You have certainly attended a monotonous meeting that has aroused you to fall asleep. When you prepare your own presentation, you must keep that in your mind and do your best so people don’t get bored.
If you have frequent meetings, you may have noticed that it is not always easy to get all participants interested. Some have only one desire: to be somewhere else. Others seem to listen but they think about what they are going to eat for their next meal. That doesn’t mean that you are not captivating, but rather that you may need to review THE WAY you lead your meeting. So you have to be more interesting if you want the participants’ attention. So how to get and keep your participants attention in meetings?
9 helpful tips for leading your meetings
1. Limit the length of the meeting
Don’t drag on, as no one likes to waste time in a meeting, especially if it is not planned from the start. If you think you’ll need a lot of time to cover all the topics on the agenda, perhaps it would be better to discuss the most important topics first? You could even schedule two meetings for this purpose, so as not to overwhelm the participants with information or apply my tip #9.
2. Properly use the opening of meetings
Use the opening of the meeting to talk about the most important topics, the more informative and difficult content. People at the start of the meeting are focused and interested. Save the closing part of the meeting for sharing, generating ideas, and discussing lighter topics.
3. Be Structured
When leading your meetings, avoid jumping from the rooster to the donkey. Good preparation is the key to getting your message across. Establish a detailed agenda or one of our agenda templates and send it to all participants before the meeting and stick to it. This will make it easy for everyone to follow you, and it will make it easier for you to share your ideas.
4. Be energetic, dynamic, and clear
Be sure to be energetic and dynamic in your presentation. You don’t have to sound like a day camp counselor, but make sure your tone of voice is interesting enough to capture (and keep) the interest of the participants.
5. Use humor
It can be interesting to use humor. This will lighten the mood and make the presentation more dynamic for everyone. Be careful, however, not to turn into a real clown and laugh at everything and anything. You have to be judicious in your use of humor.
6. Practice and Record yourself
Your nervousness makes it difficult for you to control how you express yourself in Are you nervous and having trouble mastering public speaking? Consider recording yourself and listening to it again later. You’ll see more clearly where you need to work more. Luckily for you, Beenote records all or part of your conversations. A problem solved!
7. Interact with participants
It is important to include participants in your presentation. This shows that you value their ideas and questions. If you only do an endless monologue, there is little chance that the interest level will be very high.
They want to participate or, at the very least, feel they are making a contribution to the meeting. They should not have the impression that the meeting leader takes up all the space. You can, for example, ask questions or ask them if they have anything to say.
8. Give examples
If you have to explain a complex concept during your presentation, we strongly suggest you use examples to enrich what you present. Ideally use images, photos, schema, tree view, or any other visual way, because people better assimilate the visual information. There are a variety of tools such as Prezi to help you with your visual presentations.
If you only talk about more theoretical elements, be certain to lose the attention of your audience. The use of examples also involves the public, who can ask questions or suggest additional examples.
9. Take breaks
The breaks in meetings do not always have to be taken, but when the length of the meeting is more than an hour, I advise you to stop, at least, 5 minutes. Do you think it’s a waste of time, that your meeting is long enough? Know that breaks are beneficial for all. They help to improve concentration, regain their motivation, and relaunch this sleeping brain.
Our advice for leading your future meetings
Do not hesitate to use additional tools to prepare yourself. A meeting management software can be very useful because you’ll improve your meeting planning to have a focus on the content of your presentation. By following these easy tips, you will be comfortable like a duck takes to water.
And you, what stuff helps you keep your audience awake? Share your advice.
Marketing Director of Beenote, Melanie loves the world of marketing which is constantly evolving to offer the best product for her clients’ needs. Her primary goal is to help organizations simplify the governance of their boards, committees and teams through good meeting management practices.