks. Because someone forgot they were supposed to bring up a certain point during discussion. This makes your job as a Meeting Facilitator much easier!