Being in an inferior corporate meetings/ any bad meeting is like being stuck in traffic. Nor you neither your colleagues want to be stuck in it for a long time. However, you can’t skip important meetings just because you do not like them. You probably have to find a way to make the next meeting better. While it is easy to show your dislike to something; have you ever wondered how you would if you have to manage a corporate meeting? Firstly, no matter how important a meeting is if you don’t have the skills to engage the guests of the meeting; your meetings may stay bland and simple. While you won’t like it when your guests show you their disinterest in the meeting; you do not want to be in such a situation either.
So, unless you want your co-workers running to the fire alarm every time you lead a meeting; here are a few techniques to manage corporate meetings.
Keeping Corporate Meetings and Events Fresh
Corporate board meetings are very much a necessary evil. While they may be vital in explaining or talking about changes and ideas to the company, almost no one involved likes them. But this does not have to be that way. Corporate meetings may be very stressful, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change up the formulae to make them more attractive. Therefore, without more ado, here are a few corporate meetings ideas that are sure to make those annual corporate meetings much more engaging.
Choosing a Venue
Something that almost everyone gets wrong about the meeting is that they have to happen at the office. Of course! Why else would your office have a separate room (or more) for meetings? And sure, offices are the ideal corporate meetings venues that maintain a professional environment; maybe you don’t need a professional environment.
Once low energy, tired faces, and a lack of ideas start becoming common; it’s time for you to move the meeting out of the office. Places like a bar, restaurant, or even a cafe can make for an excellent place for a meeting venue. This is true when the attendees of the meeting are fellow employees; as an informal place is sure to keep everyone engaged. But if it is a meeting with fellow board members, you can still discuss plans and ideas in a restaurant, in a professional way.
Making a List of the Attendees
Speaking of choosing the right corporate meeting venue; you can only choose the right place when you know the people attending. A list of attendees is a great way to keep track of all the people that will be attending the meeting. This list helps in setting the tone of the meeting and can also help you choose the venue for your meeting.
You should also review the people on the attendee list to find out who should come. Ask yourself, honestly, do some of the people on that list really need to be there? The lesser the people, the more likely the meeting will go on smoothly with fewer interruptions. As the propose of most meetings is to make decisions, too many people bring too many ideas, stretching out the meeting. The proverb, “too many cooks spoil the food” fits quite nicely in this context.
You should also see if the people coming to the event are not people that make you feel uncomfortable or bring informality to the table — seeing how who can make or break your flow; be ruthless in choosing the people that will attend the meeting. This is a common technique to manage corporate meetings; so be sure to keep it in mind whenever planning corporate meetings.
Plan Out Everything
Once you decide who you want to invite and where you want to invite them to, decide what to say. Planning corporate meetings can be a very tiresome job; seeing how you will also have to plan out what to cover throughout the meeting. Going into a meeting with just a basic idea of what you plan on achieving is not the way to go. You have to be more specific.
Here’re a few points that you should incorporate into your corporate meeting planner.
- A list of topics on the agenda
- The objectives you wish this meeting to achieve
- Problems that the meeting has to solve
- Questions it has to answer
- A list of all the speakers and the topics they will cover
- A summary of any previous meeting (if the current meeting is a continuation of a previous one)
A right way of showing the attendees what the meeting is about is by setting a specific theme for it. Corporate themes for meetings are especially important for corporate town hall meetings’ internal communication. This way, at a glance, people, will know what the event is about exactly.
Once you plan out everything, STICK TO THE AGENDA. Do not go off course and start discussing another topic that is not relevant to the one you are solving. If other members of the meeting try to stray off course, bring them back on track. You don’t have enough time as it is, so not sticking to the planner is just a recipe for disaster. Just remember that as a technique to manage corporate meetings, it is the hardest to follow. So be careful.
Time is of the Essence
Time is possibly the most important factor of any meeting, so don’t waste it. If the attendees for the meeting have given you their time and attention, you should grab and shouldn’t let go. Make sure that the corporate meeting planner also includes timings for everything to happen during the meeting. You should also allocate time slots throughout the planner to make sure you are on track.
When it comes to corporate meetings management or event management; keeping an eye on time is often impossible. You can plan everything to the minutest of details, and something or someone will not be on time. So, if the planner you made becomes irrelevant, always be sure to have an extra one that is 15 minutes ahead of the previous one to avoid confusion. You can always see some minutes of corporate meetings examples on the internet to get an idea of how to record them.
You should also keep the overall meeting short, seeing how employees also have to work on their jobs as well. The most time that your meeting should take is an hour. And that is in the rarest of circumstances. The shorter the meeting, the more attentive the attendants will be throughout.
