How To Keep Interest Alive In Long Meetings

If your team members are reluctant to attend project meetings then maybe now is a good time to shake things up a little in order to keep everyone enthused and interested.

When it comes to project management there is a good chance that no matter what the project you are working on you will have project meetings, and lots of them. Whilst for the majority of your team members short meetings will pose no problem, longer meetings that tend to drag on can, unfortunately, lead to people losing concentration and just watching the clock until the meeting is over.

If you need to have a long project meeting (and sometimes they are necessary even on agile projects), then take a look at our tips on how you can switch them up in order to keep everyone interested.

Only invite those who need to be there

It may seem obvious, but you really should only invite people to a meeting if they need to be there. If there are some members of the team who don’t need to be there, then don’t invite them. If you’re concerned that they’ll feel excluded then clarify the purpose of the meeting so they understand why their presence isn’t required.

Project meetings are important, of course, but there is nothing worse than sitting through a lengthy meeting wondering when the part that relates to you is coming up only to have it never happen. This isn’t productive for any party, the person who doesn’t need to be at the meeting could be getting on with other tasks rather than sitting listening to discussions that don’t affect them.

Start with something fun

The majority of people walk into a project meeting expecting it to be rather dull, after all the nature of most meetings is to be informative and discuss issues, progress etc. but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the important task of enthusing and motivating your team. So, try instead to open with something fun and different in order to get the meeting off to a good start.

Why not try challenging everyone with a riddle? It doesn’t require too much effort in advance on the part of the meeting organiser and there are plenty of ideas on the Reader’s Digest riddles page if you need inspiration.

Adding a more personal touch to the start of the meeting in this way is also a great way to ensure that people who have never worked together before learn something new about each other, which will help to strengthen the bonds between your team members.

Use some scrum tactics

Scrum tactics can be utilised to really break up your longer project management meetings and make them more interesting for everyone involved. Hold part of the meeting standing up, maybe? When standing people tend to be more to the point and ramble less which makes the meeting much more productive. Of course, avoid standing for too long otherwise people will become restless and it will be counterproductive.

Listen more, talk less

One of the first things a project manager needs to learn is that effective communication is vital for project success. When it comes to your project management meetings, especially the longer ones, let the team take the lead. Listen to what they have to say but keep your contributions to a minimum. This should help you manage meetings effectively and make them more productive.

There you have it – a few tips to avoid dull, unproductive meetings – why not give them a try?

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