"Keeping a meeting interesting is a problem that often hurts team leaders who are trying to motivate sales staffs."

Although Tom Donnelly's Inc article is really targeted at sales meetings, I think it has some points that are relevant for all managers. Keeping team members engaged in a meeting is a surefire way to help them retain the information you are trying to pass along.

The article suggests the following methods for making your meeting more effective:

  • Keep It Short
    This is a no-brainer. We've become so used to instant communication that a long, drawn-out meeting is now more counter-productive than ever. There used to be a saying about essays. They should be like skirts: long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.
  • Switch Up the Format
    According to the article, PowerPoint presentations have become blasé. Attendees expect more interaction from presentations. Another suggestion is to change how the seating works. It creates an opportunity to put different people together and change the group interaction.
  • Use Real-World Examples
    This should be an easy one for anyone with a sales background. Just like potential buyers prefer to buy from someone with a shared experience, meeting attendees are more interested in a speaker that can relate to them from a similar background. Having stories that relate the subject of your meeting with real-world examples that attendees can associate with is the key to success.
  • Engage on a Personal Level
    Finally, involving attendees in the meeting will help to keep their attention. The idea isn't to make them uncomfortable like getting called on by the professor in a lecture hall full of 400 students. The idea is to draw attendees into the conversation and make them feel they have valuable input.

Hopefully, with these tips at your disposal, your next meeting won't be a stinker!