Monday, March 11, 2013

Coping with Multi-Tasking Attendees

Technology has evolved at such a rapid rate that people now have the world at their fingertips, even while sitting in a meeting. With such easy accessibility to the news, email, phone calls, and a plethora of apps, it is almost second nature to try and multitask.  As companies continue to be more economical and efficient with their meetings, this issue has been brought to the forefront of meeting planning obstacles.

While many companies want to encourage their team to utilize technology and increase productivity, there is a fine line between cloud-sharing and cat video-sharing. Well, maybe it’s not such a fine line. But it does present the question of how to capture audience attention without completely banning phones in a meeting room.

Here are some smart tips to keep your attendees positively engaged:

Foster a culture within the company of efficiency. If employees are used to focusing on a task from start to finish, you can use this to your advantage in a meeting. Clearly communicate objectives, agendas and goals so your attendees work through a meeting as though it were an assignment.

·         Use small teams to create a sense of individual accountability.

·         Be as interactive as possible to keep things interesting. In group activities, switch activities and move groups around frequently to keep attendees engaged. 

·         Give adequate breaks for your attendees to check their e-mail or make a phone call. Or, offer the option of going outside if they absolutely cannot wait until after a meeting. This minor consequence will drastically diminish phone usage, as an attendee will exit the meeting significantly fewer times than they would check their devices inside a meeting.

·          Be selective in your attendee list. Invite people who are absolutely necessary to the discussion. As a result you will have an environment full of people who are interested and involved in the meeting topic, and you will avoid burning out employees on meetings that are irrelevant to them.

·          Walk the room, and make discussion an expectation of the meeting. Addressing people and making your presence known is a way to put attendees on alert without making them feel like they’ve been put on the spot.

·         Embrace technology. Use audience participation apps to increase interaction and guide the agenda of the meeting.

These are just some great ideas to create focus in a meeting while maintaining an upbeat atmosphere for everyone involved.
Thanks to M&C for this article. Click here for more info and tips!

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