Meetings are an important part of work – an opportunity to touch base with colleagues, share information and create plans. But they’re only effective if everyone is engaged. So, how can you ensure people are fully responsive and not just gazing out the window?
2,250+ senior business executives across UK, France, Germany, the US, and the UAE, were surveyed via quantitative methods to better understand the impact of a variety of stimulus on an audience’s attentiveness when being presented to. Our survey results were backed up with brain mapping technology (EEG) experiment using top four senior business professionals Here’s what we found…
1. Ensure the technology is working
It doesn’t matter how great your presentation is if the meeting tech doesn’t work. With 41% of people saying that tech issues affect their engagement, you’ll soon lose your audience if the screen-sharing fails. So, get there early and make sure everything works perfectly to avoid any embarrassing problems.
2. Create the perfect room set-up
60% of people say where they sit affects their engagement. And with 61% saying that the presenter’s position plays a big part, you don’t want to stand too far away – or right in their faces. So, set the room out comfortably. Make sure everyone has enough space and that they can all see you and the main screen. And if the room is big enough, why not try walking around to interact with people at the back?
3. Jazz things up with multimedia
72% of people say they feel more engaged during a presentation that features multimedia. So, forget those black and white printouts and create a dynamic, engaging presentation. But don’t bamboozle people with stats – keep your slides minimal to help them focus on what you’re saying.
With the right screen-sharing solution, you can also increase engagement by making your meeting interactive and allowing more people to contribute.
4. Start on time, at the right time
Plan your meetings carefully. 78% of people have two or more meetings a day. And 59% say their engagement is affected by the number of meetings they have. So, make sure you’re getting people at their best – not inviting them to their fifth meeting that afternoon.
It’s best to hold meetings early in the day, before people are too tired. And make sure you start on time and keep things moving. You don’t want people distracted by waiting to get started, or wondering when you’ll let them go.
5. Keep interruptions to a minimum
54% of people say interruptions affect their engagement. So, cut them out. Ask people to mute their mobile phones – or don’t bring them to the meeting at all. And with 86% of people saying they get irritated by late arrivals, ensure everyone knows when the meeting starts and they get there promptly.
6. Be careful with food
Offering food can help you ensure a good turnout and keep people happy. After all, 55% of people said they’re more likely to go to a meeting if there’s food on offer. However, 31% of people are also distracted by food in a meeting. So, if you do offer food, get it out the way early. Or just remove that distraction entirely, and avoid holding meetings over lunch when people are hungry.
7. It’s about you too
You might have the slickest slides, the best room arrangement, punctual participants and the perfect start time. But if you’re not engaging, your guests won’t be engaged. So, make sure you know what you’re going to say. Practice to get it right. And inject plenty of personality into what your presenting. That’s the surest way to keep people interested.
The key to successful meetings is making sure you get your point across to everyone in the room. Follow these simple steps and people will leave your meetings informed, enthused and armed to drive your business forwards.