Non-participation in project meetings

You have gathered your whole team for a meeting. It is important to get them all in a room from time to time but that is a lot of people. You’ve had to hire a cinema or conference hall.

You want it to be engaging but you don’t seem to have all their attention. You know your presentation skills are OK and that they are interested to hear what you have to say because they asked you to explain this bit.

Could it be that the online participation rule is similar to your big audience?

Jakob Nielsen found that user participation in online forum (e.g. wikipedia) generally follows a 90-9-1 Rule:

  • 90% of users are “lurkers” (they sit back and listen but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute occasionally
  • 1% of users participate and make most of the contributions

Is the same happening to you?  In which case, how will you make sure your message is followed up and understood? How will you get the participation you need?

Recent research (Dylan Wiliam, deputy director of the London University Institute for Education) suggests that children putting up their hands in school class disengages others.  So teachers are being encouraged to get all the class to participate by having everyone to write their answers on personal whiteboards and then hold them up after everyone has finished writing. Some conferences use electronic voting systems to get a response from the audience. One TV programme uses coloured cards for the audience to wave and vote.

What can you do to involve your team and avoid death by Powerpoint?

About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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