Don't meet on Monday morning – people need time to get into the work week. Don't meet after lunch – people are in post-lunch nap mode. Don't meet on Friday afternoon – people are more focused on the weekend. With all these rules, how are you ever supposed to find the ideal time to hold a meeting?

Instead of trying to schedule your meetings around a few select times why not change the way you deliver presentations in your meetings? There are many things a presenter can do to hold an audience's attention – no matter when you meet:

Pose a Question
Ask a question early in your meeting, but tell the audience you don't expect the answer until the end. By letting everyone know you've woven the answer into the discussion, they'll realize they need to listen in case you call on one of them for the answer.

Mix Things Up
Add variety. If you're using presentation software, vary the content using clip art, sound and/or animation on a few slides. You can also use tools such as the Internet or props to illustrate points. But don't overdo it.

Be Funny
Use humor but don't get off track with it – the joke should be related to the meeting's content. Try opening your presentation with an amusing slide such as an editorial cartoon.

Make It Personal
Don't be afraid to let your personality show through. Illustrate a point by telling a short personal story.

Name Names
Use the names of audience members. If you're presenting on the latest sales forecasts, give details about audience members' roles in increasing sales.

Encourage Interaction
Find ways for people to interact, especially in the middle of the meeting, when things may seem to drag. Pose a question or single out someone to participate, keeping everyone on their toes.

Make It Relevant
Keep the radio tuned to WIIFM (What's In It For Me?). If you frame your comments to cover what your audience cares about, they're more likely to pay attention.

Offer Refreshments
If you're meeting after lunch, serve ice water or juice. A cool, refreshing beverage can knock people out of their sleepy after-lunch state.

So have no fear of Monday-morning or Friday-afternoon meetings! Now you can liven up any meeting, no matter what the time of day.


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