11 Nov 2016
5 Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Annual Company Meeting
The company meeting—it’s often one of the most polarizing things for team members. While some might look forward to a day (or two) of listening all about the state of the company and industry, others might look at it as a waste of time. It’s an important session for everyone to learn new things to help the company grow and attendees to learn. So you want to make the meeting worthwhile.
- Get input Most of us have been to many company meetings in the past, and they all seem the same. Sometimes we get a lot out of the meetings, and sometimes we don’t. Before the annual company meeting, don’t be afraid to ask for input from attendees of what they want to get out of the meeting and what they hope to learn. Knowing that organizers care about attendees and their time makes the meeting more inviting.
- Avoid PowerPoint Overkill PowerPoint is a staple in the business setting, we get it. You want to show charts and graphs to support what you’re talking about. But too many slides, and too much text on those slides, can be boring and overkill. Try to use PowerPoint with fewer words and more visuals. One good rule is no more than five slides per speaker. And use text that’s easily readable from across the room—30 point font with clean lines is the easiest.
- Think Outside of the Box Who says company meetings need to be inside whitewashed business rooms? Choose inspiring locations such an eclectic event hall, a yoga studio, or a quiet part of the local park (check for traffic, etc.). Also, think about your breaks between sessions—what if you brought in a yoga instructor for a 15-minute mini session to teach attendees about handling their stress during the workday? Definitely something out of the norm of cold canned drinks and cheese platters during the break.
- Acknowledge Imperfection No company, or person is perfect. There have been and will be mistakes made by the company. When company leaders fess up to mistakes that were made in the past, it helps grow trust with your team members and audience. It also gives you a starting point to help correct those mistakes and help the company grow.
- Take-Home Messages We all want to come away from meetings learning something new and useful, it inspires us to want to be better team members. Have each speaker offer one key take-away from their message (which would make a great visual slide, as well) to summarize their speech and inspire listeners. The take-away should be the basis of the session—introduced in the beginning, demonstrated in the middle and the repeated at the conclusion. This is also a helpful way for new speakers to organize their speeches.
Implement these five things into your planning for the next meeting and then ask for more input at the end—were the changes well received? Would they like to see something more or something different?