How To Make Group Meetings Interactive
Imagine you are 20 minutes into a meeting with a large group. Some have joined in person, while others are on video/audio calls. You take a moment to look at those faces and realize half of them are yawning while the other half is staring blankly at the screen behind you. Suddenly, the self-doubt creeps in - Is it this boring? But how do you ensure that everyone is engaged when you can not practically pay attention to every one of them?
With all honesty, large group meetings can be uncomfortable or tiresome. Beyond the laughs, there is a serious message: traditional meeting formats aren't working, and facilitators must work harder to create a quality experience. Organizations invest many resources & productive hours in webinars, training sessions, or even team brainstorming sessions. Whether you work in an office or virtually, the significance of making meetings meaningful and engaging cannot be overstated. You may, however, crack the code to hold productive meetings for your team with a well-defined agenda, some planned engagement ideas, and a real commitment to honouring everyones' time.
Tips to make meetings more engaging
Create a meeting with a purpose
Making your meeting purpose-driven and developing the meeting agenda around the objective is one way to make them more engaging. A shared agenda in the meeting invite also sets clear expectations for the participants. Simply having a clear purpose and possibly even a goal for the meeting can allow you to use the resources wisely & measure success.
A sense of humour can go a long way toward putting your meeting attendees at ease. If you want to start your meeting with a joke, make sure it's appropriate for a professional atmosphere and doesn't address any sensitive topics. Keep things lighthearted, and if you must make a joke at someone's expense, make it your own! Research has discovered that employing humour at work has the following advantages:
Quicker interpersonal ties
Improved leadership performance perception
Elevated mental state
Celebrate People and Their Accomplishments
Because meetings are first and foremost about and for the people, recognizing your team members is just as vital as discussing business developments. Nothing increases morale like talking about the positives and thanking the people who helped make them happen, especially when things are intense.
Encourage Pre-Meeting Preparation
Preparing for the meeting ahead of time is crucial for the speaker. You need to finalize the agenda, identify the goal, conduct research, put together the required resources, etc. If there are some pre-requisites, you can also ask attendees to come equipped with information or reflection to the meeting.
When everyone comes prepared beforehand, it saves time & meetings tend to get far more productive.
Have a Meeting Facilitator
Every group meeting needs a great facilitator. Without them, meetings are more likely to go off-track, run long & fall short of the desired outcome. Moderators play a key role in setting the tone for the discussion & fill the gaps during transitions. They keep an eye on the timed agenda, take notes, lead the group towards decisions & prepare the minutes. So it's imperative that you identify the right person for this role.
Ways to enhance engagement in a big meeting
There are several ways to make your meeting more engaging and participatory, whether it's face-to-face, remotely, or hybrid. They ensure that participants have a voice and are actively involved. At the same time, they also provide relevant real-time insights for the presenters. Incorporating some of these in your meetings can make meeting engagement seem less like a task.
Ask Me Anything (a.k.a AMA)
"Ask me Anything" sessions help route audience queries straight to the organizers. Questions provide vital insights for everyone (not just the person asking). Furthermore, answering these queries often lead to new discoveries.
But how can you facilitate questions from a vast audience? And which questions to prioritize when you are time-constrained?
Tools like Revvi provide a template to manage audience questions with ease. Participants can add their questions before or during the meeting and choose to be anonymous if they wish. The submitted questions are visible to everyone & participants can upvote the questions they'd like to prioritise.
Checkout AMA template on Revvi.
Who doesn't like a bit of competition? Quizzes are fun for most people. More so if you're competing with peers in real-time. Including a real-time interactive quiz in group meetings can turn a passive audience into engaged participants.
Revvi offers a template for you to set up a highly engaging live quiz within minutes. You can create an MCQ-based quiz as per the context of the meeting goal. To top up the fun, participants get scores after each question & see their standing on the shared leaderboard.
Checkout AMA template on Revvi.
Polling audiences is one of the most effective ways for presenters to obtain feedback, increase participation, or simply break the ice.
The topic for the poll can range from getting a quick pulse check to taking end-of-meeting feedback. When it is conducted in real-time, you get higher participation & more effective results.
With the right tool, participation is seamless when people can share their opinion with a click of a button from any device. As an organizer, you can view poll results in real-time & also share them with the audience if you'd like.
Do these engagement methods sound like too much of a task? What if all these are available within a single affordable tool, your audience doesn't need to download any application and they can participate with any device?
Sounds wishful? Check out Revvi's Activity tool which offers a library of proven engagement activities templates. You can launch an activity within minutes and engage your diverse workforce. No sweat! Along with a free trial, it also offers a forever free plan.