9 Ways To Make Staff Meetings More Fun For Everyone

Boring meetings are a thing of the past. Here are 8 things you can do to make staff meetings more engaging and interactive!
Devesh Pinjani
Devesh Pinjani

Content Writer

Reading time: 7 minutes

Let’s be real, meetings have always been that one office activity that nobody really enjoyed. 

Oftentimes, employees always grumble under their breaths about how ‘that meeting could have been an email’. In fact, 34% of respondents to a survey say that they waste between 2 to 5 hours per week on calls or meetings that don’t accomplish anything. This not only wastes time but greatly reduces productivity at work

While it’s true some meetings could have been settled over a simple email, some meetings are still necessary.

That said, there how can you remove the stigma that meetings are boring and time-consuming? 

If you host tons of meetings, this article is for you! Let’s take a look at 9 tips and tricks that you can use to make your meetings more engaging and interactive.

Contents

#1 Open with great icebreakers

Ice-breakers have a bad reputation of being extremely awkward and making the meeting more lengthy than it should be. 

But when you’re trying to start a meeting with people you’re not familiar with, it can be tough to get things off the ground. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some icebreakers into your meeting to solve this problem. 

A funny joke or activity can serve to make everyone feel easy and comfortable.

Here are some ways you can open your meeting with icebreakers:

  • Ask questions like ‘What do we have in common?’, ‘Would you rather X or Y?’, or ‘What’s the next thing on your bucket list?’
  • Host activities like ‘Guess the childhood photo’ or ‘Two Truths and a Lie’
  • Play games like ‘Guess That Drawing’ or Jenga

These questions and activities can help to get the ball rolling, especially when you have new hires. Of course, these are just some of the many non-traditional examples of what you can use to break the ice.

#2 Include everyone (that’s relevant)

The last thing you would want to do in a meeting is to make the employees feel left out. It is a proven phenomenon that when humans feel included in something bigger than themselves, their attention to detail automatically increases. 

But, you also want to make sure that you don’t invite those who don’t need to be there.

To first decide who you should attend the meeting, you should ask yourself:

  • What’s the agenda of the meeting?
  • What will be the next course of action after this meeting?
  • Does anyone need to make an important decision during the meeting?

These questions help you filter out which teams are directly involved and what that team or person needs to do afterward. 

Then, to get attendees to be more involved in the meeting, don’t just do the talking on your own. If possible, get an involved party to do the presentation instead or share their part. This helps your teams in 3 aspects:

  1. If a team member is leading the meeting, it’s difficult for them to drift off and become disinterested.
  2. They would feel like their opinion matters, and as a result, they would feel confident and engage more often. 
  3. As colleagues in one department are naturally more comfortable with each other, they’ll be more comfortable and focused when their team member is presenting.

Aside from this, be sure to appreciate everyone’s efforts (at the end of the meeting) regardless of how little they have contributed. The fact that they’ve taken time out of their busy work days to be there is already an effort on their part!

#3 Keep your meetings short

It’s no secret that the longer the meeting gets, your employees are paying less attention. Although it is true on certain levels that having longer and more frequent meetings would be beneficial, in most other situations, clear and concise meetings are a far superior strategy. 

Meetings can be productive even without draining our energy. Here are 2 steps you can implement to maintain productivity while also ensuring the work is done:

  1. Setting an agenda: Meetings are frequently scheduled with merely a broad subject. This results in a free-flowing conversation that may never end. The best course of action is to design a meeting agenda with straightforward bullet points listing the topics to be covered. This makes it much quicker to make decisions.
  2. Kick off the meeting with the important points: The next thing is to start the discussion with the people who have the most important things to say first, and once they finish they can get back to work. It’ll keep them motivated to keep their conversations short and sweet.

#4 Have fun with data and analytics

If you are under the misconception that presenting data must be bland and boring, think again.  

