We all know what a bad meeting is like - when people are disengaged and no one is in a good mood. The feeling of leaving such a meeting is (put nicely) not very motivating.
Now, meetings are a very common custom in today's worklife. Actually, studies show that in America there's about 11 million meetings a day!
It's quite terrifying to think about how many people, every day, sit in a boring meeting, just dreading the next meeting in a few hours...
Why bother making your meetings more fun? Because people are way more productive, creative and engaged when it's not the same old boring meeting as usual. It will simply enhance the effectivity of the meeting.
That's why it's great to have a few ready-to-use tools for making your meetings more fun. You can spice up the meeting spontaneously, or if you're the facilitator you can actually plan some fun, creative and engaging meeting activities for that morning meeting (don't worry, they work for all meetings they just might be of greater need in a morning meeting 😉).
Let's work on turning that sour meeting to a fun one with these 6 creative meeting ideas:
Here's an overview. Scroll down for details.
1. Gamify Your Meeting Review
When you start off your meeting and you notice that right off the bat people are disengaged, it’s time to make reviewing details from your last meeting a game. It’s simple and quick, and does the trick.
You can make it any kind of quiz where the attendees have to answer questions about the details from last meeting - what did we agree on? What did we discuss? Remember to check up on the details, it'll make the game more interesting.
It's very useful if details from last meeting are important, if not all participants are very present or if the meeting is far back. The method can be very useful even if you don't have a meeting to review; maybe you're working on a project and need to review the status of how far you've come or what actually happened last week.
Either do a quick memory game or use a cool platform like Kahoot.com to structure it, set up a game that not only is engaging, but also is practical. Fun can be useful - it can be a tool for successfully launching your meeting.
It can create energized, relaxed and motivated meeting attendees, but be carefull that it's not too long or that it's only about the game. There must important information within the gamification, or else it's just a scam.
2. Switch up Your Meeting Place
"Same place as last time?" is a common question when leaving your desk to go to a meeting. We're creatures of habit and we like to do things as we usually do. That's simply because we're programmed to go for the easiest solution and save as much brain-energy as possible.
That just doesn't lead to creativity and new inputs...
That’s why it can be valuable to switch up your meeting place. This can be as complicated as you want it to be, you can either plan to have your meeting around the fountain outside your building or sitting in the grass across the street, or you could use the handy new Airbnb meeting tool. Or simply just choose a new meeting room.
Switching up your meeting environment may let your team get a breath of fresh air and probably some fresh ideas too.
Each team member tend to sit in the same chair around the meeting table and you might want to switch that up a bit. Where you sit at the meeting table actually means something.
3. Liven up Your Meeting with Some Role Play
We all know the flow of a meeting - everyone gives their updates, new material is presented, a little discussion and then goal setting or deciding the next steps.
Sometimes, mixing up how we conduct aspects of our meetings can help develop better team connection and a situation that sets the stage for ideation.
A great meeting activity to liven up a meeting is by adding in a role playing session. For example, assign one teammate to be a customer and the other a consultant - this could be a good way to test out how customers might interact with your team’s products or services. Or assign one person to be a journalist and another to be the interviewed - then play the roles as if the project you're working on has been out there for a year or so. Or you could even roleplay with french accents!
This little meeting game might take you to a completely unexpected place and bring up both crazy but also inspiring ideas.
4. Play Around with Your Meeting Agenda
Agendas are rarely very interesting or exciting to read. But what if you made them so - it could change how your team interacts and boost team morale.
There are a few cool ways to play with your agenda.
You could have everyone turn their agenda items into theatrical sales pitches, or assign one person an English accent and another a French accent when they present their items.
Another fun meeting activity to do when it comes to the agenda is to make everyone draw out their respective agenda items. That challenges the attendees' creativity and they might have to re-think the subject line to make it visual.
Obviously, it would be excessive to do these ideas at every meeting, but even once a month would spice up your team meetings nicely.
5. Do an Affirmation Circle in the Meeting
Often times we are so busy and focussed on the work in front of us that we forget to show our appreciation and give thanks to our teammates.
