Next week I am the keynote speaker at another banking conference. To help me prepare for the conference speaking engagement, I spoke to a bank Senior VP today. He said he was happy to speak with me as it will get him out of another dull staff meeting designed to waste his time. Meetings, if done right will kill you.
Why are staff meeting so dull and boring? Below are some ways to liven up your staff meeting and revitalize the fun at work...
Start by looking beyond generic attempts to get a laugh and consider humor in the workplace for its ability to revitalize or change the culture of an organization. Time always flies when your having fun, so why not encourage levity to make the meeting more engaging.
Educate people about fun at work. Make sure people know the positive virtues of humor in the workplace (decreases stress, sparks inspiration, increases productivity and innovation, etc) to use it to effectively engage others.
Engage the Humorous Few - There is always people who have a natural ability to make people laugh and add humor in the workplace.
Natural humor "circles" arise especially in the midst of stress. Use these natural forces to organically transcend the humor throughout. Encourage these off handed quips and humorous banter and funnel it to a greater good.
Humor can't be programmed. It has to be spontaneous and unexpected, so canned humor or dry overused programs (that used to be fun) don't tend to work. Savvy leadership continually encourage spontaneous upbeat behaviour.
When i was at a conference speaking someone gave me the suggestion in their staff meeting they once duck taped someone ( the person who couldn't keep his mouth shut) to a chair. They have gone as far as using whoopee cushions and other goofy pranks. These may be fun for awhile but will quickly lose steam in a professional environment. Also cheap humor gags are a bit of a diversion from any meetings true purpose.
From time to time add some levity to your meeting with your own goofy humor but for now, some funny prank style ways to inject fun at your next staff meeting:
• Heckle the person speaking
• Have a special guest speaker, Like a comedian.
• Use props like beach balls, clown noses, large (unused) ladies underwear, balloons
• Plan ice breakers...easy, quick are best.
• Use humor to reinforce your points - Try this - whenever someone forgets to incorporate a certain word or concept you are focusing on - than you throw foam darts at them.
• Set up miniature golf or bowling
• Have someone deliver things to you in a box every 10 minutes. At the end of the meeting, distribute the boxes to people. Have fun things in them to bring home to their kids, family or dogs.
• Bring a really unusual item (a can of paint, windshield washer fluid, etc) and place it in the middle of the table. Don't reveal what it is for (nothing but elicit curiosity).
• Speak through a hand puppet
• Empty medications from a pill bottle and fill it with candy. Place it prominently in front of you. Throughout the meeting, keep taking several pills at a time with water. Until the bottle is done. When people ask whats wrong just look really frazzled and say, oh nothing.
• Ask people if they can change seats with you throughout the meeting, until you have done a round of musical chairs around the room.
Hire a Keynote Speaker to speak on a unique topic of interest to your bored group.