Let’s dive into the world of meetings.
Last week, we had a Speaking Practice Session with our students where we talked about productive meetings. One of the struggles that our students face is staying focused in meetings.
Do you find it hard to stay focused in meetings, too?
A meeting is the usual setting where you collaborate, review, problem-solve, build teams, and make important decisions.
And if you’re constantly finding yourself feeling anxious, distracted, confused—or even worse—sleepy in meetings, this can be very frustrating.
To be honest, I used to struggle to focus in meetings as well. Yes, as much as I’d hate to admit it, I used to find myself feeling sleepy in meetings as well (especially when the lights were turned off to use the LCD projector).
Although I think that had a lot to do with me not getting enough sleep back then.
But I realise that this is no longer a struggle for me, so I thought it’d be great to share how you can stay focused in meetings, too.
Besides getting enough sleep each night, which is also very important, I share eight more tips in the latest episode of our podcast.
Listen to the episode here.
Here are the eight tips that I discuss in the episode.
1. Review and prepare
Familiarise yourself with the meeting agenda and any relevant materials in advance to better understand the topics to be discussed.
2. Set clear goals
Identify your specific goals for the meeting, whether it’s contributing to a particular topic or gaining insights on certain issues.
3. Listen actively
Listen actively to what others are saying, and avoid multitasking. Give your full attention to the discussion to better understand and respond effectively. Turn off unnecessary notifications on your devices.
4. Participate actively and ask questions
Contribute to the conversation by sharing your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
Clarify any points of confusion by asking questions. This not only demonstrates your engagement but also ensures a thorough understanding of the topics discussed.
5. Take brief notes
Capture key points, action items, or questions during the meeting. Note-taking helps reinforce your focus and provides a reference for follow-up discussions.
6. Be mindful of time
Be mindful of the meeting schedule and contribute to keeping the discussion on track. Avoid dwelling on one topic for too long to ensure that all agenda items are covered.
7. Visualise key points
Create mental images or visualisations of key points discussed during the meeting. This can help reinforce your understanding and retention of important information.
8. Reflect and summarise
Take a moment at the end of the meeting to reflect on the key takeaways. Summarise the main points in your mind or, if appropriate, share a brief recap with the group.
So there you have it—eight strategies for participants to master focus in meetings.
Remember, the more engaged and focused you are, the more impactful and enjoyable your discussions will be.