How to Conduct Productive Meetings

How to Conduct Productive Meetings

Entering last summer I had planned a hefty speaking schedule. I figured since I had two months free, I could really work on some things to improve my delivery. The way things worked out, however, I did not speak nearly as much as I had thought I would.

I kept that in mind as I prepared for this summer. Even so, I scheduled a fairly heavy speaking schedule. As the summer progressed, I began pushing back a few things. But then my sister visited. She expressed a desire to hear me speak. That helped get me back on track. I know why I began slowing down . . . I approached a speech I was not looking forward to delivering.

I did everything I could to not prepare for this thing. My niche is storytelling. This speech is nothing like storytelling. I am completing another educational award for Toastmasters. One of the requirements is to lead training of some sort. There are many options for this requirement. After mulling it over, I opted to deliver the program How to Conduct Productive Meetings. The thing is, this is a scripted presentation. No, I do not have speak for an hour+ word-for-word, but the content is scripted as are the activities the participants are to do. Ugh!

Eventually, I got around to getting serious about this. The presentation was to take place in Williamstown (Free Library and Reading Room–Williamstown Memorial Library). I do not like to use foreign technology. Yes, there is a PowerPoint that is recommended to accompany this presentation. I do not have a projector so I look for alternatives to boring slide presentations. In the past, I have employed an artist to create my visuals on chart paper that I then display on an easel. This has worked so well I have received many compliments. But it is summer and I am looking to not spend needlessly. I had planned to write my own charts. Then I got the idea I could have Staples blow up the slides in black-and-white to my liking. It was a bit more expensive than I thought, but it worked very well.

This evening I delivered this presentation. It went pretty well. Other than being in a historical building with no air conditioning, I am rather pleased with it. I handled the Q&A well. There was valuable feedback.

It has finally hit me: I am done that presentation. I am thrilled! There’s just one more “normal” speech to deliver to be done. Then I concentrate on my big leadership project. Originally, I had planned to really be much further along with that by now, but it didn’t happen. I am okay with that. Part of leadership is adjusting timelines as needed. Summers are much busier than I often think.

Woo hoo! The big bad speech is dead. 🙂

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