If we had our first choice of places to be, it would never be in a meeting. Even the best of meetings aren’t the most lively or interesting of affairs. But that doesn’t mean that you have to come away from them feeling drained or like your time was wasted. Good meetings (or at least meetings that don’t stink) are possible. It’s all in how the meeting leader engages their audience.

As the meeting leader, you’re responsible for setting and keeping the tone of the meeting, laying down the meeting objectives, and getting from point A to point B as painlessly as possible. Following these steps will help keep your meeting from falling flat and your audience from falling asleep. While they may not have as much fun as if they were in Vegas, they will get the work done and feel energized from what was accomplished.


Set your energy level to 11

From the moment you walk into the room, the people attending your meeting will be observing your every move. One thing they will really pick up on is your energy level. If you stride in with high energy, they’ll follow your lead. If you’re low-key and sluggish, they won’t be at the top of their game, either. The success of the meeting relies on the energy you bring into it from the start. So always bring your A game when you’re leading a meeting.


Lead like a comedian

Comedians perform by opening strong and closing strong – they know they get the best reactions from their audience this way. So when you’re standing in front of your peers leading a meeting, give your best performance at the beginning and end of the presentation. Framing the meeting with opening statements that get them focused and inspired, as well as closing statements that wrap up the meeting’s purpose and accomplishments, will make them feel good about the overall experience. Telling a clean joke or two couldn’t hurt, either.


Connect with each and every person

Before you even get into what’s on the meeting agenda, take a moment to engage with the people in the room. Because without them, the stuff on the agenda doesn’t mean squat. Build rapport with your audience by starting a conversation, not just reading from the to-do list. A brief statement about why you’re meeting and what you hope to get done is sufficient to capture their attention.


Paint the big picture in broad strokes

The overall goals and ideas of a meeting can often be exciting to your peers or employees – it’s the little details that bore them. Don’t get bogged down in the minutia of the project: while it’s necessary to cover all your bases, it’s important not to let that cloud the picture of the bigger mission. Throughout the meeting, reiterate the big picture and remind them why they’re really there. Hearing about how what they’re working on will benefit the company, team, and themselves will serve as motivation when working on the nitty gritty.


Gives kudos where it’s due

The work is never done – once one project or goal is completed, another quickly takes its place. Some projects can be time-consuming and it can seem a long way to the finish line. Along the way, encourage your team by congratulating them on their successes. These little confidence boosts are what can power them to reach the end. Thus, every meeting should include giving kudos and praise when someone (or the whole team) performed well. It doesn’t have to be a big awards ceremony – just take a few minutes to say something nice. It will be appreciated and create a culture of positivity.


Come full circle

The end of your meeting should sound a lot like the beginning. Touch on the big picture again, and summarize the important points of what you accomplished based on the goals you originally set. Also take this time to make plans for a follow-up meeting, focusing on the next logical steps in the process. Spending some time planning your concluding statements will help you “close strong” and tie everything up nicely.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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