Too often, meetings are dull, boring affairs that are more likely to stifle communication and creativity than encourage it. Here are five ways you can add some energy and fun to your meetings. Each can be used alone or paired up with one another.
1. Use an icebreaker
Icebreakers help get people talking and comfortable with each other. Even if your group is well established, an icebreaker can help clear out tension and lighten mood of the room before your session begins. Icebreakers of all sorts can be found for free all over the Internet. One favourite is Two Truths & a Lie where everyone writes down two truths and lie and the others try to guess which is which.
2. Give them something to play with
Some people can’t sit still. Believe it or not, fidgeting can help a person keep their energy level up. It can also help focus a person so that they are better able to creatively deal with the task at hand. Try spreading an assortment of toys of varying size and texture around your meeting space. Plush toys, modelling clay, stress balls and coil toys can give meeting members something to do with their hands while their brains are busy working.
3. Change roles
If you have a long-standing meeting, it’s pretty likely that you know the personalities and viewpoints of the other meeting members. This can dampen creativity and you might feel like you are stuck in a rut. A great way for meeting members to see how others view them, and a fun way to break things up is to write everyone’s name on a slip of paper and place the slips in a hat or jar. Everyone draws a name, and then the meeting continues, but with each person assuming the identity of the name on the slip.
4. Banish negativity
While dissent can be healthy and helpful, too often meetings get dragged down by “it won’t work” and “we can’t do that” attitudes. Before you begin your next meeting, set the expectation that meeting members are only able to offer positive comments and thoughts. This will be harder from some than others, so devise a fun way of reminding people like tossing a plush toy the anyone who breaks the rule.
5. Get up and moving
For many people, the worst part of sitting in a meeting is sitting in a meeting. Try removing the chairs from your meeting room and see what happens to the energy level. If you don’t want to go that far, you can line the walls with flip chart paper containing your meeting agenda items. As a group, move from item to item, discussing and writing your decisions on the flip chart paper. Give each person a different coloured marker with which to record their ideas.
Try one or more of these suggestions. You’re sure to have a fun time and likely to have a more productive meeting.
Henry is an Small Business Owner from Sydney, Australia. He uses virtual offices for his business and this comes with the option to use meeting rooms on occasions where he needs to make important presentations to his clients. To make sure his meetings remain productive, Henry makes sure that they aren’t too long and that everyone is engaged.