Make Your Slack Meetings Memorable
Meetings. We can’t get rid of them yet we can’t live without them. We’ve had them all. Budget, standups, brainstorming, weekly, retrospective, annual reviews, even meetings for meetings. The unproductive ones, the formal ones, the short and sweet ones, the ones that drag on, the big ones, the one-on-ones. But what about the memorable ones? Have you ever had memorable meetings? Find here some useful tips and tricks to make impactful Slack meetings.
Why a meeting?
One way to have memorable meetings is to have less of them! The workspace provided by Slack allows for effective work conversations and project management, making some meetings less relevant or necessary. For example, if a meeting only requires a passive attention from participants, like updates about group insurance changes or other announcements about the summer schedule, a simple message would suffice instead of a meeting. Another example that does not require a meeting is a FAQ among the staff that can be quickly resolved with a short answer. If meetings cannot be avoided, take a moment to think about the rationale for holding a meeting. What is the meeting for? What purpose will it serve? Should anything be said or resolved? What needs to happen or be conveyed via a Slack meeting? Since a meeting implies or requires more or less a group of individuals to be gathered together at the same time and place to cover specific topics, what is it about the meeting structure that cannot be carried out some other way? Figuring out the importance or meaningfulness of the event will be helpful for planning a memorable meeting.
Tips: Repeat and highlight important messages. Share a final summary slide.
Slack meetings are a great format for memorable meetings and the possibilities are endless. The online platform has so many features to accomodate many useful tools to keep track of agendas, schedule meetings and availabilities, show presentations, prepare graphs and charts, performance results, videos, highlight key points, capture live data such as polls and comments, take notes, FAQs, invite guests, share screens, and so much more, without leaving Slack. Apps and bots like Zoom, Bluejeans, Kyber, Evernote, and hundreds more help you organize and hold effective meetings with actionable conversations.
Now that you have decided to have a meeting from the first set of questions, the key to having a memorable one is through planning. What’s on the agenda? In what order should it be presented? Come up with an easy-to-follow structure. Before the meeting starts, record it and name parts or sections of the meeting based on the topics being discussed or use keywords your teams will recognize to make content archive easily searchable afterwards when they need to refer back to it.
Tips: Make use of available Slack apps and bots to organize memorable meetings. Name meetings by relevant keywords.
Know your audience and plan your meetings accordingly. Are they more visual? Do they prefer hands-on demonstrations? And do they process information by talking things through? Do they light up when discussing data and numbers? You have access to plenty of online tools available to design eye-catching slide shows with sound animations and slick charts. Since Slack supports multimedia, why not make discussions light and snappy with sharing the occasional YouTube videos, emoji reactions and GIFs with Giphy.
Tips: Cater meetings to your audience and engage the senses
Cool bots exist in the universe of Slack to help you schedule meetings. Bots like Geekbot, Standup Alice, Robin, and so much more assist your team to coordinate meetings in Slack. If bots are not your cup of tea, other programs like calendar apps can sync with your teams to better manage your scheduling, bookings, and RSVPs to invites.
Tips: Make sure people are available to attend your meeting.
Everyone at the meeting should take part. Making a meeting more engaging means engaging its participants. The presence of each of them matter, so they all contribue to the meeting. Changing speakers is also a welcomed change of pace, voice and energy. Another strategy is to break meetings in smaller groups to work on specific issues. The dynamic of a meeting may certainly differ in group size, although the platform for Slack meetings works for any team big and small.
Tips: Encourage input from every participant. Check in on them every 10 minutes or so.
It depends on the kind of meeting. Some meetings take full days while others take only two minutes. Be aware of people’s valuable time. Participants may have short attention span, or get impatient, or hungry, or bored. If it drags on for too long, like over an hour, the meeting might not be as productive as in the beginning. Stick to the duration you have planned for or end it earlier, or plan for another meeting session.
Tips: The shorter the better.
One sure way of making a meeting memorable is to rewatch the recorded meeting multiple times! But be sure to remember to record the meeting beforehand. At the end of the meeting, if needed, summarize and revisit the key points on what’s been discussed or decided upon to make sure everybody remembers what’s important and is on the same page before you all reconvene for the next meeting.
Tips: Record and replay meetings. End meetings on actionable next steps.
These rules of thumb seem obvious but are worth reminding. Choose a neutral, clean, quiet and well lit background. Speaking of backgrounds, switch it up uploading different pictures to keep visuals interesting. Dress appropriately and smile. Mute yourself if you are not the speaker. If you are the speaker, look at the camera instead of the screen. Focus on the meeting instead of multitasking. People notice distraction. Use a laptop instead of a mobile. A moving camera induces headaches. Test out and adjust your audio and video settings.
Bonus tips: Make sure you don’t miss a thing by setting up a meeting reminder in the appropriate channel: /remind [me/@person/#channel] to [reminder] at/on [time/date]
For more Slack tips, check out the Slack section of our blog.
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.