KEEP YOUR MEETINGS INTERESTING!

No one wants to be bored. Have a plan and leave your audience wanting more. Keep your meetings short and to the point. Make sure you have a member activity so they are involved.

Most branches have informational meetings, which are conducive to a classroom set-up. It’s important to have the subject matter planned and the speaker prepared to present the information. Make sure you have provide time and opportunities to ask questions.

Meetings can also be planning focused or workshop oriented.  A U-shaped set-up is usually best in this situation. These meetings are interactive with discussion and decision making among all attending.

HAVE YOUR AGENDA!

Having a meeting plan is important to keep your meeting focused and on point. It helps to have an agenda that is consistent with each meeting as members have an expectation of what is next and what will be covered.

  • Generally, putting business in between a speaker or break time works. You won’t loose your audience with dull albeit important information.
  • Mixing up your agenda with a plant sale, show and tell and opportunity table is helpful in keeping the energy level up.
  • Workshops are an opportunity for collaboration and mixing members up with each other, creating community and new friendships. 
  • Having a more senior Begonian speak about a favorite begonia, it’s history and attributes is interesting to other members and can be a static agenda item.

Consider interjecting a game from time to time. This is an exceptional way to get your members involved and energized and can be fun! There are lots of quick guessing games that can be found on the internet.  There are lots of Begonia facts that can be used for this idea.

Here are some problem solving techniques:

  1. Have a couple of board members sitting with the general members during the club meeting. 

This keeps a less informal and friendly atmosphere where everyone is equal. Board members can also interject with the people around them to keep private conversation down while a speaker is presenting, which is very disrespectful and distracting to the speaker.

It also doesn’t hurt to remind everyone before someone speaks by saying “Hey guys, next, our Treasurer is going to say a few words about this event, so let’s give him all our attention!!”

  1. Have a board member stand near the door of the room.

This might discourage people from leaving early. Having the VP or someone stand by the door makes it more difficult psychologically to decide to leave, because there is no way to sneak out. This is also helpful because the light switch is often by the door, which comes in handy when the lights need to be flicked on and off to signal a start of a meeting or a new agenda item.

  1. Look for the quiet members.

Make sure to go over before the meeting starts and chat with them. As a board member, your friendship will make them feel included and special.

When you are having people sign up for committees for an event, for example, this is a great time to really hook the shy ones into your club family. Try something like this: “Ok, who wants to be part of decorations? I really need some help! What about you, [insert quiet member name here]? Can I count on you? Let me put you down here!”

Remember, the vocal members are wonderful, but don’t underestimate the talents of the more quiet ones.

  1. Remember details and names of potential members.

This makes people feel welcome and connected.

  1. Make members heads of committees within your club.

Successful clubs make their members feel valued. If you are planning a big event as a club, don’t put all the stress on yourselves as a board. Make committees for decorations, food, etc. Then choose an Board member and one general member to be the heads of each committee.

Never stop thanking members for showing up club meetings, and for all their help. Do everything you can to put each member in the spotlight at some point.

  1. When doing group activities, find ways to really mix it up.

Cliques will inevitably form within your club. Break them up. Pair people together that don’t normally talk. Never make groups by dividing the room: everyone who sat together is already friends. Come up with creative ways to count off into groups.

Everyone should know everyone in your club. It is an opportunity to meet new people, even if you don’t necessarily connect with them at first. The club should feel cohesive, not divided.

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