How many times have you sat in a presentation and had no idea what’s on the slides because they’re just too small. It’s so simple to put right. Here’s what you do.
Make them bigger!
Which means having fewer slides and fewer points on each. Have five slides with five points on each is a good idea. If you reckon you can’t fit in all your wonderful points, then take a walk and think about what you really want people to remember at the end of your presentation. Just put those points down.
Bigger is much better. And less is much more.
When you next have an office meeting – do it standing up. People with disabilities and minute takers can, of course, be seated if necessary.
Standing for meetings helps concentrate the mind and makes sure that people don’t talk for too long (with too many papers). If a meeting becomes longer than it is comfortable to stand, take a 15 minute break (to sit down) or reconvene the meeting at a later date.
Easyjet have their meetings standing up, and it doesn’t seem to have done them any harm.
Think of how many hours we all spend in meetings. Then think how magnificent it would be if every single one was powerful, purposeful and helped you make decisions which worked for you and for the common good. Yes, every meeting is a priceless opportunity to surprise ourselves with just how much we can achieve together. Below are a few tips to help you on your way, for a more indepth look at making meetings magic visit our meetings workshop page.
Go on – don’t
How many times have you been bored by someone who spoke too long? How many times have you been surprised that someone on a platform spoke too little? Probably lots of the former and not much of the latter. So say what you have to say, and sit down. (It’s like drilling – strike oil and then stop boring.)
Don’t go to meetings – and we’ll all go home early
Fixing a meeting often seems like a good idea at the time. But it can also be a way of putting off actually doing anything. Its tempting – travelling to meetings when we don’t need to. Feels like we’re doing something when we’re not being proeductive. So do it a different way. First choice is meeting on the phone. Fix a time and stick to it. Save yourself the trip
Fix a time and stick to it (10.30 means … 10.30)
We all lose lots of time calling people who’re not there or who in a good frame of mind to talk to us. So fix a precise time to speak – and say you’ll call them rather than have them call you. Call them at precisely that time. Not before or after and earn yourself a reputation for being on the button. As well as increasing the chances of you both being ready to talk, it also tells them that you want to do business and get on with things
When people walk into a room for a meeting, they’ll pick up lots of things in the first few moments. They will only be conscious of a few of them but all will make a difference to how they feel and what they say and do when they’re in the room. If you’re the person chairing the meeting that matters a lot. So … be there a bit early so you can prepare the space:
remove old coffee cups and papers left over by the previous occupants of the room have a kettle boiling with hot water or prepared flasks so people can be welcomed with a cup of something warming;
Open the window if it’s stuffy, close it if it’s noisy;
Put chairs so there’s one for everyone you expect to come; if you’re not sure who’ll turn up, have some spare in the corner;
If there’s a flip chart, write up the name of the meeting, with the day and date maybe adding ‘welcome’ – so that when people arrive they can relax because they know straightaway that they’ve made it to the right place;
If you’re facilitating an awayday, you might bring some flowers to put in the corner or some chocolates to share round.
These kind of things will give people the message ‘you matter’. So if you really do think they matter, let people know – by the subconscious messages they receive. And if they know that you think they matter, they’ll probably be more forthcoming in the meeting – because they’ll know that you think what they say matters too.
Think Productive provide workshops in chairing meetings training. Our workshops are designed to help you get the most out of your meeting, our goal is to help you making meetings magic
See Time to Think – listening to ignite the human mind; Nancy Kline; Ward Lock Chapter 11