A recent poll revealed that 1 in 8 people nod off during a meeting and 1 in 3 people drift into a daydream at work.
So how do you avoid death by powerpoint, keep your audience engaged and make your mark in the workplace without your colleagues nodding off?
Rowan Bennett, Sales and Marketing Manager at BMA House, a central London venue, with over 10 years of events experience, helps organise meetings and events day in day out. Below she offers us some of her fresh ideas to help you do away with those boardroom blues.
1. Be Powerpoint-less
Unless of course you really have to, try thinking of a new way to present. Visual stimulation is a key way to draw people in and help them remember information. Try an interactive Prezi presentation where you can loop in YouTube clips and zoom in to 3D graphs. Is there a video or clever infographic which illustrates the subject of the meeting?
2. Get out
Spring is here and there are plenty of rooftop gardens, fields and parks so why not take part or all of your meeting outdoors. Getting some fresh air is always good for our health and studies show* that being outside can alter self esteem and increase vitality and creativity. Always a nice touch when brainstorming is involved.
3. Food for thought
If food is the way to a man’s heart, food is also the way to win over your meeting. Talk to the in-house caterer about arranging a lunch or refreshment that is themed to your meeting or agenda, perhaps you want to go healthy or have a sweeter snack for a well deserved energy boost. Remember protein rich ingredients will be useful here.
4. Connect, connect, connect
Yes, agendas and minutes are important by don’t make these the focus of your meeting. When you meet face-to-face, your priority must be to make sure you find a connection with everyone. Remember, your opening is fundamental to keeping everyone listening in.
5. Thou shalt not bore
Finally, stay brief and interesting. The sure-fire way to avoid any dozing off in the back row is to avoid giving your colleagues TMI syndrome (that’s too much information). Keep it short and sweet!
*Richard Ryan, US Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester in 2010 revealed being outside among nature makes people feel more alive.
Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.