Now that more and more businesses are returning to in-house work, the old nightmare of running and leading face to face meetings is back! When you’re in management, organising and heading up a meeting can be incredibly stressful – especially if you aren’t a fan of public speaking. We’ve put together some top tips for how to run a great meeting – to ensure your next workplace conference goes swimmingly!
Plan ahead of time
The essential top tip for how to run a great meeting is plan and time keep. No one enjoys workplace meetings that drag on and on. To avoid this, make sure you plan ahead of time and create a full itinerary. Not only will this keep your colleagues alert and interested, it will also hold you accountable for time management!
If you get nervous speaking in front of multiple people, create a mini script or flashcards with bullet points- just to help yourself stay focused and on track.
Make sure to invite those necessary – and only those necessary
One of the biggest problems with face to face meetings is tangents! We are all guilty of heading off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the task at hand, and this is especially true of now – where many people mabye haven’t seen their colleagues a lot over the last 18 months. There’s a lot of catching up to do, and this can encroach on your meeting.
One of the best ways to counteract this is to only hold a meeting with those parties for whom it is strictly necessary. For example, hold a meeting with the heads of departments, and then allow them to hold meetings with their departments separately. Not only will this save you a huge crowd of people, it will also cut down on the meeting time.
If you aren’t a huge fan of speaking in front of people, or if you know the subject matter might have to be a little dry, it’s even more important to come prepared with materials to assist. Make sure you have a few printed itineraries that your staff can see – this will hold you and them to a time schedule.
And – to really keep attention- supply your staff with branded company notepads to facilitate note taking!
Allow for breaks
The human mind isn’t really built to stay focussed on one task for hours and hours on end. We respond well to variety and changes of scenery. However, sometimes it may be necessary to host a longer meeting. If this is the case, ensure you allow for plenty of breaks for your staff to grab a cup of tea, go to the bathroom or just stretch their legs. You’ll notice a marked increase in engagement after a break!
Make it fun! Or… as fun as it can be
Alright, we know that a staff meeting isn’t going to be at the top of anyone’s fun activity list, but adding small touches to make it a pleasant experience for your colleagues can go a long way! Consider implementing some of the following:
- Bring some sweet treats. If it’s a breakfast meeting, the gesture of some pastries goes a long way in boosting morale. Alternatively, if it’s later in the day, a few biscuits or even some cupcakes will male your staff feel appreciated!
- Play some games. If your staff don’t all know each other (perhaps they are from different departments) punctuate your meeting with some name games. Throw a bean bag around the room, or play a trust game. Movement will help stimulate the brain and raise attention.
- Don’t forget the jokes. Yes, it might be a dry subject matter, but try to open and close with a joke. Laughter is still the best medicine and releases endorphins into the brain, firing the synapse and increasing attention span.
- Don’t go hands free! In long meetings, you might notice your staff doodling or playing with their hands. Give them something to do – like allocate people to take notes, or provide a squishy branded stress ball for them to take away. Keeping hands occupied with an activity that won’t affect retention is much better than allowing for doodling etc. which could divert attention away from the meeting.
We hope you found our tips for how to run a great meeting helpful. Should you need any assistance with printed visual aids don’t hesitate to get in touch.