Leading a meeting isn’t easy. There are plenty of people – and personalities – in the room, and engaging with everyone for a prolonged amount of time is not always as straightforward as it may seem.
Whether you have been doing it for years or weeks, everyone struggles to host a meeting every now and then. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, worried that you are being as clear as you could be – or even to feel as though no one is really focused on what you are saying.
The steps listed below can help you sustain the attention of the people joining the meeting.
Don’t Talk All the Time
Just because you are leading the meeting does not mean that you have to talk all the time. Remember that, after a few minutes, you may start to lose the full attention of some attendees.
Even if you have excellent public speaking skills, it is natural to feel as though you are losing your hold on the room.
It helps if you add some diversity to your presentation. You can arrange for someone else to present parts of the meeting with you, or ask for input from the attendees. You might also benefit from using slides, or illustrating your point with a video – just make sure that your office has a projector ceiling mount so that the presentation becomes smooth and easy.
Offer Everyone the Opportunity to Speak
Similarly, instead of hosting a meeting where you are only providing specific information, you can turn it into a brainstorming session.
If the meeting’s goal is to let everyone know some updates, then they may wonder why you didn’t just send the information in an email. However, if it becomes a brainstorming activity, it instantly becomes more engaging and exciting.
Your attendees will leave the meeting feeling more satisfied, as they will all have had the chance to make their thoughts known.
Consider Dividing the Meeting Across Different Days
If you have a lot to cover, then there is no need to squeeze everything in one session; you can reschedule the meeting to discuss the other issues.
Ideally, each meeting should last no longer than an hour – this will ensure that no one’s concentration starts to flag.
Take a Break if the Meeting Takes Too Long
If the meeting does need to run on for more than an hour, then it can be a good idea to give everyone the opportunity to take a break. Everyone will appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs, visit the restroom, and replenish their drink before continuing on with work.
Go Straight to The Point
Some meetings end up going on for much longer than they need to. Present in a concise, well-structured way takes plenty of practice, so consider writing down salient points ahead of time to ensure that you are able to get straight to the point.
List the strategies that work and use them in your next meeting. You can also ask your employees some feedback to help you improve future meetings.