8 More Ways to Instantly Make Meetings More Interactive

InstantWhen meetings, workshops and conference breakout sessions get shorter, there is a high risk that they will become "pour and bore" sessions, where as much information as possible is crammed into a short timeframe, leaving little opportunity for participant interaction. It is extremely important to devise strategies for presenting interactive content in bite-sized portions.

Here are 8 ways to instantly make meetings more interactive. Each idea takes 10 - 15 minutes.

  1. Kick off the meeting with a short, interactive session starter.
    • Set out fluorescent index cards.
    • Invite the participants to work at their tables to identify specific work related situations that are relevant to the content.
    • Record one situation per card.
    • Use the situations for role-plays, case studies, or brainstorming exercises or re-visit them toward the end of the session to identify solutions based on the content that has been presented.
       
    Examples:

    What bugs you?
    • Put stickers of bugs and insects on the index cards
    • Ask participants to record work related situations that "bug" them
    • Use content from the session to generate solutions.
       
    Sticky Situations
    • Invite participants to record and later in the meeting resolve situations at work that they find challenging.
       
  2. Use Learning SmorgasbordsDesign all exercises  so that they can be completed in 15 minutes.
     
  3. Give the group a quick question to discuss in pairs
    Keep it brief, targeted, and focused on identifying the specific challenges they face on the job.
     
  4. Assign a short exercise for the group to complete in trios.
     
  5. Use a "Write your own" exercise ... (case study or role-play) in W5 format.
    Exchange the cases or role-plays between tables.
    • Who?
    • What?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
       
  6. Give the group an opportunity to do some brainstorming.
    The Cvent Event Blog has previously discussed a number of tools that can be useful for brainstorming including:
    • Idea Chains
    • The Bubble
    • Mind Maps
       
  7. Ask participants to work in groups to create a Pinterest Board summarizing one specific aspect of the programme.
     
  8. Question Period
    • Put oversized fluorescent index cards on each participant table.
    • Ask participants to write their table numbers on one side of each card and, remaining questions about the content on the other side of the card. (One question per card).
    • Ask each group to pass its "deck" of cards to the next table.
    • Give the groups time to answer the questions. Repeat the process if there is time.
    • Return the cards to the original table.
    • Give the speaker or facilitator a chance to respond to any unanswered questions.

17 Tips for Designing Shorter Meetings Without Short-Changing Attendees, 4 Proven Formats for Short Presentations, 10 Tips to Make General Sessions More Interactive....Immediately, 12 Strategies to Engage Conference and Meeting Participants, and Set-up for Attendee Engagement.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

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