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Steal the Light: How to Grab People’s Attention at a Meeting

April 12, 2018

You check your monthly agenda, find that you have a regular meeting next week, and let out a long sigh. There are good reasons why some people dislike the idea of leading an employee meeting. Not only is a meeting often considered as a boring lecture session, it is a real struggle to deliver something important to people who sometimes are not even interested in the topic. If possible, you might want to eliminate such kind of meetings from your schedule.

When leading a meeting or presentation, it is frustrating to see your audience do other things which are not related to the meeting such as keep staring at their hand phone, eyeing the clock, getting drowsy, or even day-dreaming. When this happens, you will try to bring them back to earth by saying, “Is everybody with me?” then they turn their focus back on you – but only for minutes. It is no less infuriating when you need some feedbacks or ideas but no one contribute as they do not follow your speech.

Having responsibility to deliver information, make decision initiating open discussion, or give commands to employee, as a meeting leader you cannot let such soulless meeting become a culture under your leadership. Instead, you should make the meeting become more effective by grabbing participants’ attention along the meeting. Follow the tips below:

See also: Being a Wise Manager: 6 Tips to Provide Feedback for a Defensive Employee

Be creative with your speech

Among the most influential aspects to make people put attention on you is how you talk, which includes your word choices, tone, articulation, as well as body language and gestures. You can insert some light jokes or anecdotes in the meeting, or tell captivating story that sparks employee’s interest to your presentation.

Use attractive and appealing visual

Besides vetting the speech, setting up the right prop and tools to support your presentation visual will also help you gain more attention from participants of the meeting. The right selection of powerpoint theme and design, chart type, font and other aspects related to the meeting tools really matters to the effectiveness of the meeting. You should create it as fascinating as possible.

Emphasise the importance of the meeting

People tend to underestimate the meeting if you don’t tell them how crucial it is. Take some time in the very beginning to deliver the purpose and importance of the meeting to the project, company, clients and to the participants themselves. By understanding that the topic of the meeting is related to their task and responsibility, employees will realise that they should follow the meeting cautiously.

Invite audience’s active participation

When you find some of the audiences are not with you in the meeting, you can try to call out their name to get their attention back on you. You can do it while asking for their opinion regarding the matters on hand, for example: “Steve, do you have any idea about this?” You can also make all the participants feel important and included in this meeting by mentioning their names in the discussion.

Next read: A Friendly Boss: Dos and Don’ts in Maintaining Relationship with Employees

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