Here’s a list I cobbled together about refreshing the way meetings are run. Maybe this will help your team find new ways to be productive and present. Perhaps laptops will actually close. Hopefully eyes won’t. And your employees will not only be engaged but will look forward to the next time you send a meeting invite!
16 New Ways To Run Your Next Meeting
1. Social Time
Get your peeps there, not only on time, but earlier than usual. Schedule your meeting to start ten minutes before you actually need to start. (ex: 1:50 instead of 2:00) Use those minutes to socialize and get warmed up for the talk about to happen. Refreshments & snacks don’t hurt, either.
2. Monster Cookie Challenge
Bring different kinds of cookies to the meeting. Rotate cookie-bringing responsibilities to everyone invited. The challenge is to bring something new and never-tried-before. Then each month the attendees will vote on the best cookie, thus crowning someone as that month’s Cookie Monster!
3. Show Off
Each week, one team is challenged to act our their idea to the team before presenting the finished product. They can act it out, rap, sing, dance or so on as a way to share it with the team.
4. Hi My Name Is…..
Ask everyone in the meeting to write their name on a sheet of paper and drop it in a hat or bowl. Before the meeting starts, everyone pulls out a name (not their own) and takes on the persona of the person they pulled for the remainder of the meeting. Be nice!
Have soft squishy foam balls on the table. If someone poo-poos an idea, you get to bonk them! So bonk the that-wont-works and the we-tried-that-befores and the there’s-no-time-for-that. Oh, and yell BLAH when you are the thrower.
6. Vertically Challenged
Remove all the chairs in the meeting room, and hold the meeting standing up. It will make the meeting shorter. And, of course, everyone seem taller.
Get a portable timer and use it to time discussions. Have someone be the timekeeper. When time’s up, let it be known and keep things moving.
8. Go Topless
Make it a rule that unless you’re taking notes or presenting work, your laptop is closed, off, put away…anything but open and being typed on.
Anytime someone exhibits one of the disruptive behaviors, any group member (or the whole group) can shout out “I Don’t Think So!” to lightly remind the “offender.”
Start each meeting with a game or brain teaser to get the creative juices flowing. Here’s a fun one.
“Musical Feet!”- Get everyone up and off their chairs. Ask everyone to place a piece of paper under one of their feet. You, the facilitator, start in the middle, with no paper under your foot. Then you ask the question – Have you ever (fill in the blank)? If any team member (including you) could answer yes to whatever you just asked, they must leave their position and find another piece of paper to stand on. The last person standing is stuck in the middle and is now the question asker! I promise people will laugh and will be energized. But, word of caution. Keep the questions clean, please.
10. Celebrate Success
When the group has something to celebrate, celebrate it in the meeting with sparkling water served in fancy glasses.
11. Cartoon Time
Ask group members to search for and bring a favorite cartoon to the meeting, and post them for all to see. Start a wall of laughs!
12. The Funniest Thing
Ask group members to write down the funniest thing that happened to them or around them since the last meeting. Put the responses in a pile and every so often, during the meeting, pull one out and ask the room to guess who shared the story.
13. Exercise Break
Rotate responsibility for group members to lead the group in some kind of physical exercise to start the meeting or use during breaks. You could give out prizes for the best ideas of the month. And make sure there’s music to get people movin.’ Good music.
14. Facilitate This!
Take turns being the meeting facilitator. Responsibility: keep the meeting on track. Each facilitator is challenged to introduce a new ground rule, game, exercise or brain teaser to make the meeting more fun. At the end of the meeting, the group votes whether to keep the new tool. (not a person, but the idea) ”
Hire a masseuse to give five-minute back and neck rubs to folks during the meeting. Time it out right so everyone gets a turn. Oh, and if anyone is late they don’t get a massage. That’ll do something for the Tardy Ted’s!
Invite people to bring a fun hat to the next meeting, or you can bring a bunch to share. Important part: wear them!