Affirmation, or giving praise, can quite easily be worked into the beginning or end of your meetings. You can even gamify it like this:
Everyone has a piece of paper in front of them where they write their name in the top. Then all attendees moves one seat to the right, but leaves the paper in front of the original seat. Now they have to write a good thing about their coworker whose name is on the paper in front of them. Then everybody moves another step to the right, and writes something positive about the coworker on that piece of paper. Keep that going all around the table. At the end, when everyone is back in their first seat, they have a list of useful compliments.
It may seem hoaky, but little things like thanking and appreciating teammates can go a long way, and can even boost team productivity!
Also, doing a circle like this is a very good icebreaker - both if you know each other well because it sets a good tone, and also if some of the attendees don't know each other that well. It indicates characteristics about each other, which is a good way to get to know each other - by knowing their strong sides.
6. Share a Moment with the Meeting Attendees
Sometimes we spend years working with a teammate that we barely know the basics about.
By scheduling some time in your meetings to have a sharing moment with each other can help better connect your team. You can even make this time more project related by asking what motivates certain team members to do the work they are doing. By knowing each other better, the communication will inevitable become smoother, clearer and simply better.
This is an exercise that can be worked into the beginning or end of your meetings, and frame good personal or work-related discussions.
Actually, knowing each other well is an old tip of ours from when we talked about what you can learn from a four-year-old about good meeting culture.
You can also chose to have it both as a meeting opening activity and a meeting closing activity. To do that, just make it into a check-in/check-out session. Take a moment where everybody shares what's on their mind today or at that moment. That way you all know how you're doing today. By checking out again, you know what each meeting attendee got out of the meeting.
7. Get an Ingolf for Your Meetings
This meeting idea is quite interesting. Mostly because you have no idea what it's about from reading the heading, but also because it's super fun and very useful for effective meetings. Huge win-win there!
An Ingolf is a rubber chicken that makes a shrieking sound when you squeeze it - just like a dog's toy.
NOTE: You don't have to call it Ingolf and it doesn't have to be in the form of a chicken 😉
Now, why on earth would you want to incorporate such a thing into your meeting? The answer is quite simple: To make sure you don't get off topic.
Going off topic, or discussing the same thing for too long, is a very frequent meeting challenge and one of the biggest reasons why our meetings don't end on time. With an Ingolf, it's free for anyone at the meeting to squeeze the toy whenever they feel something is off topic. Or if they think the subject has been discussed long enough.
It's great meeting fun, but it's super useful for more efficient meetings. Just leave the Ingolf in the middle of the meeting table, so everyone can reach it.
A good idea is to go through tip number 6 in this post, so attendees won't be uncomfortable squeezing the toy.
Meetings are often important and very necessary. And they're often dull, mundane and quite boring. That's why we've giving you these 7 creative tips to spice up your meetings and bring some meeting fun on the table:
1. Gamify Your Meeting Review
For loosening up the mood and having relaxed and uplifted attendees, make the beginning of the meeting more fun with a memory game or a quiz. It's much more engaging and starting off with a fun activity will set the tone for the rest of the meeting.
2. Switch up Your Meeting Place
Habits are great, but changing things up a bit can spark creativity and good ideas. So, find a new meeting room, go outside or take the meeting at the coffee table.
3. Liven up With Some Role Play
Make the meeting more fun by challenging the traditional flow of the meeting. With roleplay you can spark teamwork and engage attendees. It's also a good way to get new ideas for a project.
4. Play Around With Your Agenda
Going through the agenda can be a dull phase of the meeting. Make the responsible present it in a fun way - with accents or as a certain character. Or challenge your coworkers and make them draw out the agenda items they're responsible for.
5. Do an Affirmation Circle
Affirmation and acknowledgement is very important. It helps creating better teamwork and it can be a good icebreaker to check in and out of a meeting.
6. Share a Moment
Knowing your team members well is important for a good meeting. It enhances the communication a lot and it's much more comfortable working with someone you know. Also, it's good for new members to learn your strong sides.
7. Get an Ingolf
Ingolf can be a rubber chicken or another toy that makes a loud sound. Squeeze it whenever you're off topic or you need to move on. It's great meeting fun, and it'll increase the efficiency a lot.
Remember, these are just 7 creative ways to make meetings fun. But there are many, many more. For more ideas and tips on changing your meetings for the better check out how we transformed our meeting culture.
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