Meetings Can Be A Yawn!

So we asked readers for ideas to make meetings engaging, productive and even fun. Here are some suggestions.
Meetings Can Be A Yawn!

Eric Liau,

Some ideas we’ve tried at PUB to keep participants engaged: sessions are not more than 45 minutes, meeting agenda is provided so everyone knows what to expect, and fruits like apples and bananas (so-called brain food) are provided for participants to snack on. My idea is to replace typical chairs with exercise balls so that participants have to keep themselves balanced while sitting down. So if they doze off, they fall from their seats. Another is to have meetings video-recorded because nobody would like to be captured dozing off in meetings!

Congratulations Eric! We’re sending a big exercise ball and $70 worth of World of Sports vouchers your way to liven up those boring meetings! Make sure you snap a picture of it being used and send it to us. P/S: Can we say the video-recording idea is a tad disturbing even if it sounds like it could be most effective…

Tan Jun Wen Nicholas,

Meetings can be a yawn when staff are required to sit in and don’t contribute. Staffs don’t voice their opinions due to the lack of courage or feel their views are not appreciated. To increase participation, the organisation could make placards with “Like” or “Dislike” to allow staff to voice their opinions on certain issues. The proposer of the idea and the organisation will benefit the most as they get to know how well the idea is supported and whether there are any concerns if the idea is implemented.

Charlotte Koh,

Recently, at a session to talk about our learning needs, the organisers imposed a “No PowerPoint” rule for presenters who had to think of new ways to present the information, using videos, role-play, quizzes and games. It was one of the most fun and engaging meetings we had. Not only did it meet the objective to encourage learning and creativity, staff were engaged and could retain all the information presented.

Roslinah Rosli,

Meetings can be such a bore! But it doesn’t happen that way during our staff meeting. First, no phones allowed! You surrender your mobile phones and place it in front of your superior. Once a month, we have some light refreshments. Eat as you listen. Once in a while, colleagues may crack some jokes to keep those sleepy heads awake. Best of all, after the long hours of meeting, we have a light workout. Just blast music and everyone will get on their feet.

Dr Mathia Lee,

Have standing meetings! If laptops are needed, provide high cocktail tables for participants to place them. Discussions will be to the point as people’s legs get tired! It is also harder to doze off and people will be kept alert. This is also an opportunity for physical activity. Obesity rates are increasing because we’re eating more (snacks at meetings) and sitting more (at our desks and at meetings) so this is a good, cheap way to invest in employee health!

Editor: Wow, more than 100 of you shared your ideas with us! We’re sorry we couldn’t print them all in the magazine but here are more entries.

Fern Ng,

Have the group draw lots in different colours, so that each person has a colour drawn.

The facilitator of the meeting can prepare a bottle of pick-up sticks in different colours. He must shake a stick out, and the person who matches the coloured stick gets to raise an issue.

Then select another coloured stick, and the person who matches that colour gets to brainstorm ideas and provide solutions.

Repeat the process for the rest of the issues.

Melvin Goh,

My idea of a productive, engaging and fun meeting is to blow up different coloured balloons and place it all over the meeting room to liven up the mood. Before blowing up the balloons, the secretary or chairman can prepare a motivational quote card or place food vouchers inside the balloons. The chairman could start a game or challenge them to give ideas. The person who answers will get to prick the balloon and receive the reward.

Jeannie Chew,

Doodling! The proceedings of meetings, key ideas and decision could be captured through drawings and concept maps, which can be collectively created by all members of the meeting. Everyone present at the meeting could grab a pen or marker and jot down their ideas on the relevant parts of the drawing/concept map.

This not only keeps us awake by getting us to move around, but quiet ones may be encouraged to speak up more. Finally, there would likely be greater understanding of the ideas raised during the meeting and how all the information fits together given the visual nature of the recording, rather than in a linear word format.

Alicia Theng,

Before every meeting, all team members must come ready with a joke cum IQ question of the day. So, when the meeting starts to get draggy, the nominated person will have to share the joke cum IQ question of the day.

Next, on Your Say...

Meetings Can Be A Yawn!

What is your vision for Singapore in 2030?
Share one area of change you’d like to see happen by then.

Email us: The best entry will win an attractive prize worth up to $100! All other published entries will win book vouchers worth $30 each. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number. All entries should reach us by November 23, 2012.

    Nov 8, 2012
  • link facebook
  • link twitter
  • link whatsapp
  • link email