When the going gets tough people need inspiration and information more than ever. Traditionally, keynote speakers have done a great job in helping organizations with growth, engagement, and messaging. Not only have they been conduits of inspiration and motivation, but being experts in specific fields, they really provide timely and much needed information for professional growth. However, change is part of life and we find ourselves in a period of tremendous change and uncertainty. So, what do we do to inform, inspire and empower our groups and teams in today’s world?
In the age of Coronavirus and our efforts to stop the spread through social distancing, many U.S. workers will be working remotely. Remote working has been in place for many companies for quite some time as the workforce has become more globalized and talent is spread out throughout the world. Now, more than ever, it is important to look at ways we can make remote work be less troublesome and actually beneficial for us in these interesting times.
Even though we don’t see one another face to face doesn’t mean we can’t schedule regular, daily connections. Tools like Skype and GoToMeeting actually help us to see one another and therefore connect on a level that phone conversations don’t allow. Avoid impromptu meetings. People tend to feel more connected if there are scheduled meetings. Many of us rely on emails and texts, but nothing is more important than picking up the phone and actually talking to someone. Remote work doesn’t have to be isolating.
Brahim Jaouane, a digital marketing specialist says, “one of the most important rules of remote working is to preserve team spirit, so you need to talk often with your managers and colleagues. He suggests, making an effort to say hello each morning, sharing a virtual coffee in a video conference, and always reassure people that you are available and involved at any time.
Most importantly, if you are resorting to remote work due to the health risks of the social spread of the coronavirus, reassure teammates that this is only temporary and soon they will be back together again as a team. Staying positive is critical in crisis situations. It’s not reducing the crisis, it’s reducing the fear and panic. Just maybe, you will learn through this process that remote work can be very productive, in the long run, by incorporating a few simple measures.
Check out our youtube site to get some tips and strategies for remote working from tech and innovation speaker, Julie Holmes!
So, we are in the meeting business, and we know that meetings can be powerful platforms for organizational success and growth. They are opportunities to exchange ideas through hearing from some of today’s greatest thought leaders that can inspire and motivate individuals and organizations to take the next steps toward greater success. Great meetings can also be conduits to share the organizational objectives and recognize the positive efforts of the entire team. But, in reference to the sometimes daily, non-productive meetings that are a waste of everyone’s time, we need to take a look at how they are not achieving the best outcomes for the organization. We think there is value in looking at the non-stop meetings in relationship to the larger annual meetings and conferences. Both, if they are not well-planned, well-orchestrated and well-evaluated and then re-structured, are simply a waste of time and energy for everyone.
When my children were younger, when someone asked them what their dad did, they would always say, “He goes to meetings.” To them that was all he did. They didn’t realize that ideas and planning require buy in and without meeting with colleagues, clients, and management, people can’t be on the same page. However, as Steven G. Rogelberg says in his book, The Surprising Science of Meetings, “ Meetings are essential to teams and organizations.” Rogelberg is on a mission to fix the bad meetings that waste our time, bore us to death, and frustrate success.
I think we are all for fixing bad meetings. If we have to attend them, then let’s look at ways to respect other’s time and make them more efficient and engaging. According to Rogelberg, it really is up to the leader of the meeting to improve the quality of the meeting. He suggests asking the team what he or she is doing well in the meetings, what’s not working and what can be done differently. Asking people to weigh in on meeting effectiveness can change the entire experience for everyone.
The leader can change and create a positive, more effective meeting though what Rogelberg calls separation, standing and shrink. Separation is setting the stage and creating warmth, and presence, by recognizing the value each person brings to the meeting. When people enter the room, they feel welcomed and visibly notice the energy created by the leader. Standing refers to “ditching the chairs.” Simply put, sit down meetings take longer than standing meetings. It all comes down to respecting people’s time. Finally, shrinking the meeting size. The more non-essential people, the less productive. Have a rule that you don’t include “spectators.”
I can see a world where people are actually excited about going to a meeting. Through reading Rogelberg’s science-based research, we can make meetings more effective and welcoming for all.
Call us to arrange a conference with Professor Rogelberg!
The Value of a Speakers Bureau to You
Do you think you are saving time and money by doing the work of finding a speaker yourself?
Do you trust the Internet as a source of knowledge over an expert?
The answer to both is a resounding NO and here’s why:
Some years ago, when SNW was just starting out, I had a client who called to book a speaker she had seen a few years earlier. “Well, this is too easy,” I thought. I didn’t have to do any research at all. I called the speaker, made all the arrangements and seemingly created a perfect match for client, speaker and the event. Once the meeting had concluded, the client called, a bit disappointed, and shared that the speaker had not changed the message, not one bit since the last time she has seen him speak. Fortunately, I was able to have the opportunity to serve her again by suggesting a great speaker, and that time she was incredibly pleased. I got lucky!
The real takeaway from this experience is for the speaker as well as for the bureau. Speakers must continue to grow their message and resist taking the easy route of a memorized speech. Just because someone has heard a specific speaker’s keynote, doesn’t mean they want to hear the same message over and over. It’s great for speakers to have an incredible story that defines who they are and is critical to their presentations, but their purpose is to help the audience understand the objectives set up by the meeting planner. The best speakers know it’s not about them, it’s about the audience.
SNW also learned something important: When a client asks for a speaker they have already heard, we make sure to ask the speaker if his/her presentation has been updated since the client last heard them speak. Clients want to trust speakers to put as much time into perfecting their message as they do in planning the meeting.
A really great bureau has their client’s back and asks the right questions ensuring the best meeting possible.
Call today for SNW’s expert speaker suggestions!