How to Run a Meeting Your Team Will Love

How to Run a Meeting Your Team Will Love

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Have you ever had a bad meeting? You know, the meetings when you can feel your soul being crushed by the dullness as you wonder if you could slip out the door unnoticed? And as you start to multitask, you wonder how much better your life would be if someone had just taught your manager how to run a meeting…?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Successful meetings and events hold a lot of meaning and build connection among your team. Introducing a little fun into the mix will give your employees more to work with. And it doesn’t take a bunch of silly staff awards to make that happen.

Injecting more fun into your meetings won’t guarantee their success. But if you do it right, it will help build connections between teammates. In a nutshell: Making meetings more enjoyable will boost the engagement and experience for every attendee.

Here are 11 ideas for how to run a meeting that ups the fun factor and engages your employees.

Set the tone in advance

  • If you have a larger meeting, use a top-10 list to your advantage. Send out a list of top ten reasons people should attend the meeting – and another of what they’ll miss out on if they don’t come.
  • Make the agenda interesting, fun, and attention-grabbing. Don’t make it gimmicky – but you can inject some life into the actual meeting agenda copy. If you’re having a multi-presenter meeting, encourage presenters to use some fun or impactful titles, regardless of how serious their presentation is.
  • Send people a fun “How to Survive the Meeting” tip sheet. Keep it light, but include some snippets that will help put attendees’ minds at ease.
  • Use a theme with care. Overused themes can move into the cliché category, often a turnoff. But a fresh, targeted theme can be truly memorable, inspiring, and fun. A useful catchphrase or appropriate theme can guide all your decisions about the topic. Try using a thought-provoking or unusual question for your theme and ask all the presenters and attendees to arrive at the meeting with their best answer to the question. This also gives an instant icebreaker for meeting attendees.

During the meeting

  • Use time to your advantage. Moving quickly on an agenda shows your attendees that you respect their time and expect them to stay engaged. It doesn’t sound fun, but keeping things moving keeps everyone on task.
  • Include a fun trivia list or fun questionnaire for a larger sales or company meeting.
  • For sales, user, or annual meetings, a great emcee can keep the energy, theme and fun flowing.
  • Award a prize for whoever can provide the fastest and most accurate summary of the meeting.
  • Look for opportunities to create meeting rituals and traditions. Traditions help bond people together. It might be a ritual to have a stuffed animal or other toy to show when the meeting is going off track. Or a wand to show who has the “mike” in the meeting.

After the meeting

  • Send out a humorous “top ten things we hope you learned from the meeting” list that intersperses funny highlights with some serious gems from the event.
  • Give your team members a contest to come up with the best summary haiku of the action items.

As you can appreciate, there are an endless number of ways how to run a meeting that can inject a bit – or a lot – of fun into your meetings, without resorting to silly employee awards. Depending on the size and nature of your meeting, some of these ideas may be too “out there” for your next event.

But with a little imagination and input from meeting attendees, there are countless simple things any meeting organizer can do to up the fun factor – while simultaneously giving employee engagement a boost, too.