Despite the moans and groans of those entering the conference room for yet another meeting, it has to be done. The only problem is that half way into a presentation, whether it’s a company update, training program, or general meeting, you get individuals starting to drift; they turn to their notepads to doodle, hop on their phones under the table, or drift off into space.

Holding attention in the conference room can be a difficult task for even the hardened professional. A message can’t fall on deaf ears else the company (or its individuals) could find for some sticky situations when the information can’t be retrieved (or implemented, properly). For this reason it’s vital that the conference room because an area that all eyes (and ears) are at full attention - - and this article will share a few different ways to do just that.

1. Make it comfortable and relaxing

How many times have you gone in for a meeting and you’re stuck sitting in those unforgiving, uncomfortable metal chairs pulled out to make do with the amount of people? It’s never fun.

The meeting could go on for hours, at times, which is why it would be a smart investment in conference room chairs. Not only will the employees (and other attendees) find it comfortable to stick around for the duration of the meeting the those that command the floor can relax knowing that their listeners aren’t squirming and too focused on getting out of the conference room because they’re uncomfortable.

2. Keep it brief

Some managers get into a habit of extending a conference into the wee hours, but this is generally a sign that the individual didn’t plan accordingly nor do they understand the economics of pulling people away from their work.

First, presentations and talks should be brief and to the point. The most important information should be loaded in the front, explained in a rapid manner, and avoid over-complication by reviewing just one specific item that needs to be addressed.

Second, the person in charge needs to understand that every minute that an employee is away from their work is money lost; take that number and multiply it by the amount of people called into the meeting and one would quickly realize how much is at a loss because so many aren’t at their station.

In all, topics need to be discussed as if they were on a short timer. Get people in, get them informed, and get them on their way.

3. Understand the audience and their “ticks”

It’s equally important to understand the individuals showing up the meeting on a personal level to know what “ticks” they may have that could stop them from paying attention. Some of the employees may not have received an ample amount of sleep because they burned the midnight oil working on a project for the company; others may have a big event happening in their lives that’s pulling their attention away from the presentation.

Take the time and get to know each individual that would be called into the meeting; give notes and a quick overview of what was discussed if they appear too far removed to concentrate during the meeting as it may cause others to become distracted, too.

Managing Distractions like a Pro

Each employee that you come in contact with has variable levels in their attention span and placed in a close quarters where the presentation goes on for hours upon hours can bring that attention to a complete halt. Understanding the employees, getting to the point, and creating a comfortable environment through a small investment can do wonders for keeping employees happy and informed which will make your job so much easier on a day-to-day basis.

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