It’s painfully true when meetings are mind-numbingly dull and boring.

Why is that, though?

There’s no reason why meetings shouldn’t be fun and inspiring. After all, holding meetings that employees want to attend could boost things like creativity, innovation, teamwork, engagement, and employee retention. With a few simple tweaks, you could go from unexciting, ‘so-so’ meetings to meetings that actually make a difference.

But, how do you turn your boring meetings around? What does it take to keep co-workers engaged during a meeting? And what is a ‘fun’ meeting, anyway?

Read on to find out and get inspired by some fun meeting ideas.

Ask your co-workers what they want your meetings to look like

Every team is different. What works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for another. Figuring out what makes your team stick doesn’t need to be too difficult. Simply ask what your coworkers want your meetings to look like.

For example, run a survey, or alternatively, you can ask each team member the following question:

Use your findings to design a meeting that gets your employees going.

Does this mean you have to cater to every wish your co-workers put forward? After all, asking them to use a magic wand can lead to some interesting ideas.

Dig a bit deeper to find the underlying message. For example, if your co-workers say their dream meeting would be held in a fancy facility, you could ask if this means that they want a more inspirational meeting venue. If the answer is yes, you can move your meetings outside or improve your office’s meeting facilities.

It’s important to note here that a fun meeting doesn’t need to include lots of entertainment or anything of the like. While every team chooses the meaning of ‘fun’, a fun meeting should be one that’s engaging, interactive, and meaningful.

Use intrinsic motivation to engage your co-workers

To truly engage meeting participants, you need to understand what motivates them.

And to do that, you need to know a few things about how motivation works.

You see, there are two forms of motivation:

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity because we want to earn a reward or avoid punishment.

Intrinsic motivation is when you engage in a behavior because you find it rewarding. You are performing an activity for its own sake rather than from the desire for some external reward.

Intrinsic motivation is the best way to motivate people. That’s why you can use all kinds of extrinsic motivators, but none of them will be as powerful as boosting your team members’ individual motivations.

For example, set clear goals for your meetings, don’t schedule pointless meetings, avoid annoying meeting behavior (which can make the meeting seem like a complete waste of time), discuss problems and successes to learn from them, ask your colleagues to share what they’ve been working on and their wins, and let your co-workers share ideas with each other.

Increase interaction

There’s one thing that motivates us more than almost anything.

According to an online job/career site Glassdoor, more than 80% of employees are motivated by appreciation. This goes hand in hand with intrinsic motivation. Most of us are motivated by the feeling that we’re achieving something meaningful and being encouraged to move forward.

If you’re not tapping in on this motivator in your meetings, you’re missing out. After all, it’s a great way to make your employees enjoy the meetings they attend.

Ask every meeting participant to share something that their co-workers recently achieved or something they did especially well. If you’re a big team, every team member can share something about the person sitting on their left or right-hand side.

Besides being a powerful motivator for individual employees and making your meetings interactive, using appreciation in your meetings can bolster team spirit.

Give everyone a task and ask for their opinion

By making everyone feel invested in your meeting, you make participants feel that it’s in their interest to hold a successful meeting.

Give everyone a task at the meeting.

It doesn’t have to be too thought through. Ask a coworker to act as secretary, someone else to be in charge of the meeting equipment, and so forth.

Alternatively, ask everyone to chime in on the meeting agenda. Then, ask them to lead the discussion when their meeting topic comes up. In fact, you should encourage your coworkers to share their ideas to strengthen the feeling that they’re personally invested in your meeting.

Start the meeting on a positive note and don’t dismiss ideas. If someone brings forward an idea that isn’t aligned with the agenda, you can suggest that your team follows up on that idea or holds a separate meeting.

That way, you give everyone a sense of purpose and reason to keep the discussion flowing at your meeting. Subsequently, it’s like earlier that your coworkers feel engaged and needed at the meeting.

An interactive meeting, which meeting participants look forward to attending.

Be innovative with your meeting space

Your meeting facilities might not be that inspiring. Bright neon lights and uncomfortable seating aren’t exactly ideal for creative brainstorming. Plus, you and your team can easily get stuck in a rut by sticking to the same meeting space every time.

From time to time, hold your meetings somewhere else.

For example, you could go to a coffee shop nearby (coffee shops have lots of productivity perks) or move your meeting to a park.

Besides making your meeting feel more exciting, being innovative with your meeting space has other benefits. Turns out, a change of scenery can improve creativity.

Simply schedule your next meeting outside of your office.

Use photos and videos to make the meeting material easier to understand

It’s easy to lose focus at meetings. There’s a strong urge to, say, check your phone.

After all, getting lots of information served in the same format can be draining. Listening to a presentation or a monolog usually takes its toll on meeting participants’ focus. Even at more interactive meetings, where meeting participants are encouraged to share their viewpoints, it can be difficult to concentrate if the topic at hand is uninteresting or hard to grasp.

Use videos and photos. Video and photos improve learning results; people retain information better and have a more satisfying overall experience than if you convey all information in words.

To use this in your meeting you can, for example, rotate a picture that has to do with the topic at hand. Or instead of explaining a topic, use a simple and clear video. The advantages are clear, more focused, and interactive meeting participants who retain more of the information they get during a meeting.

Make your meetings interesting using gamification

If there’s one thing you need to use in your meetings to make it more interesting, it is gamification. Gamification essentially means that you use elements from games that keep players engaged. It can be used in different ways in your meetings.

For example, ask your co-workers to spot something in your meeting presentation. The one who does it the fastest gets a prize, such as a funny title. Alternatively, you can talk about your topic on levels and remind meeting participants that they’re reaching new levels as you move forward. Or, talk about strategy as a board game.

You can gamify pretty much every aspect of your meeting – the sky’s the limit here. Sounds a bit more interesting than the standard meeting presentation.

Conclusion

You made it to the end! Now you have all the tools you need to hold meetings that are fun, interactive, and engaging. To summarize what’s been said, you should:

  • Get your co-workers to chime in on what your meetings should look like.
  • Use internal motivators, like goal setting, to motivate people.
  • Show appreciation during the meeting.
  • Change your meeting space from time to time.
  • Use videos and photos to increase engagement.
  • Gamify certain aspects of the meeting.

Now, let’s hear from you. Give your thoughts in the comments section below.

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