Not Another Boring Meeting
According to Pew Research Center, the Coronavirus has left 71% of all Americans working from home and 54% with a desire to never return to the office, which means virtual meetings are here to stay and your team may be exceptionally bored forever. Well, we sure hope not! We can't let you put your colleagues to sleep, lead meaningless conversations, and kill the vibe. We want your virtual meetings to be productive, informative, energetic, and engaging so let us share with you what we have learned over the years.
Virtual meetings shouldn’t feel like sedatives were passed out in advance. They should be engaging and interactive without your attendees feeling forced to communicate and share their opinions. The issue is energy is contagious, so when a facilitator is nervous, fearful, anxious, or scattered then your attendees are bound to check out. As an organization, what are you doing to ensure your staff feels empowered to deliver a stellar presentation that leaves the audience ready for more? Are you providing them with the tools and training not to just practice public speaking, but to strengthen their delivery to accommodate a range of communication and learning styles? This is a must if you expect to foster inclusion and engagement.
Employees at most organizations have accepted they will attend boring meetings and dry presentations for life. The thought of being thrilled to attend meaningful meetings seems more like a fantasy. So, what do they do? Announce themselves as here, message their work bestie, and plan to disengage. It takes more than mandating cameras to be on and doing a few icebreakers to support adequate engagement. Matter of fact, requiring cameras on can be counterproductive and it increases Zoom fatigue because many people feel stressed when they are forced to connect with people virtually. Forcing your team and colleagues to read body language, pick up social queues, and manage relationships without physical connection can be exhausting. However, this doesn't mean to do away with virtual meetings. The goals should be to support genuine connections and increase the value of the virtual meeting. Ultimately, increasing the desire to attend, will to participate, and the understanding that this isn't just another boring meeting.
So, what do you do? What do you to keep your meeting attendees engaged and participating by choice? Our team has been flourishing in audio and virtual spaces for almost a decade. As a result, we are going to share some of the top tips we have learned from communicating with rooms of 1 to rooms of over 1,000 people. Not just any people, but typically people who were forced by their leaders to be in our presence.
Outside of sad, sleepy faces being bad for business, it’s bad for footage too. So, here are some tips you can implement immediately to make sure each presentation is engaging and informative… AND before you checkout, just know your personality type doesn’t matter.
Use case studies and stories to draw the attention of attendees. Providing real examples on how the information you’re sharing is relevant to the current needs of your audience is more likely to gain buy-in and feedback, so include names, examples, and direct situations. This makes your presentation appear real, relevant, and relatable.
Use your slide deck to enhance your presentation. Do not and I repeat do not read your slide deck verbatim. 95% of the time your colleagues are capable of reading, even if it requires glass. If you you were going to just read to them then the presentation could have been forwarded in an email. Therefore, remind them of why their physical attendance was required and their input is needed.
Use multi-media options to convey your message. Remember, we all learn and communicate differently so use audio, video, and images to share key points while engaging a variety of senses. Some people may find your verbal messages to be confusing or overwhelming but the picture may speak a thousand words and provide the clearly they need to push forward.
Use multiple presenters. Each presenter has a different dynamic and style which can assist with breaking up monotonous conversations, so find a friend to tag team longer meetings or presentations. Most people find a change in tone or speed to be delightful after sitting for long periods of time.
Use attendees to deliver the data or scientific information. Be mindful numbers are meaningful and interesting but they are not always the most exciting thing to present. Therefore, when delivering large amounts of data, engage the audience by using polls, games, and visuals to guess important numbers. You don’t have to use them at every click but include them in the conversation regularly.
Use your authentic voice, tone, and personality to converse. In the office people are more prone to code-switch, to adapt to their environment. As a result, we hide our natural personalities, and it comes across in everything we do. Consequently, it causes the loss of critical connections. Don’t overthink your delivery, trust your expertise, and allow your natural personality to shine. If public speaking scares you then pretend you are just talking to your most trusted colleague and focus on them versus the other.
Use professional development opportunities to enhance the presentation skills of the team. Our team would love to provide a complimentary lunch and learn to enhance your team’s presentation skills. We can personally show you how to put our tips in action and ensure your next presentation is energetic and engaging while remaining informative.
For tips, questions, or more information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your thoughts!