Organizational Development Consultant

20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #18 Music

March 1, 2014

“Sometimes I think that the energy swings in my meetings are due to the lack of diversity in my facilitation. And this sameness becomes a source of tedium for my participants. What can I do to change the atmosphere and the pace or create a different mood in my meetings?”

18. Music

What Is Music?

Music is another technique designed to keep your meeting group’s energy high. Music can set the stage for increased creativity and productivity by a simple change of mood. Well planned, Music alters the ambience and tone of a meeting, thereby changing its pace and sparking the interest and attention of your participants. This reenergizes your group and provides an atmosphere that helps participants remain productive and mentally refreshed over longer periods of time.

When to Use Music

  • When you want to change the atmosphere to help you reinforce a point
  • When you want people to relax and focus on your meeting
  • When you want to emphasize a theme or point
  • When you want to review material in a different way

How to Use Music

Use Music before the meeting and during breaks.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

Select music that will suit your audience and support the mood you want to create. Think about the diversity of participants in your meeting and choose music that will appeal to the majority. Prepare to bring appropriate music to the meeting, either on your laptop or otherwise. Instrumental music tends to be better because lyrics may distract conversations and thoughts.

IN THE MEETING:

1. Turn the music on as you are setting up for the meeting and as each break begins.

2. When you stop the music, it signifies that the meeting is ready to begin.

Use Music during the meeting to introduce, emphasize, or reinforce a point or issue.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

1. Select a piece of lyrical or instrumental music that literally or emotionally underscores a planned agenda item or piece of information.

2. If possible, bring a broad selection of Music with you to your meetings. This will enable you to improvise with this technique as the situation presents itself. Music can help to cool tempers, negate conflict, introduce humor, stimulate optimism, and awaken creativity.

IN THE MEETING:

Play the Music during the appropriate part of your agenda.

OPTION: Let the participants select or create a theme song for a specific project or for their group. They may want to alter the words to an existing song to suit their purposes.

Use Music along with visual aids as a review or summary.

This can be done at the completion of the day, the beginning of a subsequent day, or at the end of a project.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

1. Select a piece of Music that will be generally pleasing to your audience and appropriate for your review.

2. Sequentially prepare the visual aids, such as charts, graphs, slides, and overheads that you will use in the review.

3. Decide how to best display your visual aids. These could be displayed throughout the room, but using the overhead projector in the front of the room will give you more control.

4. Practice your timing and sequencing with the actual music you will use during your meeting.

IN THE MEETING:

1. Prepare the group for the summary. You might say, for example: “We are going to review the highlights of yesterday’s planning meeting using music as a backdrop. This review will remind us of where we left off and prepare us for our next agenda item, which is prioritizing the decisions we made.”

2. Start the music and begin your review, using your overheads, charts, and other graphics. Present the material in a way that leads your participants through the information you are reviewing.

NOTE: Remember to keep it quick and simple. Let the Music and visuals speak for themselves. You will not need a voice-over.

3. Turn off the Music when you finish the summary.

Summary

Music is a technique designed to keep meeting energy high. It changes the mood, allows your participants to better prepare and concentrate, and creates diversity in your presentation of information.

Use Music before meetings and during breaks.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

Select the appropriate Music for your audience.

DURING THE MEETING:

1. Turn on the Music as you set up for the meeting or begin a break.

2. Turn off the Music when you want the meeting to begin or reconvene.

Use Music to introduce, emphasize, or reinforce a point or issue.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

1. Select music that underscores a planned agenda item or piece of information.

2. Plan to bring a broad selection of Music so you will be able to improvise based on the situation.

DURING THE MEETING:

Play the Music during the appropriate part of your agenda.

Use Music with visual aids as a review or summary technique.

BEFORE THE MEETING:

1. Select the appropriate piece of Music.

2. Sequentially prepare the visual aids that you will use in the review.

3. Decide how to best display this material to the group.

4. Practice your timing and sequencing with the actual music you will use during your meeting.

DURING THE MEETING:

1. Prepare your meeting group for the summary.

2. Start the music and begin your review as planned.

3. Turn the Music off when you finish the summary.

—————

NOTE:  If you would like to receive e-mail notification when I post additional techniques, please sign up through this link.   http://eepurl.com/KILan  You may unsubscribe at any time.

One Response to 20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #18 Music

Leave a Reply