Whether you love office meetings or not, you’ve got to admit that every meeting needs a little shakeup.
Meetings are a crucial part of any organization as they serve as a means to converge, communicate new information and discuss important issues. Yet dragging hours and hours of boardroom discussion about corporate legalese, annual plans, policy updates and other items on your hazy agenda can be really dreadful to those who are involved.
Hopefully, you are already excellent at planning and running awesome meetings. But if you feel like you could learn a few tricks, then take a look at these fun and active ways to start an office meeting.
Kick it off with a dose of office humor.
Find your object of ridicule and make fun of them. Okay, no, that’s it. We’re not talking about typical office humor which involves poking fun at your staff or employees. Office humor can mean anything from making improv jokes, playing clips from “The Office” (an obvious choice) to bringing a hand puppet in the room to “help” you explain important points. Okay, the hand puppet idea might be pushing it a bit but the point is, you need to loosen up the mood a little before the meeting starts. With some laughter, you also encourage everyone to let down their guard and get rid of any tension that may exist prior to the meeting.
Hand out special treats or toys.
What do company executives and kids have in common? They love to receive toys and special treats – or at least that is what leading authority on meetings, Michael Begeman, says. Begeman is the manager of the 3M Meeting Network which is a group of leading meeting experts. According to him, “There is so much value in having kinetic stuff in meeting rooms: squeeze balls, Slinkies, little gizmos that you turn over and play with. Toys are a great stress reliever and a great creativity enhancer. I’ve found that when people have something to play with, when they can get more of their body involved in what they’re doing, they become more creative.”
Invite a speaker or a special guest.
No, not the CEO or the administrative manager of your company – unless you intend to scare or threaten everyone in the meeting -someone from outside would be really good and it would be way better if it’s a person who’s an expert about a field of interest that you don’t know much about. The speaker or special guest can facilitate the discussion for a better part of the meeting before you take over. A simple talk from the guest about his or her experience in dealing with current issues in your organization can serve as a refreshing appetizer to the same old corporate meetings.
Engage everyone with some games.
A little physical and mental stimulation can go a long way during meetings. Most meetings work within certain “rules of engagement” but for once just think of engagement and do a little game before starting a meeting. At the end of each game, you can give out some prizes. The prizes can just be some simple work-related stuff but the kooky (and naughty) ones are always the most fun. Can’t think of any office games? How about starting with charades? Group the room into two teams and let them act out some agenda-related words, terms or phrases. Bonus points if you also do it.
For today’s homework, take a pick at any of the awesome tips mentioned above and then try it out!