When a business meeting is in the works, everyone at the company, including the owner and managers, might start to feel a bit of anxiety. Last time, the meeting might have been a flop, or the employees are, in general, nervous about public speaking. Looking at how you can amplify the success of your meetings requires some practical skills.
Ask for Employee Contributions
Some employees become nervous at meetings because they feel as though you are on the stage, and they are just in the audience. In advance of the meeting, ask employees if they have any accomplishments they wish to share or ideas that they wish to present. Doing so lets the meeting start with a friendlier approach and opens the floor to everyone.
Change the Location
You might not think that switching the meeting from your business to a restaurant, an event facility like that at Monte Carlo Inns or a catering venue can make a difference. However, you may be surprised how happy employees are to leave the building for a while. Allowing them to communicate in a setting that’s more casual all helps to take some of the pressure off.
Bring in a Guest Speaker
Chances are, some area of your business could be improved upon. Whether the employees should be more efficient with the packaging line or the computer systems need to be better understood, consider asking a guest speaker to come talk to the group. Having a shift in who is speaking can help to break up the meeting and to hold the interest of employees.
Use Visual Aids
Providing the employees with nothing to look at takes away from the picture of the company. Ideas for what you can distribute include a chart with qualitative measurements of the company’s success in this past year, images that depict a plan for a new feature in the building and so forth. Visual aids also help to open up the conversation.
Consider Ice-Breaking Activities
Whether or not this type of structure is appropriate depends upon the meeting you’re having, how large the staff is and if everyone really knows each other yet or not. For the very first meeting at a new company, consider breaking the employees up into small groups to tackle a specific type of mission or answer a certain question.
Review Past Goals and Future Goals
Employees generally like to see a sense of cohesion from meeting to meeting. If they put all of their energy and effort into meeting goals set at a previous meeting, then they want to see the fruit of those efforts. You can also work to craft goals that you will assess when the staff comes together again. On top of explaining your own goals to the employees, ask if they have any ideas for goals.
As you can see, getting your employees involved and interested in the business meetings is at the heart of your mission. When you are able to accomplish this particular goal, then you will likely see more successful business meetings coming your way soon.