How to engage employees during meetings

monthly meeting Have you ever attended monthly or quarterly meetings so monotonous you disengage within minutes after the meeting started? Spending the next couple of hours on your phone or computer doing something else or wishing you could.

What can you do to remedy and change those types of meetings to be more interactive with your audience?
Do you really need to spend 2 hours on monthly or quarterly meeting?
Do you really need to rehash the same information your company has sent in their electronic newsletters?
Do you have the need to have people talking for 15 minutes, partially recapping information from the last meeting?
Have you ever looked at your audience to see if they were listening?

Most employees do not want to spend their time in monthly or quarterly meetings sitting for hours, waiting for the meeting to end.

During the process of gathering the information for your meeting ask yourself the following questions:

How can I keep my audience engaged?
– To engage your audience, you need to make it more interactive. Have a quiz people can answer during the meeting. Include a couple of questions about the company, then some social media questions. I have attended meeting where the questions where so specific that only a few people could answer them. Make them broad enough that everyone can participate. You can also get some board games like Jenga, so people can play before the meeting for about 10 to 15 minutes.

How long should each presenter speak?
– You always have individuals who love to listen to themselves talk. It can turn a meeting into an extremely painful experience. Most information should be delivered within 2 minutes then move on to the next presenter. Information should be delivered at a summary, not detail level. General speaking, most people’s attention span is about 9 second, do you really think a 15-minute speech will reach your audience? How many people do you think will disengage after 1 minute?

Is this information relevant to my audience?
– Look closely at the information you are going to present. Ask yourself am I repeating what people already know? Is this relevant in any way to them? Does the information you share have benefits to the listeners?

Do I really need to spend 1 or 2 hours for a meeting?
– From an audience perspective no, you do not need to spend even an hour in a meeting. 45 minutes should be enough to get the information to your audience. I have attended 2-hour meetings that were so painful I was watching the clock moving slowly the entire time. Looking around the room I noticed everyone had the same look on their face they wanted to get out of it. If the channel of communication is open between management and subordinate you shouldn’t be spending hours on meetings, it should only be a «recap ».

Is the layout of my presentation too dull?
– I have seen presentation so dull it didn’t kept the audience watching the presentation. Have a presentation that has pictures and bright colors. I have noticed bright colors keep everyone looking at the screen longer than soft colors. Alternate presentation layouts, the same layout is monotonous. Keep it interesting, if you are not the best at creating something new, consider your department, there is at least one person who is artistic.  That person can create something new and different that the audience would be more receptive to it.

Should you have Q&A?
– In some cases it is nice to have a Q&A session at the end of the meeting in the event someone has a question.  It opens the channels of communication between management and employees.

Meetings should not be dreadful to the point you want to call in sick that day. Make it relevant by engaging your audience. Also keep it authentic, do not create a dog & pony show, with my favorite theme” we are all a big and happy family”, remember your audience will not be fooled by it.

43 thoughts on “How to engage employees during meetings”

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