Probably not–poor communication runs rampant in meeting presentations. But a talented communicator can fix all of the pitfalls of the typical meeting.
A Harvard Business Review study “found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success.” And what better way to communicate than using the tools of the best communicators around: TED speakers?
Bring the energy and effectiveness of TED into your company’s discussions. Leave the useless and dreaded meeting structure behind. Captivate your employees and have them invested in what you’re discussing.
Here’s how you can talk like TED at your next sales meeting.
EACH MEETING NEEDS A CLEAR OBJECTIVE
Just as every TED Talk has a clear topic, each meeting needs a specific point. Without a defined objective, a meeting is doomed to fail.
The best TED Talks have a thesis statement. From the start, you know what the talk is going to be about. These statements can be, and often are, summed up in a clear, succinct statement or a question that the talk answers–just read the titles of these famous TED Talks:
Ken Robinson: “Do schools kill creativity?”
Amy Cuddy: “Your body language shapes who you are”
Simon Sinek: “How great leaders inspire action”
Before you even schedule a meeting, you should have an objective outlined. What problem do you want to solve? What new plan of attack are you trying to form?
Remember: relaying information is not an objective. Send out a memo if there’s news–don’t waste your employees’ time with unproductive and unfocused meetings.
IDEAS DON’T JUST COME FROM THE TOP
What do all TED speakers have in common besides excellent public speaking skills? Well, honestly, not much. And there’s a reason for that: great ideas come from everywhere.
TED’s goal is to present ideas worth spreading. By allowing a variety of backgrounds on its stage, TED ensures that the best ideas get heard.
Your meetings should be no different. Don’t launch into a longwinded speech–let your employees voice their ideas and opinions. Act as a mediator that facilitates the sharing of ideas between team members.
The goal is to communicate–not to have any one person lecture the others.
END EACH PRESENTATION WITH ACTION
Never should an employee leave a meeting thinking, “What was the point of that?”
Just as TED Talks end with a “call to action,” your meeting should too. Spend the last 10 minutes of your meeting recapping what you covered, the solution your team reached and how everyone should proceed.
No members of your team should leave the meeting not knowing the next step to take. Clearly defined roles help every attendee to carry-out the agreed upon strategy.
Don’t be afraid to take charge at the end and point out everyone’s duties: you are the facilitator after all. Facilitate. By bringing TED tactics into your business meetings, you too can become a master communicator. Never again will your employees dread company meetings. In the spirit of TED, they will become meetings worth attending.