Whether you’re holding a training session for your own staffers or leading a department-wide meeting, the big challenge remains the same:
Getting – and keeping – everyone’s attention.
Here are four ways that keep meeting attendees alert and involved:
1. Assign jobs
Want a no-fail way for making people pay more attention?
Give them an assignment.
If you know certain folks either get distracted during meetings or take the discussion off on a tangent, ask if they can help you out.
You might put one person in charge of tracking everything that’s tabled for later. Or ask someone if he/she can explain a certain topic.
If people feel involved, they’ll really pay attention – not just “show up” for the meeting.
2. Set the room for participation
People in a meeting participate more if they’re facing each other, and not just the presenter.
Suggestion: Arrange furniture in a U-shape if participants can’t sit around a table.
Have one or more staffers arrange the room ahead of time so it’s set up the way you like it.
3. Focus on the outcome
Start the meeting by clarifying what you’ll accomplish.
Stating a clear outcome will give participants an incentive for staying engaged.
Reason: They know there’s an expectation of them.
It’ll also help keep the meeting from getting off-track.
4. Make them smile
The best public speakers start a talk with a joke. It works.
If you’re good at humor, share a joke – one that you know everyone will get.
You might also relate a funny story involving the topic you’ll be talking about or the company.