We have all been there, you get out of a meeting and wonder, “What just happened?” Usually this is due to the presenter making one of these three mistakes during their presentation. Each of these mistakes affects the meeting in a different way but all of them ruin what would otherwise be a great meeting.
- Talking at a poor pace: There are many meetings where the presenter talks too fast and you can’t retain any of the information that they are giving you. Even if you are taking great notes there a huge chunks of presentation missing. On the other side of the coin there are people who talk way to slow and make a five minute meeting take half an hour. If you can manage to stay awake through their whole meeting you are still left with the same problem of not being able to retain any information because you started day-dreaming.
- Not having your visuals ready: Nothing makes me lose interest in a presentation faster than if the presenter doesn’t have their visual prepared ahead of time. It makes it seem like they were not ready to give the speech and had to rush to put everything together. I would highly recommend spending 15 minutes beforehand setting up all of your visuals so that when your audience gets there you look professional and prepared.
- Not being interactive: In college there was nothing worse than a professor that lectured for the entire hour without taking any questions or promoting any discussion. Idle minds tend to wander and if you are not asking questions of your audience their minds will find some other way to occupy themselves.
There are other things that can go wrong with meetings but if you take steps to avoid these three pitfalls, most of your meetings will run smoothly and efficiently. Promoting discussion makes everyone feel as though they are included in the decision and in turn makes everyone feel important. Talking at a nice pace allows your message to be heard loud and clear so that everyone can understand it and work towards one goal. Having all of your visuals ready before hand will make your meeting much smoother and relieve some of the stress that typically goes along with having meetings. If you do those three things you will be started on the road to effective meetings.