11 Great Ways to Make Your Meetings Interactive

Post by
Bridgette Mabuto
11 Great Ways to Make Your Meetings Interactive

No one wants to run a boring meeting. But you can't cancel them because, let's be honest, meetings are important and serve a purpose (or should!).

After dozens of meetings, both remote and in-person, we've discovered interaction is key to improved engagement, rich communication, and employees feeling their time was well-spent.

In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Systems and Software found interaction promoted collaboration, project success, and job satisfaction - Without participants even realizing the reason behind the improvement!

So if you're looking for ways to make your next meeting more interactive, consider one of these 11 great ideas.

1. Brainstorming Exercises

Get everyone in the room involved in generating ideas by doing a quick brainstorming exercise at the beginning of your meeting. You can ask everyone to come up with solutions to a problem or simply write down as many ideas as possible on a certain topic. By doing this, you'll not only come up with more concepts, but everyone will feel heard and valued. And that's what teamwork is all about.

Our favorite slide deck for brainstorming is, no surprise, the Quick Brainstorm deck. In under 15 minutes, you can touch base with your team, set goals and expectations, and take the general temperature of the room.

The best brainstorms come when everyone in the room is involved. So, get everyone generating ideas by brainstorming together.

2. Icebreaker Games

At Slides With Friends, we're pretty big about turning meetings, conventions, and even classes into chances to play games. And our tendency to gamify any group gathering has benefits based in research!

Interactive games are a fun way to get everyone engaged and thinking creatively. Games can help people get out of their comfort zones, think outside the box, and learn new things. Using them at the beginning of a meeting is a great way to get the group warmed up and lower barriers for conversation.

With Break the Ice! A Virtual Warmup Game, you can take the first 5-10 minutes of your meeting to  share images, ask questions, and give the group a chance to get to know each other. Plus, the deck is super easy to customize, so you can use the same one multiple times - For remote, in-person, or hybrid meetings!

3. Open discussion

While directionless conversation during a meeting is never recommended, a set time to openly discuss a specific topic can improve communication and create a culture of interaction.

One of our favorite ways to facilitate beneficial open discussion in a morning meeting is by running a retrospective. Through the five stages of this form of open discussion (set stage, gather information, generate ideas, decide what to do, and close), you can encourage open communication, but with a purpose.

Using a Slides With Friends slide deck makes open discussions even more focused. A favorite for this type of meeting is the Project Kickoff deck, which allows attendees to share their goals and ideas for a specific project, but keeps things structured.

Open discussions can be a great way to get different perspectives and ideas, and can help build team camaraderie.

4. Group activities

Sometimes a meeting doesn't even have to be about relaying information, but just about getting the mind and body ready for a day of work. One way to get everyone moving and working together is with some group activities. These can be anything from simple icebreakers to more complex team-building exercises.

Try Slides With Friends Never Have I Ever (Office Edition) team building deck. The easy to customize deck asks team members funny questions and gets them in the right mindset for the rest of the day.

Best part? The deck works for remote or in-office meetings!

5. Interactive presentations

Sometimes the best way to get a group engaged is to step back and let them lead the meeting. If you have a few key people working on projects or serving as experts in specific topics, let them take the floor. These interactive presentations aren't just a fantastic way to keep everyone engaged and involved, they also shine a light on other members of your group. And who knows, you might just find a new project leader this way!

While we recommend the many slide decks offered by Slides With Friends for your next interactive presentation, there are also some great ways to Make an Interactive PowerPoint Presentation.

6. Q&A sessions

Encourage questions and discussion by having a Q&A session at the end of your presentation or meeting. These sessions are a great way to get feedback and ensure everyone understands the information that was presented.

Even better, by incorporating a time to answer questions into your meetings, you can get a broad sense of everyone's comprehension on what was just discussed. Use these times to clarify directions and goals with your group.

7. Team Building Breaks

Meetings are a great time to emphasis team building within your group. In-between presentations or directives, you can help everyone stay focused (and avoid burnout!) by taking a few breaks.

More and more companies are finding incorporating a few team building activities makes employees feel valued, improves interpersonal relationships, and even boosts productivity.

Team building breaks are super easy to incorporate and don't have to be long at all. You can check out a few of our favorite 5 minute Team Building Activities or create our own using one of our team building decks.

Our favorite?

The Virtual Scavenger Hunt! You can easily edit this deck to work for your in-office, remote, or hybrid team.

8. Live polling

Changing up how you gather information is another way to make your meetings more interactive. Use live polling to gather data or feedback from your group in real-time. This is a great way to gauge understanding or get ideas from a large group of people quickly and easily.

An added bonus, especially for the introverts, is polling gives everyone the ability to share their thoughts without necessarily having to do so out loud. Any barriers leaders can lower to improve communication are bound to help.

If you're looking to break up your meeting, use our Poll the Audience slide deck to get insight and valuable data for making future decisions.

9. Word Clouds

We've already discussed how brainstorming is an amazing way to introduce interaction to your meetings. But one of our favorite ways of brainstorming deserves its own mention: Word clouds.

Like live polling, word clouds give everyone a chance to state their opinion. And with our Word Cloud deck, you can quickly customize the questions or prompts you want to present to the group.

The best part about brainstorming with word clouds is you can do it as a group or individually and then compile all of the ideas into one central place. This is a great way to get a lot of input without having to hear from everyone all at once.

10. Workplace Trivia

Start your meeting with a little friendly competition by incorporating workplace trivia. Trivia is a great way to help everyone learn more about each other while also getting everyone engaged and involved from the start.

And nothing will get the team moving faster than some heart pounding competition!

Not sure where to start for a remote and in-person friendly trivia? We have more triva decks than we know what to do with, and we're constantly making more! Try our Quick Movie Trivia or the Back to the Office deck.

You can easily create your own trivia questions. Either way, we recommend mixing up the format every so often to keep things fresh.

11. Get feedback

Asking for feedback at the end of a dreaded, but needed, meeting may seem intimidating as a group leader. However, nothing encourages future interaction more than asking for opinions and then following up with team members about their questions or concerns.

You can also use this time to learn what worked well and what could be improved.  Interactive meetings are a two-way street, after all.

Ending on a positive note by showing you value everyone's time and opinions will lay the foundation for future productive meetings. This is a great way to ensure that your next meeting is even more interactive and successful!

Subscribe for more articles like this

Subscribe to our newsletter for research-based content on community building, remote culture, and employee well-being. Get critical tools for a remote world.