Twenty ways to liven up your meetings



We all rely heavily on meetings to communicate with one another, resolve problems, share ideas, negotiate deals – but when they don’t work, they can be worse than useless. This half-day workshop will help you put more life into your meetings, so that everyone gets more out of them.

Training objectives

Participants will acquire a range of tools and techniques to help them:
  • Structure their courses to maximise the opportunity for interaction, enjoyment and involvement
  • Use creative short-cuts to generate ideas
  • Use creative ice-breakers, energisers and summary exercises for stronger openings and endings
  • Rejuvenate established meeting formats with a new exciting ‘make-over’ using a unique seven-step approach


All staff who need to run meetings, at whatever level.


A highly interactive half-day course involving practical exercises and case studies.

The expert trainer

Graham has been designing and delivering high-quality training programmes on management techniques, personal development, sales and customer service  for many years. A top-performing sales professional, he was Managing Director of Sales Productivity and Development for Thomson Financial, helping develop a large European sales force, and now runs his own very successful training consultancy.

His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, his client list including such organisations as BT, Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Apple, Sony, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others. In addition he has written over twenty books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tacticsand Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

‘Very good… contained everything we do on a regular basis and problems we have come across… the exercises made it very interesting too.’

Course outline

  1. Introduction
    • Objectives and timings
    • Personal learning aims
  2. Structuring your meeting to maximise the opportunity for interaction, fun and involvement
    • Attention with retention; structuring and pacing your meeting using the latest findings in educational psychology
    • Methods for creating a meeting environment conducive to maximum participation
    • Discussion forum: What makes for a good event?; getting the right balance between process and personality
    • Working smarter; engaging different parts of the brain; how the brain reacts to stimuli
    • ‘How do you know that you don’t know?’; the three Cs – Competence, Consciousness and Comfort zones; how new understandings of the human brain can help you generate better results in a meeting room
  3. Creative short-cuts to generating ideas, designing, and using meeting and learning exercises and activities
    • The Magnificent Seven – seven simple yet highly effective exercises that you can adapt easily and use instantly to liven up almost any meeting
    • Best practice and top tips in facilitating meeting exercises and activities
    • Question and answer session
  4. Openings and endings – creative ice-breakers, energisers and summary exercises
    • Idea swap: favourite ways to start a meeting, event or presentation
    • Five proven session-starters and ice-breakers using humour, movement and activity
    • Discussion forum: Evaluating meeting effectiveness and results; encouraging transfer from your meeting to the workplace; ways to overcome the challenge of the ‘graveyard’ shift
    • End of meeting quizzes and summary activities
  5. How to revive and revitalise your established meetings with a new, exciting ‘make-over’ using a unique seven-step approach
    • Create a compelling meeting title
    • Create an ‘event promise’ and convert meeting objectives into personal benefits for participants
    • Check your openings and timings
    • Change the meeting environment
    • Halve your presentation and leave gaps in your meeting for ‘spontaneous’ meeting
    • Use new stories, examples and case studies
    • Introduce one new exercise or activity per 90 minute session
    • Case-study: A variety of examples will be used to apply the above principles to different types of meeting that may be considered difficult to make interesting and more lively, eg, senior management briefings
  6. Summary and action plans
    • Question and answer session
    • Summary of learning points
    • Personal action plans

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