5 Ways To Make Meetings Less Boring
Most meetings are a waste of time. When people sit in a room sharing information they could have exchanged by email– everyone leaves in a funk. Not everything warrants a face to face meeting. On those rare occasions when it is necessary to take someone away from their work to meet with you, make sure the business meeting is worthwhile.
Don’t hold meetings for the sake of hearing yourself talk… Odds are the other person won’t think you’re as interesting as you think you are. Get known for having fruitful and productive meetings, and it will be easier to pull people together when you really need them.
Here are 5 ways to make your next meeting less boring…
1. Get to know the attendees before the meeting. Research the folks attending so you’ll know what to say to keep them talking and interested in what you have to say. Learn about their business, and also take notes of their other interests so you can strike up a more casual conversation to break the ice.
2. Add food/beverages to the mix. Food puts folks at ease and makes the meeting less formal. People usually dine with family or people they’re close to, so they automatically feel more connected and are likely to share more with a person they ate a meal with.
3. Set goals for the meeting. Before you even set up or agree to attend a business meeting you need to know why you are going, and what you want to gain from that experience. If you don’t have a measurable goal for your meeting then you are wasting your time. Goals can be broad or specific. For example, your goal could be to build rapport, to convince the other person to be your mentor, to express gratitude, or to recruit that person to assist on an upcoming project. Know what you want so you can steer the meeting in the right direction.
4. Bring a wingman. Another way to make business meetings less boring is to bring along someone with little experience in your field… an intern, a sibling, a childhood friend, or someone who is “shadowing you to learn the business.” Their presence will force the other person to cut down the industry jargon and focus more on what they actually have to say. You can also stroke the other person’s ego (and win points) by asking them to share their expertise and tips with your “student.” Plus the wingman can actually learn something, and his or her random comments/questions may be just the comic relief your meeting needs.
5. Ask the most questions and LISTEN. Remember, the person asking the questions controls the conversation. The person answering the questions has the spotlight on them, which is what most people want. Give them their moment in the spotlight and use that time to learn what the other person is all about. That info will help you figure out how to turn that business meeting into a mutually beneficial relationship that will pay off for years.
Any other suggestions on how to make meetings less boring? Add your thoughts below…