Death To PowerPoint – How To Keep Your Meetings Engaging
After a great meeting, how do you feel?
Inspired, motivated, passionate?
These are feelings you should be wanting to evoke in your workforce in order to keep a happy, productive team around you.
In this post, successful entrepreneur and change agent Trevor McClintock shares his top tips to ensure everyone leaves a meeting feeling it was engaging and worthwhile.
Meetings should be a regular, worthwhile point of contact for members of a team or group – an opportunity for people to air their views, share information and keep up-to-date with the bigger picture.
Gone are the days when someone would drone through a series of slides while colleagues fell asleep at the back.
This is about inspiring leadership, defining clear aims and getting things done.
If it’s an external meeting, you may want to close a deal, motivate investors to get behind your concept or empower your providers.
Internally, the meeting is an integral part of company life, in order to improve cohesion between different areas of the business, improve workflows and communication and ensure everyone is invested in the company vision.
For starters it is essential to get everything prepared beforehand so there is no delay to the start of the meeting.
Busy schedules mean that it may be difficult to get a time where everyone can get together in one place so it’s imperative to be able to get straight on with the business at hand once everyone has arrived.
We’ve all been to one of those meetings where technology has failed, there wasn’t enough agendas, the leader seems flustered and ill prepared.
The second mistake that people often make is to hold unnecessary meetings.
Think, could the point of this meeting be conveyed in a succinct email?
Is everyone ready for the meeting to take place?
Use time effectively
Don’t waste time – make sure everyone understands the reason behind the meeting and send round an agenda before it begins listing all the topics that need to be covered.
Use the time effectively while everyone is in the room to map out clear plans for further actions.
This ensures people know they have clear objectives in line with the team masterplan and prevents people from switching off while they listen to someone talk about something which has no relevance to their project.
Who needs to be there?
What can they bring to the table?
If there is no reason for someone to be present, then don’t invite them.
Make sure everyone is there for a reason to ensure maximum participation.
What’s the best meeting you have ever been to?
It’s likely that everyone was interested in the subject matter, it dealt with each point effectively and everyone had something to contribute.
Sharing of ideas works best in an environment where everyone has a say.
The meeting should be a platform for all to collaborate, it should be energetic, it should be stimulating.
Don’t let the meeting be dominated by one person or whoever shouts the loudest.
As the leader of the meeting, encourage all team members to share their thoughts.
If dealing with one item takes too long, don’t be afraid to cut in and move the meeting forward to the next.
As leader of the meeting you should be ensuring the meeting flows smoothly and efficiently deals with each item.
Praise where its due
Motivating a team is one of the challenges of leadership.
Don’t be afraid to praise a team member in front of their peers to boost the morale.
This encourages an element of competition and helps colleagues feel valued.
And finally, have a time limit to the meeting.
Get to the point and don’t go off on too many irrelevant tangents.
Follow these tips and you will be holding better, more energised, engaging and productive meetings.
Do you have any advice of your own?