If I had a nickel for every business meeting that felt like this…
After 15 years of selling and managing I know that the weekly team meeting can be the toughest hour for a Type A seller. “Power Points” turn to “Power Drones” and slide after slide blends into a jumble of charts and words. Even when I had a chance to lead my own team meetings, I found myself falling into the same traps of word assaulting my audience and watching them zone off into space.
Attempts at soliciting participation were met with blank stares and my particular sense of humor fell flat. Worst of all, I found my AE’s asking me questions just hours later that I had just covered in my team meeting.
After 6 months of bullet points and clip art, I was preparing for a riveting discussion on the importance of preparing for a sales call and realized that I was falling into the trap of insanity; doing the same thing over and over and expecting the different results. In a burst of inspiration (or desperation) I threw a movie clip from “Tommy Boy” to illustrate what a poorly prepped sales call might look like.
Funny thing happened. First, my team laughed during one of my meetings. Out loud even! Secondly, and even stranger, when we talked about actions that lead to a solid meeting, the team engaged in a hearty discussion on how to show up the best for pitches. The greatest pay off was retention. AE’s seemed to apply the days discussion and even reference the failings of Tommy as a point of reference.
There is a ton of theory about audience attention spans. Most research seems to agree that beyond 10 minutes, the average person fades into the abyss of boredom. Research shows our ability to focus is shrinking. The average attention span now clocks in around eight seconds!For my part, I have found a few things to be true:
- Retention/Attention seems to happen at the beginning and end of a meeting. This means the 40 minutes between the beginning and end can be a wasteland of data.
- Video is a great way to offer a break of humor, and if used properly, can set up or drive home a key point.
- Using video can elevate your discussions. I regularly use TED talks to help my team think differently about a topic or approach with customers.
A few tips:
- Break your discussions into segments. Defining the overarching goal for your segment eg – “Prospecting Effectively” or “How to Differentiate”
- Decide how you want to set the stage. Examples of great execution are just as engaging as mistakes
- Be willing to show some humor. I’m sure there is some neurological reason, but humor has been a great touchstone for recollection and engagement.
Video clips, breaking your meetings into segments and injecting some quirkiness can be a fantastic way to break the monotony of your average team huddle and challenge your team to participate. To learn more about how to take advantage of Fuze video for Sales, check out the Use Case Catalog.How do you make team meetings more engaging?
Share your tips in the comments below...