Meetings are only boring if they make no progress toward a shared vision and/or contain no tension. First ensure that having a meeting is the right answer. Then… How might we go about ensuring interesting meetings? Follow these tips:
- Prepare thoroughly to meet your vision of wild success. Think through how your vision of wild success for the meeting fits into the benefit for each attendee.
- Make certain that you have a rock solid agenda.
- Make sure that everything is available that you could possibly need to make your decisions including the right attendees, evidence, info, photos, information, reports, materials etc.
- Show up early and stay present to act as a magnet for attendees that may otherwise drift away.
- Match your tone to the purpose of the meeting. Does your purpose require you to be upbeat, focused, serious, or optimistic? Choose wisely and embody what your attendees need for success.
- According to the principle of primacy; the first thing that you discuss will have a disproportionate share of your attendees’ attention and memory. Take advantage of it and hit the most important topic first.
- According to the principle of recency; the last thing that you discuss will have the second most share of attention and memory. Take advantage and close your meeting strong.
- Create additional moments of primacy and recency by pushing intentional pattern interrupts with wise facilitation. You can use anything to boost your attendees attention including: give a handout, Change your position: sit down / stand up / move around the space, show videos, call on people by name, ask questions, use props, repetition, humor, throw things, turn off lights, turn your slides or the screen black, or make loud noises.
- Choose wisely when / whether you will stand or sit.
- Standing helps you to keep control of the meeting, when you have attendees with strong personalities or when you are presenting materials.
- Sitting tends to encourage joint ownership and increased participation from your attendees.
Put in the hard work of being a great meeting facilitator to keep boring meetings at bay.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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