When planning your meeting, conference or seminar, we all know it has to be perfect. Hours is spent collecting information, creating PowerPoints, writing up a speech with all the very important points that need to be covered. I mean you’re probably excited to get started and depart your wisdom.
Unfortunately, some of the people you are presenting to will not care as much as you do about the topic.
It does suck, but can you blame them? Sitting for hours, listening to someone drone on about something that, you probably do need to know, but don’t actually care about?
There is a 7-10 minute rule that is good when presenting. This just means, to keep your presentation short and to the point, going for only 7-10 minutes, or if that isn’t possible mix it up after that time. After that time you can change the subject, you can start asking questions, or you can give them little breaks. This is just one method to keeping your delegates awake and to get them involved.
But before any of that, you want people to feel comfortable within this environment. Start off by getting guests to introduce themselves to the group or play a quick game to get everyone to interact and break the ice. You want people to relax and feel comfortable within the group. That will make it easier to get them to participate further down the track.
One classic ice breaker is 2 truths, 1 lie.
You can check out the rules here: http://www.icebreakers.ws/small-group/two-truths-and-a-lie.html
Here are some other options for getting people to engage and pay attention.
Create small groups.
I don’t know about you but I dread large groups, what am I going to say? Am I going to make a fool of myself? I mean- with me, probably yes, I’ll fall out of my seat before I even get to the jumble of words out of my mouth. So save the me of your group and put them into smaller groups.
Not only will your guests feel more comfortable, it will be easier for them to speak their minds, learn and ask questions.
Like I mentioned before, people’s attention span only lasts for 7-10 minutes. Keep them paying attention by mixing it up and giving them short breaks. They don’t have to be unproductive breaks. You can use this as time for delegates to discuss what they have just heard or you could use this time for something else to wake them up, such as team building exercises.
Team building exercises
It’s just a little bit of fun during the day. You don’t even need to be a team. It just gets people using their brains and out of their slump.
This website has a few good ideas that you can use:
Another break option:
Food/ coffee breaks are always great for pepping people up or put snacks on the table. Mints & lollies. Who doesn’t love a sugar hit? But lose the crunchy wrappers; you don’t want your well thought out speech ruined by people not being able to hear you.
Basically, you don’t want to give people the chance to get bored. You want to keep it interactive, and keep them on their toes. You can ask them questions throughout or give them a chance to ask you, you don’t want people to be scared of you but they will pay more attention if they think they might get called on. Another good tactic is to tell a story, relate whatever you are talking about back to real occurrences, this makes you and your topic more relatable.