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Books: Spice Up Your Meetings

By Penelope Luster
October 1, 2015
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SFB_books

Meetings are designed to be informative, motivational gatherings to discuss pressing matters within a company or departmental unit, but sometimes they fall short of their anticipated goal and become monotonous affairs. That’s where Boring Meetings Suck by Jon Petz becomes an invaluable tool for anyone presenting or attending a meeting.

 

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Petz shows us that meetings as we know them can be improved in order to get the most out of our valuable time. He states, “Meetings aren’t the problem. The people running them are.” A universally applicable improvement is to avoid inviting too many attendees. Make sure that those in attendance are actually stakeholders in the information being shared and/or in the final outcome of the meeting.

 

Each “agenda item” in the book (i.e., chapter) provides a Suck-ification Reduction Device (SRD) that can be applied to various situations. SRDs are easy-to-implement ideas that empower you to make any meeting better whether you’re an attendee, a presenter, or a facilitator. For example, as a presenter, begin and end your meeting with eye contact. Memorize your opening and closing remarks, and speak directly to your audience. Engage attendees, and draw them into the meeting. Facilitators can also use SRDs: To ensure a meeting ends on time, schedule it immediately prior to lunch because everyone wants to get to lunch on time.

 

Chapter 4 explains that, as a community of professionals, we need to stop having meetings just for the sake of having meetings—this leads to lost productivity. Not having meetings encourages other modes of gathering information, which is the intent of meetings to begin with.

 

Petz slams the door on conventional meeting conduct and presentation skills. One of his suggestions is to tell your meeting attendees to leave their phones on and to use hashtags on social media so that they can comment on your presentation, allowing for real-time feedback that will let you adjust your presentation and get the best results.

 

Petz gives ideas to change the look, feel, and momentum of your next meeting while still professionally accomplishing your goal of sharing information and ideas. His book is a great resource for sales managers, facilitators, and administrators. You can use it to reference a chapter that fits your needs at the moment. The time-saving ideas alone make this book a worthwhile read and a keeper on your bookshelf.

 

Penelope Luster is the project controls specialist at Emerson Process Management and a member of IMA’s Houston Chapter. You can reach Penny at 3xbl3ss3d@gmail.com.
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