We know the drill: You put your blood, sweat and tears into making sure your leader town hall runs smoothly and generates engagement, yet your feedback from employees is consistently mediocre. “It’s boring!” “The format is same old same old.” “It’s all one way: They talk, we listen.”

Fortunately, you don’t need a ton of money or extra hours in the day to jazz things up and turn bland into grand. Here are a few steps you can take to increase participation and ensure a memorable experience:

Rearrange the room
Vintage 3D glassesAuditorium-style seating sends the message that employees will just sit there passively listening. Instead, try a new configuration like chevron-shape or herringbone to encourage dialogue and put everyone on equal footing.

Ixnay on the PowerPoint-ay 
Woman tapping a tabletLet’s face it: PowerPoint is a great tool for presenters, but can become cumbersome and tired for those sitting in the audience. Throw in an unexpected vehicle to jar people from their reverie. A video or handout—heck, even a song or dance—can break up the monotony and create a lasting
impression. The sky’s the limit.

Dedicate 30 minutes to Q&A
Photo of Tartar Sauce, also known as Grumpy Cat, © Grumpy Cat LimitedSo often the question and answer section of a town hall gets lost or overlooked. Try moving the Q&A up in the agenda, to spark engagement from the beginning. Allow 15 minutes at the start and 15 minutes at the end to get wheels turning and enable employees to ask their burning questions.

Facilitate a breakout
Movie clapboardNothing forces people out of their shell like a moderated breakout session. Have your attendees get into groups or pair up to discuss a question or topic for three minutes. Then solicit feedback from volunteers to find out what was shared.

Go off script
Share your story on a post-itKnock, knock. Who’s there? Encourage speakers to share a personal anecdote or story to create trust and interpersonal connection. Participants will be more engaged when they feel comfortable with the speaker and can identify with him/her as a person.

 

 

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