When you organize an important meeting, you want full participation. This is quite a task when you’re competing with daily responsibilities, email and texting, personal matters, and everything in between. So how do you get everyone on board?
With a few facilitation tricks in your pocket, it is easy to build stronger teams and stronger agreements. Strategies to shift focus and engage your audience:
- Broaden a discussion to include other perspectives. You might say, “We’ve heard from Sales. We’ve heard from Marketing. How about some comments from Services?” or “The group has raised various challenges to this proposal. Does anyone want to speak in its favor?”
- Get people to interact with each other’s ideas. Directly ask, “What part of Tim’s idea doesn’t work for you?” or “Beth, how would Bill’s idea play out from where you sit?” Follow up by asking others to weigh in.
- Create space for the quiet person. You can invite them to contribute: “Steven, you look as if you might want to add something.” If participation is uneven, then perhaps go around the room to give each person a chance to speak.
What tactics do you use to engage your audience?
A passionate organizer of people and initiatives, Erica Smigielski brings over twenty years of experience in project leadership to financial software and SaaS companies who want to launch their next big idea. She leads large-scale, complex projects like product launches and company mergers and acquisitions as well as focused efforts to bring structure and process to fast-track businesses. Erica holds certifications as a Stanford Advanced Project Manager as well as a Certified Group Facilitator, making her a master orchestrator of strategic planning, as well as a skillful communicator who can expertly navigate complex group dynamics.