Speed Meeting 101: How to Use Speed Dating Techniques to Spice Up Corporate Meetings
How do you improve the efficiency of your meetings?Learn how to spice them up with speed meeting tips and tricks 101.
Hand on heart: Sometimes you think the meeting you just attended was a waste of time, don’t you?
If so, you’re not alone.
People in offices all over the world are having more meetings than they’ve ever had before.
Managers spend about 40-50% of their time in meetings and employees close to 30%. So it’s not surprising to hear that we have meetings too frequently, for too long, and with too little output.
So how can you avoid a meeting turning into a round of rambling or becoming an excuse to show off, instead of pushing your team forward?
And how can you drag people out of their habitual way of thinking by freshening up the meeting?
Our proposal is slightly unconventional, but delivers tangible results: spicing up your meetings. Read on for our ready-to-use speed meeting tips.
What is corporate speed dating?
Speed dating is when lots of people meet in a short amount of time.
Well, that one’s obvious: To meet people and see who’s right for you. In a romantic sense, of course.
But strip away the romance and you get a very effective technique to connect with others.
In the corporate world, speed meeting is a valuable tool for meetings to meet a large number of your colleagues in the shortest amount of time.
- Provides an icebreaker for connecting with colleagues
- Makes introductions easier
- Releases tension and discomfort
Corporate speed dating (aka speed meeting) has been used since companies have realized that lengthy introductions are, generally speaking, the biggest offenders.
But with the rise of remote working, there’s another culprit that’s been causing leaders a lot of grief: Meetings.
If we were to carry out a poll right now, how many times would you say you’ve sat in an hour-long meeting that could have easily been summarized in a two-second email?
Or, how often have you drifted away during a Zoom meeting because it simply didn't concern you?
Just like corporate speed dating, applying speed meetings will help streamline your organization, while still creating those very important touchpoints that people have with one another.
Streamlined, scalable, and making things simple – that’s what every manager wants, right?
So how do you spice up your meeting?
Speed meeting 101: Spice it up with these 3 steps!
At Krauthammer, we like to practice real-playing. Meaning, our programs are all about letting you practice scenarios out so that you are equipped with the tools and mindset to perform these scenarios in real-life.
Therefore, rather than tell you how to carry out speed meetings 101, we want to show you.
So, imagine you’re setting up a room for a speed meeting.
Here are three steps you can use from breaking the ice, to keeping the attention of your team.
1. Speed meeting icebreaker
If you don’t want the meeting to take much time or effort, just take the chairs away.
Standing meetings are on average 34% shorter and bring better results. Everyone is involved, no one can hide behind a laptop or scribble circles in a notebook.
That’s an easy win.
Another simple trick: Reverse the order of the agenda and start with the last agenda point. People will immediately be more attentive.
Speed meeting icebreakers are also a great way to, well, break the ice and instantly create some warmth between you and the participants. This will fill the air with some energy and, if executed well, will have a great influence on the rest of the meeting.
2. Speed dating for business
Just like speed dating, leveraging this technique for business is perfect if you’re preparing a longer meeting for a team that only sees each other occasionally or is perhaps meeting for the first time.
- Divide the participants into groups. Have each group sit at a table (the center of the room remains free, tables and chairs are close to the walls, with paper and colored pencils on the table).
- Ask the participants to create a mind-map about themselves (Who am I?). Give them three minutes to draw their mind-map using colors, images, and printed words. You’re in charge of keeping time.
- After this, each participant presents their (complete) mind-map to the colleague sitting next to him. He has one minute to do this, then it’s his colleague’s turn.
- Now ask everyone to stand up and walk around the room. After your stop signal, instruct them to form a new pair with the person standing next to them. They then have 30 seconds to explain the mind-map to each other.
- Last Round: Same procedure as above. Your last instruction will be to present the mind-map in three minutes each.
You can also use speed dating with topics directly linked to the goal of your meeting. Just adapt the initial question however you like.
Some example questions for sales executives:
- How can we improve the effectiveness of our sales process?
- What KPIs and metrics should we measure for success?
- How should our department look one year from now?
3. Keep your participants involved
Long presentations kill people’s concentration and productivity quickly. So if you’re afraid they may nod off, get them involved in your presentation. This way they stay focused and important ideas will be highlighted.
Here’s a fun way we like to do this:
Show a flip chart with six questions (if you have a big group, hang posters on the wall as well). Explain that one participant will roll the dice and answer the question corresponding to the number on the dice. If number 1 is rolled, question one will be answered.
- The game starts after you have been presenting for about 10 – 15 minutes. One participant rolls the dice and answers the question. Don’t add any comments and if you have to, make it short. Carry out this activity quickly!
- The participant then passes the dice to someone else who rolls the dice again and answers the corresponding question.
Our tip would be max 4-6 rolls per micro-interruption. The questions should always be related to the last 10-15 minutes of your presentation.
The productivity of a meeting also depends on how comfortable people are with each other. If they feel comfortable, they will be more open to sharing ideas and engaging in a real dialogue.
Icebreakers and other fast, energizing group activities help you provide a positive atmosphere.
For many, speed dating for meetings is a super effective technique to know your peers in a short amount of time. Efficiency, here, is the golden word.
And with the future of work looking more remote and (potentially) less connected, managers need to find ways to optimize processes in the most human way.
Speed meetings are one way you can do this. For more ways, get in touch with Krauthammer. It’s our mission to train you and your mindset to be efficient, successful, and, most importantly, human.