At our Presentation Skills Seminar you will find that the biggest frustration that most people have with meetings is that the presenters seem to be sharing information but not explaining the context of the information. As a leader, it is important to make sure that you explain to the attendees why the information you share is important to them.

This means that you are not there just to read a memo or reiterate what you heard in a meeting. Instead, we have tips at our Presentation Skills Training, that shows you that you  must think about why your audience should care about what you’re sharing, what difference this information will make to them, and how they can use it.

So if you want to encourage them to be more involved at your staff meetings, you need to do the following:

1. Review the information ahead of time and prioritize it. Start with the most important information at the beginning of your meeting.

2. State why the information is important to them. For example, instead of saying, “We are moving to a new lunch schedule. Everyone needs to take lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.,” tell them why this change is taking place. You might say something like, “Due to the need to deliver higher customer service and to make sure we are available to clients during lunch hours, we will now be having everyone take lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. I realize that for some of you this means a change in the times that you do lunch, and we’ll work with you to make sure this transition goes as smoothly as possible.”

3. Before the meeting begins, tell them what the key areas are that you’ll be covering. This will be the roadmap that gives clarity to your meeting.

4. If you have just stated something and you realize you have not clarified it for the group, follow it by saying, “The reason this is important to you is…”

5. Have people at the staff meeting answer the question, Why is this important to you?” This will allow you to see who is grasping the context of the message you are sharing.

6. Have different people in your group lead certain sections of the meeting rather than having it all fall on your shoulders.

7. Make sure your staff meetings include common topics that are high involvement. For example: What successes have we had lately? Who did you catch doing something good? What time saver did you use recently? What is getting in the way of our delivering better customer service?

Keep in mind that most staff do want to participate in meetings. The problem with 90% of staff meetings is that they are in a lecture format rather than in an interactive format. Always ask yourself, “Why do they need to know this, and what format is best for them to remember this information?”

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