The days of total lockdown, due to the 2020 pandemic, are now coming to an end, you might say. But if there is one thing that is here to stay, it is the rise of virtual meetings in our workplaces.
Announcements of scheduled work meetings are increasing all the time. This can be overwhelming, mainly because it can lead to an extended working day. That is why we have carefully prepared this article for you. It aims to guide you through the process of making virtual meetings a more attractive experience, encouraging the attention and participation of all attendees.
- The concept of an “engaging meeting” refers to the qualities that can make a business meeting more attractive.
- According to specialists, managers and workers of the largest companies spend 20 to 30 minutes more of their working day in meetings.
- Work meetings have grown exponentially and are a fundamental part of creating teamwork. This is essential for the successful completion of the company’s various projects.
What you should know about engaging meetings
The concept of “engaging meetings” covers several areas of work and involves multiple topics. Being such a broad idea, it is normal that, at first approach, many questions arise about it. For this reason, we have developed a list of the most frequently asked questions. In addition to this, we have also prepared some tips that will help you to get the benefits of such meetings.
Why is it important to make business meetings more attractive?
The first effect is the lack of interest from participants. The members of the meeting who don’t have the role of leading may end up losing interest quickly, as they may feel that they are not actively involved or that their point of view is not taken into account. On the other hand, there is also the loss of approaches and valuable information that could be contributed by those who have never had the floor or who have already lost interest or attention.
What can be done to transform work meetings into a more enjoyable activity?
For answering this question, it is important to highlight a specific piece of data that some experts have found about meetings with a poor flow of attention. Particularly in meetings where participants have the camera and microphone turned off, 32% of participants tend to multitask, taking the focus away from the meeting itself (2).
A great way to create a more relaxed atmosphere is to add a little fun to the meeting. Participants tend to feel more comfortable and get better results after starting the meeting with an activity that encourages creativity and entertainment.
With this in mind, we could consider including a short opening session where topics related to each person’s interests and hobbies are discussed, or incorporating some kind of game that engages thinking and creativity.
What impact does the number of daily and weekly meetings have?
Quite often, the need to communicate certain important information leads us to schedule several meetings on the same day. Most of them are oriented to reaffirm certain issues already worked on previously. This is not usually a positive thing, since, when having countless meetings in a row, people may have problems remembering or consolidating what has been worked on in one meeting when they are about to enter another one.
A good solution to this issue is to concentrate on including good follow-up strategies and small tasks (or “to-dos”) related to what was worked on in the meeting. This way we focus on working and using the information communicated, and not so much on just talking about it.
6 tips to make your meetings more attractive
1. Leave the PowerPoint tool aside
While this tool can be quite useful, it represents a double-edged sword. We already know countless jokes and memes about endless or extremely boring PowerPoints.
Our proposal is to explore different new applications to communicate information. Many presentation software already include highly interactive tools, such as live polls or quiz games.
See the best Presentation Software
Here are 4 highly acclaimed software.
2. Make the inclusiveness of all workers a priority
It is quite normal that, within a group, there are people who naturally do not have the initiative to take the floor. It is our duty to create a space where these types of workers feel safe to communicate their ideas, points of view and suggestions.
This can be achieved through strategies such as building trust among colleagues, celebrating victories, no matter how small, adopting a more supportive approach in training programs for new employees, etc.
3. The duration of meetings should have efficiency as the main criteria
In the process of making our meetings more engaging, when thinking about meeting length, we should always keep in mind the concept of “more is less.” There is no need to extend to one hour what can be said in 30 minutes.
Read more about meeting criteria
No matter how efficient we may be, we all have an attention span that, when exceeded, causes us to lose concentration.
|Age||Average attention span|
|2 years||4-6 minutes|
|4 years||8-12 minutes|
|8 years||16-24 minutes|
|11-12 years old||25-35 minutes|
|16+ years||32-50 minutes|
4. Conduct small polls to get the opinions of the participants
Another good practice is to make sure that no valuable opinion remains in the nebula of being just an idea that has not been communicated. This type of polling guarantees access to any proposal that could be effective, while at the same time, it encourages us to get to know the participants as individuals and to value them for their own original capabilities.
5. Sharing the meeting agenda with employees
Every work meeting has a purpose, and every purpose has an estimated period of time to be achieved. We must manage to diagram our agenda of meetings based on a particular objective for each one of them. We must also share this agenda with the participants, especially if we want to avoid scheduling several meetings to work on the same topic. We already know that this does not benefit the entertainment and attention of the participants (3).
Another benefit of sharing our meeting agenda with those who are going to participate is that we give them the opportunity to prepare good questions or discussion topics that can lead us to very good results.
6. Assign and rotate roles for participants during meetings
The feeling of uselessness is something that can undermine employee productivity and motivation. To prevent this type of problem, it is essential to create different meeting roles among participants.
Then, in addition to the meeting’s topics and purpose, participants also have the opportunity to take care of a certain task that is theirs alone, creating a sense of responsibility and active participation in everything that is going on. As a second key in this respect, we can recommend the rotation of these roles, more than anything else, to prevent monotony.
We know that, in our work, we will not always have perfect, effective meetings. There will still be daily, weekly and monthly meetings. But through the practices we have discussed here, you will be able to create a more entertaining and, above all, more dynamic environment. An environment where inclusiveness and listening to all opinions and points of view are valued.
The best part of this is that in a very short time, you will begin to notice the results. Rest assured that productivity will increase, as your entire team will really feel part of the project at hand, and they will be able to see that their ideas can positively change many outcomes. And this will trigger a better predisposition on the part of everyone to face the work meetings with a more productive approach.
1. Newman M, Torreta A. Making Virtual Meetings Engaging: Creating Community in Virtual Settings Beyond the Pandemic [Internet]. -. Rutgers University; 2022 [cited 2022Nov10].
2. Katherine A. Karl, Joy V. Peluchette, Navid Aghakhani. Virtual Work Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Good, Bad, and Ugly [Internet]. -. SAGE Journals; 2022 [Cited 2022Nov16].
3. Rubinger, L., Gazendam, A., Ekhtiari, S. Maximizing virtual meetings and conferences: a review of best practices. [Internet]. -international Orthopaedics; 2020 [Cited 2022Nov16].
4. Bob Frisch, Cary Greene. What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting. [Internet]. -harvard Business Review; 2020 [Cited 2022Nov16]