Meeting Facilitation Tricks

I am sharing with you 6 Meeting Facilitation Tricks which can help you go smooth through meetings. This might not exactly be a workshop but it is very important for all workshops. All those tricks should be used on top of the default meeting facilitating techniques like setting a timebox, writing a clear agenda, or summarizing the meeting at the end.

Meeting Facilitation Tricks
Meeting Facilitation Tricks drawn on single board.

Talking token

The first trick is simple. It helps with large group of people. The only one allowed to say something is the one with the token (a ball, a microphone, or any other item). This trick forces all people to focus on a discussion, but it also can counter “meetings about nothing” when mostly one person is talking.

Parking for ideas

Another meeting facilitation trick is organizing the discussion. Every time when new offtopic popes in just put it on a previously prepared flipchart. It will remain visible for everybody and will be noted in the finishing note of the meeting. This will help all participants to not lose focus and to only discuss the things that are needed.

Hand signals

It helps when you are working with a bigger group. Just announce a couple of hand signals at the beginning of the meeting. This will shorten a feedback loop and improve the meeting speed. Instead of the hands, users can use different colors of post-its.

Phone jail

This can be the box for the phones or for any other device that distracts users. If they can’t get their eyes away from a phone screen just make a deal with them. Put all the phones into the box and every single time, when somebody takes it from inside he/she pays $10 for later fun.

Business poker

This can be used in very various situations and scenarios, but basically, this is a way of picking a topic or picking a common statement or finding a point of interest. Let’s say that we are making a meeting with the board members and don’t know what we should discuss first. Let everyone note down all topics that he/she would like to mention. Later give every one of them 10 poker chips saying that you will discuss topics starting from the one with most poker chips on it. Let them use their negotiating skills!

Voting on mood

Last but not least trick from the list. This is a feedback gathering method. Give poker chips for everyone entering the meeting and on exit demand them to put those chips in one of the two boxes. Previously type on these boxed sentences: “I loved I’ve been here” or “I don’t see value in doing this again”.

Should you use Meeting Facilitation Tricks?

Keeping answer as short as possible. Yes you should, because:

  • It is a great adventure
  • It helps to achieve goals
  • It makes you look professional