There are a lot of good things about meetings. They are a great way to disseminate information, unveil new projects, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, they can also be boring, and the more boring your meeting is, the less likely attendees are to get a lot out of it.
Not all meetings have to be quite so boring! You really can make your meetings a little more interesting when you follow these tips.
Use a Different Chart to Graph Data
Meetings and graphs go hand-in-hand. There’s nothing like a good line graph or a bar graph to demonstrate information in a visual way. The trouble is, seeing the same charts all the time can get boring.
Keep things interesting by using different kinds of charts to display information. Types of charts you can try include:
- Treemaps are a great way to organize hierarchical data using size and color
- Word clouds are a high-impact way to use display words that can be tied to underlying data
- Bubble charts display a cluster of color-coded circles that represent data sets by the size of each bubble
- Bump charts are a visual way to compare multiple lines against each other rather than focusing on just one line alone
Have Your Meeting Outside
Having your meeting in the same room all the time can get stale over time. You can keep things interesting by changing up where you have your meetings. If you really want to increase engagement at your next meeting, try having it outside.
Spending time outdoors has the ability to increase focus and attention, which are both great if you’re planning your next meeting. Not to mention, it can reduce stress and increase mental wellness, which can help everyone get more out of the meeting, especially if it’s taking place during a hectic workday.
Just make sure you choose a comfortable place for your meeting. If benches aren’t provided, consider setting up tables and chairs outside. Or, you could facilitate a more relaxed atmosphere by laying blankets in the grass and asking employees to bring lawn chairs for the meeting.
Switch Up the Snacks
Having snacks can support a great meeting because employees love a good snack! However, if you’re serving cookies, pretzels, and bottled water at every meeting, you’re missing out on an opportunity to get greater engagement out of your employees.
Have fun with your snack bar so employees never quite know what to expect. When they don’t know what to expect, they will start looking forward to coming to the meeting just to see what you’re serving!
It’s also a great way to break the ice. Employees will inevitably strike up conversations based on what new, interesting snack is being served at the meeting this time.
Let Attendees Provide Their Input Ahead of the Meeting
If you want your employees to step up in the meeting, you have to become a better listener. One great way to do that is to allow attendees to provide their input ahead of the meeting.
Share the agenda and the materials beforehand so attendees can write down their questions ahead of time. You could also ask attendees for their preferences or what topics they would like to cover at the next meeting.
It’s about opening the door and allowing your employees to provide their input ahead of the meeting, regardless of what that input is. When they are involved in the planning process, they are more likely to be engaged when the actual meeting finally arrives.
Rotate Meeting Leaders
Things can get kind of boring when the same person leads the meeting every single time. If you have team members who are open to the idea, consider asking if they would like to try leading the meeting.
Not only is this a great way to keep meetings more interesting, but it also gives team members the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s a great way to practice leadership skills for those who have their eye on a leadership role.
You can also break meetings into smaller sections with different attendees responsible for their portion. It keeps the meeting fresh, and it allows you to make sure that the most qualified people are presenting relevant, knowledgeable information to the group.
Try Breaking Up Into Smaller Groups
Having one big meeting can be a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page, but meeting together as a large group all the time can be overwhelming for some members and boring for others. Shake things up by breaking up into smaller groups.
Breakout sessions are smaller meetings associated with larger agendas that enable participants to decompress and interact with each other in a less structured atmosphere. It can make attendees more comfortable, which means you’re more likely to get better participation.
Save the Extra Activities For Another Meeting
A lot of advice suggests starting or ending meetings with ice-breaker activities. The thing is, introverts and anxious people detest these types of activities. A lot of extroverts don’t like them either. When there’s so much work to do, they can feel like a waste of time.
Extra activities can be a great way for team members to get to know each other which can boost collaboration, so you don’t have to get rid of them completely. Instead of including them in general meetings, consider having a separate, optional meeting to engage in these kinds of activities. For example, you might have a short 45-minute Friday meeting before the end of the day where team members can get updates and play a quick game or activity.
If you want to make sure all members are involved, consider having smaller meetings of just a few members in different combinations so everyone feels comfortable participating.
Meetings don’t always have to be led by the same person with the same graphs and the same activities. You can get out of a meeting rut, engage attendees, and have more fun when you follow the tips on this list.