Friday, April 19, 2024

How to Make Your Meetings Fun!

If you want people to be creative, innovative, and flexible, it helps to make your meetings fun. Here are three examples.

A QUIZ SHOW – Before I spoke at a small meeting for USA Today, the organizers conducted a “quiz show.” This was a great icebreaker and also served to educate their employees, using questions like: “Who writes the editorial column on page 26?” “What is our distribution in Cleveland?” “What was the headline on the Life Section last Tuesday?” Small prizes like USA Today pens and note pads were awarded. This got the audience laughing while learning (and had them fully warmed up when I came on).

THE PRIORITIES GAME – Another time I was speaking at Levi Strauss. There were six tables, each with eight sales people. Each table received copies of the same thirteen examples of typical paperwork that crosses a salesperson’s desk each day. They then debated the priority for handling them. This was a great way to find out how the sales people thought and for management to teach them priorities. I was as amazed as management was at how many different opinions there were on handling the same thirteen items.

“OSCARS” – A Pacific Bell meeting was held around the time of the Academy Awards. The creative meeting planner set up an awards ceremony and asked the managers to wear formal evening dress. This sounded so creative to me that, even though my speech was later in the day, I wanted to be part of it (at no extra cost to the client). “Oscars” were given out in categories like customer service, sales, and money-making ideas. Wearing an evening gown, I sashayed across the stage to deliver the envelopes containing the names of the winners. As the nominees in each category were announced, a giant video screen showed their photos. The first two were always famous movie stars, the third an employee. Would you believe it? Pacific Bell employees beat out the movie stars every time! Everyone who accepted an Academy Award had to give a short speech. It was innovative, memorable, and fun.

Patricia Fripp CSP,CPAE is a San Francisco-based professional speaker on Change, Teamwork, Customer Service, Promoting Business, and Communication Skills. She is the author of Get What You Want! and Past-President of the National Speakers Association.

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