Hosting boring meetings that fail to engage your teammates is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a manager. Meetings are a crucial part of every organization and should be planned methodically to yield the best results.
Why are some meetings so boring?
Meetings can be boring for a number of reasons.
- They can run too long
- Teammates can show up unprepared
- The host may not have included any visual elements
- One person may talk for the entire duration of the meeting
- The topic may be irrelevant to one or more of the attendees
- The meeting may have taken a left turn and went completely off topic
Failing to prepare a meeting agenda accompanied with an appropriate guest list will result in a chaotic, disorganized meeting that may end up going awry. Keep reading to unlock 12 expert tips for hosting an exciting meeting that leaves attendees feeling energized and inspired.
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11 ways to make boring meetings not happen
Meetings are an extremely important part of company culture and running fun, engaging meetings is a crucial and valuable skill. Say goodbye to hosting boring meetings in 2022 with these 12 tips and tricks:
- Change your scenery
- Start the meeting creatively
- End the meeting on a positive note
- Start with an icebreaker
- Send or enjoy meeting memes
- Send the agenda ahead of time
- Assign others to lead some of the discussion
- Use visuals whenever possible
- End the meeting with action items
- Use an engaging meeting agenda software
- Encourage friendly debate
1Change your scenery (change the location – at home or at the office)
Working remotely can be difficult, especially if you’re working from the exact same spot every day. Having an adequate workspace that is optimized for productivity is great but sometimes you just need a change of scenery. If you’re in need of some inspiration for your next meeting, consider taking your call from a coffee shop or coworking space.
If you’re working in an office and need to change things up, consider hosting from a boardroom or a shared working space. The opportunities are endless! Finding a workspace that inspires you to do your best work is what’s most important. After all, you can’t host an excellent meeting if you aren’t in the right headspace.
2Start the meeting creatively
If you want to host a productive, engaging meeting, you have to start off strong. Your meeting introduction will set the tone for the entire duration of the meeting so it’s important to be fun and creative with your approach. Taking the time to plan a creative start to your next meeting is a great way to ensure you don’t host any more boring meetings.
Starting your next meeting creatively can be done in a number of ways. You can start by giving out shootouts and praise to stellar teammates, announcing an exciting update, sharing a fun fact, hosting a group meditation break, or even by rotating the host. This is your opportunity to have fun and put your creativity to the test!
3End the meeting on a positive note
Ending your meeting on a positive note is a great way to ensure attendees are excited for your next meeting. Nothing is worse than a lengthy meeting that fizzles out with no clear direction. Ending on a positive note will leave attendees feeling inspired and excited to join in on future meetings. As a manager or leader in the position to host meetings, hosting with enthusiasm and positivity should be at the top of your check list.
4Start with an icebreaker
As a meeting host, it can be difficult to engage the crowd. If teammates on the call aren’t familiar with each other, they may feel uncomfortable and as a result- less apt to participate in the conversation. A great way to make everyone feel more comfortable is by hosting an ice breaker as soon as the meeting kicks off. Your icebreaker doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as asking everyone to share something about their weekend and having them tag another teammate when they finish. It’s important to keep it quick and painless.
Your main prerogative when choosing an icebreaker should be to get your team talking and feeling comfortable. To avoid getting off topic, give each person a time limit. When their time runs out, they have to pass the mic to a new teammate. Sticking to your schedule or meeting agenda is crucial.
5Send or enjoy meeting memes
Have you been scratching your head to try to figure out how to spice up your mundane meetings? The answer is simple! Start sending out meeting memes! In the world of remote work where teammates don’t always have the opportunity to meet face to face, meeting memes offer a unique twist; acting as an additional means of communication.
The easiest way to turn a boring meeting into a memorable memory is to use a meeting meme! The best part about meeting memes is having the opportunity to inject an additional layer of personality into your meeting chats. This is a great way to share a laugh with your teammates while remaining respectful and relevant.
6Send the agenda ahead of time
Sending the agenda before the meeting starts is a great tip when it comes to not hosting boring meetings. Circling the agenda before the meeting allows attendees to familiarize themselves with the content beforehand. If they know what to expect and have time to prepare, they will be more apt to pay attention and participate in the discussions that come up throughout the meeting. Sending out the agenda ahead of time gives everyone the opportunity to prep questions and discussion points.
7Assign others to lead some of the discussion
Assigning responsibilities like hosting, leading the discussion, or taking notes is a great way to keep everyone in attendance engaged. If participants have the opportunity to take on responsibility, they are more inclined to pay attention and participate. As an attendee, nothing is worse than listening to a single host or presenter for the entire duration of the meeting.
8Use visuals whenever possible
Visuals are a great way to capture attention and inspire creativity. Curated visuals also aid in providing more clarity when compared to bulky sections of copy or strictly spoken word. The majority of meetings take place online via platforms like Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. When it’s your turn to host or present during your next virtual meeting, pairing your verbal update with a visual presentation is a great way to capture everyone’s attention while providing a much more thorough update.
9End the meeting with action items
Without action items, some attendees may feel as though the meeting wasn’t worthwhile. In order to inspire your teammates and make them feel as though the meeting was beneficial, it’s best to allocate a section of your meeting agenda to action items. Action items ensure everyone in attendance knows exactly what to do when the meeting finishes. Assigning clear action items makes everyone in attendance feel like the meeting was worth attending. Instead of finishing with no plan or zero direction, everyone can leave feeling accomplished with a clear understanding of next steps.
10Use an engaging meeting agenda software
Failing to prepare for your meetings will not only lead to disorganization, but it may also lead to a very boring meeting. Using meeting agenda software like Fellow empowers you to structure an efficient meeting that captures all attendee’s attention from start to finish. Fellow helps your team build great meeting habits through collaborative agendas, real-time note taking, and time-saving templates. Running collaborative, thought-provoking meetings has never been easier!
11Encourage friendly debate
Nothing is worse than hosting a meeting with little to no participation. If you’re noticing that everyone on the call is particularly quiet, you may want to initiate the conversation by igniting a friendly debate. Encouraging teammates to speak up and share their opinions is a great way to get started. After your teammates begin to share their opinions, you can assure them that each and every meeting is a safe space for them to share and debate. Remind your teammates that in order to host a friendly debate, everyone must remain cordial and respectful.
Distractions can be detrimental, especially when meeting to discuss important topics. Oftentimes teammates may become bored during a meeting because they are distracted. Eliminating distractions during meetings is a quick and easy way to turn boring meetings into productive conversations.
As the meeting host, it’s your job to set the precedent for each meeting. In order to eliminate distractions, you must be vocal about meeting rules, or ensure each one of your teammates has access to a code of conduct for Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Avoid Hosting Boring Meetings in 2022
When hosting meetings, it can be easy to forgo important logistical details. The topic and content within the meeting is important but the logistical tasks that make the meeting run smoothly are just as crucial. In order to avoid hosting boring meetings, you have to be hyper-organized and prepared. Be willing to take risks and experiment with your approach. The worst thing you can do is become complacent.