|Dear Meeting Guru,
I need to make my meetings more fun! I have
a large group of technical people for whom I plan meetings and they
seem so bored. How can I build humor and fun into our meetings?
Try implementing comics, games or toys in your next meeting. Snacks work well
too. Basically, the more informal your meetings, the more fun they'll be to
attend. Who decided that meetings have to be serious to be successful anyway?
For a small dose of humor, show a comic strip related to each agenda item or
topic you introduce. Dilbert is great for poking fun at meetings and other aspects
of corporate life. If comic strips aren't an option, share humorous quotes from
famous people during your meetings. The Internet has a plethora of sites dedicated
to famous quotes, so finding something that relates directly to your agenda
topic will be quick and easy.
A simple game involving a soft, small ball will not only help your group generate
more ideas, but will also emphasize the importance of engaging in active participation
during a discussion. Begin by throwing the ball to a participant, that person
must comment on the subject at hand and then throws it to another participant.
Each time the ball is thrown around the room, another comment or suggestion
is made. This encourages every participant to contribute to the meeting discussion
and provides a variety of perspectives on the issue at hand. Notice the spontaneity,
smiles and overall involvement generated in the room when the entire group participates.
This game is particularly effective for brainstorming sessions, since the excitement
generated in the room will encourage individuals to think creatively.
Contests or quizzes are other methods of getting your group excited about its
meetings. If your meeting objective is to introduce new information, let them
know there will be a quiz on the content you're going to present. At the end
of your presentation, ask the group questions about the content you've just
presented. Whoever provides the correct answer first, receives a prize. Not
only will this generate some excitement, but you can guarantee that fewer people
will be daydreaming during your presentation!
Food is another useful device for generating excitement in your meetings. Before
your meeting, tape, for example, individually-wrapped chocolates under the participants'
chairs. After welcoming people to the meeting, tell the group they have "surprises"
under their chairs. Everyone enjoys surprises, no matter how small! Not only
is this a nice way of saying "welcome" to the meeting, but it's also
an inexpensive way to create a fun and exciting tone for the meeting ahead.
I hope these
suggestions will help create some excitement in your meeting room after
all, I always like to help. A quote by Confucius adequately parallels my role
as the Meeting Guru, "Do I possess knowledge? No, I do not possess it.
Yet if even simple men come to ask a question of me, I clear my mind completely
and thoroughly investigate the matter from one end to the other." In other
words, I'm happy to provide helpful meeting solutions for you and your group.
However, the best solution to your individual meeting dilemma resides within
yourself and the meeting participants! Ask your group to make written suggestions
about how they might make your meetings more productive and fun. You may be
surprised by the quality and quantity of responses you get!
Until next time
may good meeting karma always be with you.