We often spend countless hours preparing for, and dreading, our meetings. Whether these be with clients or colleagues, meetings often don’t seem very exciting and regularly take up a large proportion of our weekly schedule.
Meetings also often bring with them a lot of pressure as we hope to impress and land crucial new contracts. As a result, it’s important to not feel overwhelmed or demotivated by the prospect of upcoming meetings; instead, business owners and managers would seemingly benefit from finding new ways of revitalising these events, giving their brand an essential edge and motivating employees.
To help with this, Georges’ Kitchen have put together a list of their top five tips to ensure your meetings are more enjoyable, in turn leading to an increase in productivity.
- Be positive from the start
If it’s your duty to lead the meeting, be enthusiastic. A cheerful start can engage employees early on, with the mental attitude of ‘this is going to be a good meeting.’ Setting out an early agenda of what the meeting will consist of, roughly how long it’ll go on for and how each team member can contribute will answer all the questions employees have.
Beginning a meeting with an ill-chosen tone will give the impression that the gathering isn’t worth attending. Remember, it has been set up with the purpose of being engaging and sharing ideas. Make sure you lead by example.
- Remove the need for PowerPoint presentations
This isn’t secondary school; take away the need for slides where employees are simply copying word for word. Not only will the team get more out of an interactive session, but it becomes so much more enjoyable when people are speaking to one another, rather than reading from a screen. By all means have a whiteboard to make notes but ensure attention levels remain high.
There are much more imaginative alternatives to PowerPoint presentations which carry a range of benefits; using videos, humour and props for example will help to engage your staff and ensure you stand out from the competition.
- Have a creative meeting space
For some companies, having the luxury of dedicated meeting space isn’t always available. Use this to your advantage. Having meetings in the same room every week can get tedious, so try to mix it up. Either head out of the office to a coffee shop or find somewhere else in the office which can be turned into a meeting space. Sometimes the most relaxed scenery can produce the highest levels of interaction.
- Treat your team
To make meetings more enjoyable and memorable, supplying food is always a good idea. If you’re planning on doing a meeting around lunch time, let your employees know the day before so they’re prepared and don’t bring any food in. Having catered food will not only show you value them and their work, but it makes the meeting instantly more exciting. Whether this be hot food or a more chilled buffet, employees are going to look forward to the meeting more and will feel increasingly motivated to engage.
- Ban smartphones
For many people, not having their phone by their side for longer than thirty minutes can cause all kinds of drama. However, having it on the meeting table, constantly lighting up, creates distractions; they may subsequently lose concentration or forget invaluable points from the meeting. Simply make the blanket rule of ‘no smartphones’; focus can then be applied to the meeting with an increase in productivity. Using laptops or tablets already creates a minor distraction so avoid adding to it.
George Rouse is the owner and executive chef at Georges’ Kitchen. For more info on corporate catering visit: www.georgeskitchen.co.uk