Dynamic Meetings: Ditch the Decks and Engage Your Team

By Jessica Wishart

Dynamic Meetings: Ditch the Decks and Engage Your Team

Think about the last meeting you facilitated... Business people working in office having meetingwas there a slide deck involved? If so, chances are you (or your admin) spent quite a bit of time carefully curating bullet points, choosing layouts, adding animations, finding stock photos or grabbing screenshots of charts, looking up your company's brand guidelines for just the right color codes and fonts (here's looking at you, my perfectionist friends!) Even if you already have a deck formatted that you just update each time, you probably spend a lot of effort on the slides, time that you aren't spending thinking about the real meat of the meeting - the agenda, the questions to ask, the problems to solve.
 
Think about the last meeting you attended where someone else shared slides. Be honest, did you go on a mental vacation when the screen share began? Slide decks feel so static, like a one-sided report out. Attending a meeting with slides can put the participants in listen-only mode, stifling participation and collaboration.
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Sure, there are plenty of times when slides are the perfect tool for facilitating a great meeting. If you are teaching a concept, outlining a new policy, or giving instructions for an activity, it can be very helpful to have some bullets for everyone to follow along. If you are telling a story and trying to make a point, a photo or visual can stick with people longer and help them remember your presentation. Meetings that are for the purpose of educating or training are great times to use these tools. (Although, even in these situations, I'd recommend mixing up the presentation with some video or small group discussions or brainstorming to keep the slides from getting stale.)
 
However, I would argue that your weekly team meeting is a terrible time to deploy slide decks. The purpose of meeting each week with your team is to work together to solve problems and get aligned. The conversations matter more than the bullet points. The agenda should be determined by goals that are off track. A great weekly meeting is dynamic and focused on conversations that move the team's plan forward, removing roadblocks and collaborating to achieve success.
 
A static slide deck doesn't engage the team in discussions, doesn't let you dig into the details of what's going on, doesn't let you capture follow-up tasks or adjust the agenda in real-time to meet the team's needs. Facilitating your team's weekly meeting using a platform like Rhythm allows you to review numbers and progress on projects, identify problems, get everyone on the same page, and capture an action plan to get back on track - all in the same system your team is already using to manage their work. Nothing gets buried in a file never to be reviewed again.
 
You can re-allocate your meeting prep time from the monotony of updating slides to high-value activities like reviewing comments from team members and looking for bright spots that could be replicated across your company. Keep your meeting as dynamic as your business, and feel the freedom that comes from no more weekly meeting slide decks!
 

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