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The boss walks in your office and casually asks you to increase sales by 20% and he has given you three days to complete the task. You are a little surprised by the request but you gladly accept the assignment. Before he leaves your office he asks you to cut the cost of doing business by 30%. He has kindly given you five days to complete the task. Some may be horrified by the assignments but you smile and tell your boss you will give it your best effort. Later in the day, he walks back in your office and says something that’s frightening. You begin to sweat. He has asked you to do something that’s almost impossible. He has asked you to make the next company meeting exciting. He can hear you gasping. You want to scream “Please give this assignment to someone else.” You want to shout “That’s an out of this world task.” You calm down, find some courage and boldly take the assignment. You can’t think small. Handing out hats won’t be sufficient. Telling a cute story won’t be enough.
Here are 10 Things you can do to keep a meeting exciting:
- Announce to the group that during the meeting you will be mentioning three things that are not true. Inform the attendees the untrue remarks might be personal or about business. The people who come up with the three incorrect comments partake in a raffle and the winner receives a free dinner for two at a posh restaurant or perhaps they get Friday off with pay. People will be intently listening and it will add some fun to the meeting.
- Have the CEO of the company enter the meeting and gladly refill coffee cups and water glasses. Perhaps he’s wearing a tuxedo. He offers people a pillow for their chairs. The CEO provides tasty snack to the attendees. He passes out teddy bears to everyone. The CEO enters the meeting several times and doesn’t say a word. This will create anticipation and smiles.
- Hire a temporary employee to bring in numerous boxes, one at a time and stack them in a corner. If someone gets curious and asks you what’s in the boxes tell him you can’t talk about it until the meeting is over. Have the temporary employee shake his head as he leaves the room and ask you “Are you sure you want these boxes in here?” Contemplate for a little bit and say “I think so.” For added excitement have an alarm go off in one of the boxes. Get up, grab the alarm clock and without people noticing, set it ring in 10 minutes. Repeat the process several times. At the end of the meeting open the boxes and pull out some tasty snacks or gift certificates for the attendees.
- Have an employee occasionally enter the meeting room and ask you “Have you told them yet?” Answer “No I have not.” This will make the employees curious and alert. Each time he walks in the room he wears a different color tie. At the end of the meeting ask the employees to write down the colors of ties he wore. The people who correctly write down the colors of ties win a prize.
- Throughout the meeting ask everyone to perform an outrageous task that must be completed by the next meeting. For example, ask the manager of the advertising department to obtain free advertising for the company on national television. If they respond in disbelief simply say “You heard me.” Everyone will wonder what outrageous assignment will be tossed their way during the meeting and the anticipation will add some excitement to the meeting.
- Hire a comedian to sit in the meeting and take notes. Frequently ask him to repeat comments that the attendees have made. Have him intentionally misquote them. The incorrect quotes cause the attendees to seem arrogant, rude, silly, selfish etc. For example, “My intelligence is simply astonishing.” Have the comedian misquote a response a timid employee made to one of your comments, “Boss, that’s outrageous and I simply won’t allow it.” Smile and the group will laugh.
- Hire a singer to attend the meeting. Inform the group the new employee was highly recommended by an employment agency and will be a great asset to the company. Whenever you ask him questions he responds by singing answers in different music styles; perhaps with a country music slant or hip hop. Simply shake your head after he sings.
- Have an artist sit in the room and make caricature portraits of attendees of the meeting. Keeping the portraits a mystery until the end of the meeting will add some excitement. Let the employees place their portrait in their office or take it home to show their family and friends.
- Inform the attendees there will be a quiz on the content of the meeting. The person who has the most correct answers wins a desirable prize. The employees will be paying more attention during the meeting.
- Without informing the attendees of the upcoming quiz, sprinkle famous quotes from movies into the meeting. Place the quotes in awkward situations in order to make the employees curious about the use of the movie quotes. Whoever writes down the most quotes that are accompanied by the correct movie wins a prize.
Don’t just have a goal to make the meeting interesting or appealing; make the meeting exciting. The employees will appreciate your effort and it will create a wonderful rapport with the employees. Be innovative once in awhile and you will have a happier office.
Many of these tips can work well for face to face meetings and even web conferencing meetings. If you are planning an audio only teleconference meeting Numbers 1, 4, 5, 9, and even 10 will spice up your conference calls. It’s time to get creative with your own meetings and “think outside the box” when it comes to keeping your meetings exciting!