You can also make use of different types of scheduling software to help you time and plan the event correctly. But don’t let the planning of the event distract you from the real highlight of the event, you and your presentation.
Although all of the prior techniques are paramount when it comes to planning an extraordinary corporate meeting or event, they all fall secondary to you. Since the meeting will be about solving problems and making decisions, the real highlight is the presentation. If you do not spend enough time in your presentation, you risk losing the attention of all of the attendants. And so starts the feeling among co-workers like they are stuck in traffic.
So how do you give a presentation without making the attendants feel like the only way to get out of the meeting is by ringing the fire alarm? Engage with the attendants of the meeting. The creativity of everyone in that room is a crucial resource, so you shouldn’t let it waste, but more on this later.
Being prepared doesn’t just mean that you have to know everything related to the matter at hand. But you should also be able to answer any questions that members of the meeting may ask you. In an interview with employees working for Elon Musk, the thing that scared them the most during a presentation were his questions. They said, “If he asked a reasonable follow-up question and you weren’t prepared with an answer, well, good luck.”
Engaging With Your Audience
Always you should remember that this is a meeting with people that are your equals or superiors. Hence, you should show that you value their opinion and questions and ask for their constant feedback. A common mistake that most people make during a meeting is that they treat it like a lecture and riddle attendants with facts and information. Make sure that you do not make the same mistake and give all of them to share their own ideas.
The structure of the meeting, with the lack of extra people and a change of scenery, all support this technique to manage corporate meetings. Fewer people give people presents at the moment more time to speak. And the change in locale makes the members more comfortable when speaking.
Seeing how the creativity of your employees is a vital pool of ideas and solutions, you should not leave it untapped. Think of it in this way; one of the best ways that you can engage with the attendants is by asking for their input on the topic at hand. Not only will this help make the conversation feel more engaging, but it will also make the attendants feel their presence is important.
Without a doubt, phones and laptops are an essential part of everyday life that helps in many ways. From getting information from Google to talking to your friends on facebook or snapchat, technology has allowed us to achieve great things, with a push of a button. But while there is no doubt that phones and laptops are one of the best inventions since the toaster, keep them away from your meetings. Phones and meetings go together like a child and a bubble blower. No real benefit and just an utter distraction.
By keeping meetings short, you are already in a race against time to one, engage the members of the meeting. Two, explain everything in an immersive way. And three, ensure that everything that was supposed to be said is said. So bringing phones into that equation just reeks of disaster. You will have to set some ground rules about how the meeting will go. You will also have to enforce a rule for people to keep their electronics to the side during the meeting.
They can only use their laptops if absolutely necessary; otherwise, it stays away in a corner. This will keep distractions at a minimum and will allow you to go on without a ringtone breaking your flow.
Have a Clear Goal in Mind
Finally, you should always have a clear goal in mind when planning or even managing a meeting.
- Why is it important for these specific people to attend?
- What objectives am I trying to achieve
- What problems am I trying to solve?
- What’s new that I have to bring to the table?
Only when you will be able to answer these questions will your corporate meetings mean something.
If you do not have an overarching goal or objective to achieve, the attendants will feel they are wasting their time. The same goes for when you fail to achieve the goals that you set for the meeting, then also the attendants will feel the same. Having a goal throughout the meeting is in many ways; what drives the meeting forward. The goal also brings weight to the questions that the members ask, as each question brings the meeting closer to achieving a goal or solving a problem.
As entrepreneur and social media influencer Neil Patel once put it, “Meetings are not social gatherings. Instead, they’re goal-oriented business events. I am not against hanging out with people, but there are better times to do this than throughout a business meeting.”
First of all, you don’t have to tell people in the middle of the meeting what it is about. Instead, they should know it right from the start and expect the topic to stay on track. Secondly, it should feel during the meeting that you have not derailed from your goal. At the same time, you have to keep an eye on the watch. While setting specific goals is challenging, managing them within the given time is even more difficult. As a result, you should put effort into defining your goals and hitting them on set times.
A good meeting can feel like a goal scored at the last minute, a three-pointer in the last half, or a catch in the last over. Immensely satisfying, and giving you a sense of achievement. Indeed when a corporate meeting or event goes to plan, you feel like you can fly. But that feeling comes after countless embarrassing management mistakes, drawn-out meetings, and a lot of awkward silences.
Save yourself the trouble and embarrassment with these eight techniques to manage corporate meetings. You should also make a habit of reading up on corporate meetings and events magazines, as they can teach you one thing or two about managing meetings too. In conclusion, almost all of these eight tips come secondary to one thing, and that is how you conduct a meeting. Once you have the confidence and charisma to carry a meeting, all of the other things start to fall in their place.