All you need is a little bit of creativity and you can present data and analytics in the most fun way possible. Here are some examples that even some of the bigger brands follow:

  • Use video or animations: Presenting boring presentations is so outdated, especially when there are hundreds of features and apps available to turn your data into something more visually appealing. Adding simple animation or turning your data into a video can is definitely more eye-catching than a plain picture with numbers.
  • Use infographics: As the name suggests, an infographic is a combination of information and graphical elements. Instead of presenting lengthy text blocks, you can include graphs, charts, and numbers, and present them in a less intimidating way. 
  • Include memes/GIFs: While this may sound a bit unprofessional to some, you can’t deny that memes are one of the best ways to get your point across. Most employees will relate to it instantly and remember it for longer. You can include a few of them in your presentation to make it refreshing. 

#5 Use Zoom apps to your advantage

If you primarily use Zoom for online meetings, don’t stop at just using the app for video calls — make full use of Zoom by taking your meetings to the next level!

Zoom has launched several apps where you can create trivia, quizzes, and surveys and integrate them into your meetings. Utilizing these Zoom features might give a boost and liven up dull meetings.

Other than this, you can also play in-app games like Live Game Night Poker, Kahoot, and Heads Up.

#6 Experiment with meeting venues

Who said anything about meetings happening only in boardrooms? 

When scheduling your next meeting, try to shake things up and choose an uncommon meeting location to surprise your employees. It can be anything from a quiet cafe to a nearby park. 

Choosing unconventional places for meetings can help to liven the mood and gets your employees away from the four office walls.  

The idea is to do something different than usual so that your employees automatically stay alert throughout the meeting. Furthermore, if they’d have to walk a little to the meeting venue, this can get the blood flowing and acts as a pick-me-up. 

#7 Take needed breaks

As we’ve mentioned, meeting fatigue is a real thing — and continuously having meetings for hours without any breaks is shown to have a direct effect on productivity. 

All you need is to spare 5 to 10 minutes during these meetings and here’s why: 

  • It refreshes the brain: Short breaks are seen to help relax the brain and refresh it for the remaining meeting. It also helps the brain to take care of the information build-up caused by all previous meetings.
  • It helps employees process information better: Information overload is a common problem in meetings. It happens to everyone, whether it’s because you have a challenging agenda or if you are just too exhausted to concentrate. No matter the reason, taking breaks between meetings can help you process all that information in a better way. 

#8 Choose the right day & time

Timing is everything when it comes to most things, and office meetings aren’t excluded from this. 

Of course, while there’s no perfect answer for the best day or time to schedule a meeting, there are some factors you should consider before hosting your next meeting:

  1. The weekdays: Avoid hosting meetings on Mondays and Fridays. Mondays can be extremely productive for some as they feel refreshed after the weekend, or it could be a severe case of Monday blues for others. Either way, let employees have their own time to adjust. As for Fridays, well, TGIF, right? 
  2. Time of day: Research shows that the best time to schedule a meeting is mid-morning, between 10 AM and 12 PM. Employees do not perform at their best after their lunch break, so if you need your meeting to happen at the best time, you should consider having it in the mid-morning.
  3. Number of meetings: Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid trying to schedule more than 1 meeting on a weekday. 

Choosing the right day and time also heavily depends on your company culture, employee lifestyle, and even personal preferences. As no single employee is the same, gathering feedback from each employee will be a good way to find out what time works best for everyone.

#9 Ask for feedback

Until now, we’ve given you a brief idea of what you should do before and during the meetings to keep your attendees engaged in the conversations. 

But, don’t forget about what you should do after meetings. This tip comes in particularly handy if you host one-off or annual events like summits or department days. 

One of the best ways you can engage your staff is to ask them to share their thoughts and give honest feedback about the meeting. While this doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on the meeting since it has already happened, it can affect how you prepare and organize the next meeting.

For example, if you have a unanimous vote on how the meeting was held too early, you can consider shifting it to a later time for the next one. If the meeting was too lengthy, try to pry deeper to find out what exactly your attendees didn’t find was necessary, and remove that.

Gathering such feedback is extremely valuable to you so don’t be shy to ask for feedback about the meeting. 

Make meetings more fun

Yes, meetings are important, professional, and can sometimes even be a formal situation. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to spruce it up in any way you can.

After all, the ultimate goal is to ensure that all attendees have something to take away from the meetings. Follow these tips to keep your meetings engaging to help your team feel more comfortable, which helps everyone stay energized to achieve the best they can.

Devesh Pinjani
Devesh Pinjani

Devesh is a content writer at Novocall.

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