Regardless of whether you work in an office or remotely, the importance of making meetings fun and engaging is not diminished. Making staff meetings fun can seem like a challenge. Yet with a creative meeting agenda, some cool meeting ideas and a genuine interest in keeping things enjoyable, you can crack the code to hosting awesome meetings for your team.
How to Make Staff Meetings More Engaging
Boring staff meetings are counter-productive; employees dread them, meeting hosts struggle to keep up their enthusiasm and creativity is squashed under the dull glow of fluorescent meeting-room lighting. Making your work meetings fun can help to stoke employee engagement, problem-solving and innovative thinking. Employees who are actually interested in the meeting topics and conversation tend to rise to the occasion with some great ideas, which is the goal!
Whether you line up some fun activities to start a meeting, plan some interesting meeting topics or simply open up the conversation to some off-the-wall solutions, there are plenty of ways to make staff meetings less of a snooze-fest.
Fun Staff Meeting Ideas
Fun Ways to Start a Meeting
Find a creative way to kick off your meeting. This is the quickest route to a fun and engaging hour with an attentive and interactive audience. The way you start your meeting with your team sets the tone for the rest of your time together, so it’s important to come in with the same energy you want from your audience. Below, you’ll find some easy and fun activities to start a meeting off with a bang.
Open with a Joke
A little humor can go a long way toward making your meeting attendees feel at ease. If you’re going to open your meeting with a joke, make sure it’s appropriate for a professional setting and doesn’t touch on any taboo subjects. Keep things lighthearted, and if you feel the need to make jokes at someone’s expense, make sure it’s your own!
- “Okay, everyone, thanks for joining us today. I wanted to start by making you aware of a new rule: Meetings cannot last longer than my laptop battery or my bladder. I’ll let you know which one gives out first.”
- “My biggest problem with meetings is that, despite their name, they are rarely about me.”
- “I asked my spouse how I should approach this meeting. They told me not to be too funny, too charming or too smart — so, you know, just be myself!”
- “I have some notes here, but don’t mind me. I consider myself a professional, but I also have a lot of Diet Coke coursing through my system, so right now the inside of my head looks like a pinball machine.”
Plan a creative meeting agenda
Creative meetings start with a creative meeting agenda! Mixing up your agenda is a signal to your attendees that this meeting will be different and exciting. You don’t have to make big changes; merely adding some fun team meeting topics or adding a Q&A portion can make a significant difference in your staff’s enjoyment of the meeting.
Here’s one example of a creative and fun meeting agenda
- Fun ice-breaker activity, question or topic of conversation (non-work related)
- Presentation on topic of the meeting
- Brainstorming in small groups on meeting topic
- Sharing brainstormed ideas with entire group for discussion
- Meeting recap and Q&A opportunity
Pepper your presenter slides with pictures
Nobody likes a wordy presentation! Make your meeting presentation more concise (and less tempting for you to read each slide word-for-word) by incorporating pictures, graphs, infographics, etc. throughout your presentation deck. Below are some resources that may help you in creating vibrant and engaging presenter slides:
Spark collaboration with a team icebreaker
Team icebreakers are among the best fun activities for staff meetings, as they “break” down social barriers at the start of a meeting and allow for easier, more comfortable communication. The most effective icebreakers may also double as a team-building activity that will engage staff and build those all-important interpersonal skills. Here are a few of our favorite icebreakers for your team:
- Ask everyone to share their favorite work-related moment or story from the previous week.
- Ask everyone to share the last TV show they binge-watched.
- The Great Debate: Ask the group a controversial (but work-appropriate) question, like “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” and let everyone make their case.
Sidebar with an engaging game
Games can help interrupt the monotony of a meeting and give your team members’ brains a break. Whether you choose a game that relates to the topic/goal of the meeting or one that’s totally unrelated is up to you. Keep in mind that no matter what game you choose, you should make sure that it is something everyone present can engage in and enjoy! Here are a few of our favorite meeting activity ideas:
- Two Truths & a Lie
- Online trivia games, like Jackbox.tv
- Scavenger hunts
More Motivational Huddle Ideas
While we all have spent time wondering how to make staff meetings fun, we might also take some time to consider how we can make our staff meetings motivational and encouraging. Every employee wants to feel like their work matters, that their input is valuable, and that they are appreciated among their team. That’s why motivational huddles are a great way to start off or wind down a team meeting! Here are some of our best motivational ideas for team meetings:
- Give kudos. Go around the room and have each person give kudos to someone else in attendance for something they did, achieved or assisted on that week.
- Share wins. Ask everyone to share one “win” they observed for themselves or a team member in the past week.
- Do meeting superlatives. At the end of the meeting, go around the room and have each person nominate someone else in attendance as “Ms./Mr. Congeniality,” “Best Problem-Solver,” “Most Likely to Solve World Hunger,” etc. until everyone has received a fun title.
How to Liven Up a Staff Meeting That’s Getting Dull
We’ve all been in meetings that have started out strong, but swiftly drifted into the Land of Boredom. What can you do to shake things up? For starters, any of the games listed in the sections above would be fun activities to liven up meetings that have gotten a little stale — but if you’re looking for even more creative meeting ideas, here are some of our favorites:
- Shake it out. Put the meeting on pause and the tunes on loud, and encourage everyone to shake out their limbs and dance out their boredom! 30 to 60 seconds of this will do, but it’s a fun and surprising way to get folks’ blood back into their brains and their attention re-focused on the topic at hand.
- Take a snack break. Nothing gets people re-energized quite like some awesome snacks! Take up to half an hour for a snack break (or, if you’re feeling generous, a catered lunch break) so folks can fuel up and spend some time chatting about non-work topics. They’ll return to the conference room feeling more focused and ready to brainstorm.
- Jump around in your agenda. If you notice that input is flagging and the conversation is getting repetitive, you should feel free to call an audible and pivot to a different agenda item. You can always loop back around to the previous topic of conversation later, after your attendees have had some more time to think about it!
- Do a team-building activity. Team-building activities can be used as a fun way to transition from one portion of the meeting to another. Choose a game that isn’t too time-consuming but offers a chance for employees to laugh and blow off some steam together. When the activity is over, they’ll be better prepared for the next stage of the meeting!
Make Your Next Big Meeting More Fun at Earle Brown
When you’re ready to plan your next engaging meeting, Earle Brown Heritage Center’s expert planning team will be ready to help! We have a variety of meeting rooms to accommodate your number of attendees, audio-visual needs and more. Whether you’re planning a small meeting among your C-suite executives or a huge corporate anniversary blow-out gala, the Earle Brown team has the experience and knowledge to help make it extraordinary! Contact us today to learn more.