There’s nothing worse than a boring meeting. An executive is droning on, flipping through a lifeless PowerPoint presentation, while his employees are battling against the urge to fall asleep. It doesn’t have to be that way. Technology has brought us a ton of handy products to make meetings easier and more fun.
Here are some of the latest and coolest tools.
The most irritating part of a meeting can often be scheduling it, especially when it involves a lot of people. If your office runs on Gmail, you’re in luck. Google’s Smart Rescheduler does the task for you. Just choose your attendees, time frame, and the latest possible date for the meeting, and this amazing tool will handle the rest. It analyzes everyone’s Google calendars to give you a list of the best meeting times and even lets you prioritize attendees.
Just ask any college student with a digitally savvy professor. Anything from a horticulture lecture to a meeting about synergy can be spiced up with an interactive whiteboard. These dynamic tools can show off videos, slideshows, pictures, websites and more. You can write on anything with digital ink and even save your work. Best of all, you don’t need to mess with complicated controls or a remote. All work can be done with the touch of your finger.
For those without the budget or technological resources for a smartboard, an interactive projector is a great substitute. Epson’s BrightLink, for example, has many of the same interactive functions as their whiteboard counterparts (including wireless internet) and doesn’t require the extra software that a smartboard does. Turning meetings into engaging multimedia presentations just got a lot simpler.
In an ideal office where everyone has an iPad, the Meeting Mngr app is perfect. Presenters can easily share documents and presentations with attendees. Participants, in return, can take notes, offer feedback, and ask questions without interrupting the presenter. The lack of interruptions alone should take a nice chunk off of meeting lengths.
5. The Twitter conference
Don’t have time or space to hold an in-person meeting? Do it over Twitter. Creating a Twitter account takes two minutes, as does creating hashtags—anything with a "#" in front of it. All you have to do is let your coworkers know about the conference and invite them to share ideas. Just make sure everyone adds the hashtag to the end of his or her tweets. When you click on the hashtag, it will give you a full list of what everyone is saying, self-updating as people respond. You can even address a specific person by @replying to his or her account.