Are you tired of struggling to engage meeting participants? No one talks. Participants (using that term loosely, because of course there isn’t any participation!) look around whenever you ask for input. You are frustrated and tired of being the only one with ideas or even talking.
Stop Struggling and Start Succeeding
The problem with many meetings is that is that participants don’t know how to be engaged. They receive a meeting maker and show up, but they are either reserved or nervous about sharing their thoughts and ideas.
This is where YOU tap into your meeting facilitation superpowers! Don’t have ‘em yet? Keep reading and you will.
Yes, It Is Possible to Make Meetings Fun!
1. Not Just an Agenda, but Preparatory Email: Ok, this doesn’t sound fun, but everyone, especially the introverts on your team, benefit from you sharing what you’d like to focus on, your current thinking, concerns, and open questions.
2. Break the Ice with Fun: Whether you going to go all out and have a Marshmallow Challenge (teams of four complete to build the highest freestanding structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of string, a yard of tape, and a marshmallow), which is super engaging, even for the curmudgeons in the group because everyone likes to win!
3. Break out of Boredom with Breakout Groups: Create time and space for participants to first share their ideas with one or two people during the meeting before they share with the entire group. Anywhere from five to ten minutes of “breakout time” is usually sufficient.
4. Getting Every Talking via Post-its: This low-tech, time-saving, and colorful exercise gets everyone talking and all you need are large post-its and sharpies. Pose a question or topic such as “What would be happening in three years if we were successful?” Then instruct everyone to share their ideas on post-its, one idea per post, as many post-its as you need.
5. Put Those Smart Phones to Good Use: Now it’s time to leverage technology! Use Poll EV to get participant’s opinions and voting on a whole host of issues and questions. What’s really fun is that participants watch everyone’s responses on a screen as they text their own answers.
If you’d like more information on step three, download Establishing the Focus in Meetings and Other Conversations, which is excerpted from The Workplace Toolkit: Actionable Approaches to People Problems. And, if you found this helpful, please share with your friends and colleagues. And, don’t forget to let us know how you’re engaging meeting participants!