Meetings are a necessary part of life in the business world. You may be getting together with your employees, investors or partners. No matter who you’re speaking with, you’ll be discussing important items regarding the company, whether it’s issues or successes. However, you won’t get anything done if the attendees aren’t paying attention. You’ll need to find new ways to run meetings to keep their eyes and minds on you.
1. Switch up the location
Sitting on an uncomfortable chair in a stuffy conference room can distract anyone. Why not try to bring something new to each meeting to make your employees feel more at home? Have a more casual environment with couches or beanbags or change the scenery by heading outside, LinkedIn suggested. You can also include activities in the meetings that will get people up and moving. Anything that will switch up the regular meeting setting and schedule will make your workers happier.
2. Get everyone involved
People will be more likely to pay attention when they know they’ll have to participate in the discussion. Provide them with a variety of ways to become a part of the conversation, the source said. Have a brainstorming session, break into groups or conduct surveys. This not only gets your staff focused on you and your presentation, it also makes them feel included as opposed to just being spoken to. They’ll be more willing to add to the discussion when they feel like their opinion matters.
3. Provide incentives
You can get almost anyone to do anything with the proper motivation. A reward as simple as free food will entice your employees to attend, according to Fast Company. While you’ll have to work these incentives into your financial plan, they’ll be worth it. If you’re holding meetings during lunch or after work, bring the sandwiches or pizza. Coffee, donuts and bagels are great for morning meetings. Your staff will appreciate that you were thinking about them.
4. Make a plan
Meetings work best when you know exactly what will happen during them. Take the time out of your day to create an agenda for each gathering you hold. This will ensure that everyone stays focused and doesn’t veer too much from the scheduled discussion, the source explained. Send it out in advance so your employees know what to expect when they attend. Having a set plan will keep meetings short and sweet so your workers don’t have to waste their time in unnecessary conferences.
5. Stay positive
Nothing will bring down the mood in the room more than negativity. People also won’t contribute to the conversation when they think they’ll be attacked and brought down for their ideas. Whenever someone participates in the discussion and offers an idea, make sure positive comments are said first and then constructive criticism can follow, LinkedIn suggested. This will show employees that their thoughts are appreciated, even if they aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. You want them to feel welcome in your business so encourage positivity and communication.
While they can’t be avoided, meetings can be made more effective and enjoyable. Come up with ways to get everyone to contribute and make sure these discussions are worth their time.