Hosting an Effective Meeting with a Whiteboard Wall
Holding a successful business meeting is a bit like landing a space module on the planet Mars. Keeping track of the seemingly infinite variables involved in the process appears hopeless, and conducting the perfect team gathering never seems to work out quite as you had planned. But unproductive company meetings aren’t as inevitable as they may seem. With the right communication tools and a touch of inspiration, you can conduct the meeting of your dreams every time you and your team members get together. One such communication tool is the premium whiteboard wall, which offers a highly durable and virtually endless space for presenting facts, expressing opinions, and coming up with creative ideas for product launches, marketing schemes, and the like.
Make meetings a team activity
To have your meetings become more than personal lectures by you, the organizer, it’s a good idea to take regular advantage of the distinctive viewpoints, experiences, and skillsets of your team members at all of your business get-togethers. Doing so can provide you with great opportunities to make your meetings more efficient, collaborative, and worthwhile, thus enhancing your company’s creativity, productivity, and bottom line.
Organize a Discussion
With the appropriate organization and guidance, collective dialog can bring about a more engaging meeting and generate more new and unique solutions to problems than a traditional lecture, even when a question-and-answer session is included. Devoting a specific segment of your meeting schedule to a brainstorming session is an excellent way to stimulate such group dialog. As the meeting coordinator, your job is to outline the goals of the session and to work in conjunction with your team to expand on ideas they come up with during the brainstorming process. With small groups, it’s easy to encourage free conversation among all the members present, but with large groups, it’s difficult. Thus, it’s more effective to separate the participants in a large meeting into smaller clusters then reunite them after a specific time period to discuss everyone’s ideas in the large group context.
Use Your Whiteboard Wall to Practice “Brainwriting”
Brainstorming is a key part of meetings where top-quality whiteboard-coated walls come into play. For both small and large gatherings, the quality of group discussions can be optimized by using the vast canvas of a whiteboard wall. In smaller meetings, a massive whiteboard wall provides ample room for everyone in attendance to brainstorm together through the use of mind maps, free association, and a host of other methods. In large meetings, however, it’s best to make use of the ample writing area of a whiteboard wall by first dividing the participants into small groups then asking them to use different segments of the wall to record their individual brainstorming ideas.
One novel brainstorming approach that’s popular today is known as “brainwriting.” In this partially nonverbal method, the participants use pieces of paper to write down three original ideas related to the session’s topic. Then after a designated number of minutes, the team members pass their ideas to the individuals on their right, who build from these ideas, adding bullet points, new creative approaches, etc. Next, after another several minutes, all the participants pass the pieces of paper again until the papers have gone all the way around the group. Once the ideas have made it completely around the circle, the participants deliberate and choose which ones are best suited for further discussion.
By ensuring that everyone has a chance to contribute and by removing the common bias favoring the first idea presented, this strategy helps alleviate two of brainstorming’s most significant drawbacks — lop-sided conversations and the anchoring effect, whereby people rely too much on the first piece of information presented to draw subsequent conclusions during the decision making process.
Brainwriting can be even more effectively performed on the vast open surface of a whiteboard wall. Instead of using small pieces of paper to write down ideas related to the session’s topic, participants can write their thoughts on separate sections of the whiteboard wall in large lettering for all to see. Then after a set number of minutes, each team member can move to a different part of the wall and build on the ideas written by the previous writer, adding as much creative input as they want. Next, after another few minutes, the participants move again until they’ve given their input on all the sections of the wall written on by the group. Finally, now that the initial three ideas and subsequent contributions of all the participants have been posted on the wall, the group can review one another’s thoughts and choose those that are the most interesting and worthy of further discussion.
In such an exercise, compared to the cramped writing spaces of notepaper, the vast area of a whiteboard wall promotes more intensive levels of creative thought. Individuals tend to feel freer to express their novel ideas when confronted by the large open-ended surface of a whiteboard wall. Also, using a smooth-flowing dry erase marker as opposed to a small pen also tends to stimulate people to freely bring forth whatever is on their minds. These qualities can be of great benefit in practicing brainwriting because having much more space to write on in much larger letters tends to trigger ideas that might not arise when a person is confined to using 8 ½” by 11” notepaper as a writing surface.
Make Use of Free Association aka Rapid Ideation
In rapid ideation, meeting participants write down all the ideas that come to mind in a designated amount of time before anything is discussed, analyzed, or expanded upon. When practicing this brainstorming technique, you’ll have to establish a time limit, or else you’ll risk losing the feeling of urgency among your team members.
This brainstorming technique can be helpful in avoiding the common problem of having an idea shelved before it has a chance to grow and develop. By letting all meeting attendees bring forth their thoughts before any critiquing begins, rapid ideation eliminates the premature quashing of potentially great ideas and lets them flow out without constraints. The time limit can also help to prevent people from talking themselves out of an idea before they even begin sharing it with others—a frequent brainstorming mistake.
Use Your Whiteboard Wall as a Medium for Visual Aids
Including finely crafted visual components in your meeting presentations can enhance communications with team members, making them feel more engaged and interested in the content you present. Employing well-produced slides and other high-quality visual media such as films and diagrams can help participants to better comprehend and feel involved with your material, and a whiteboard wall is an ideal surface on which to perform such visual work. Designing and conducting graphic presentations are becoming increasingly essential tasks for doing business in today’s high-tech world of telecommuting and virtual communications.
Record All Significant Ideas and Input for Current and Future Reference
When you do a virtual meeting presentation, you should make a habit of writing down all the significant ideas and data put forward by the attendees on your whiteboard coated wall for all your team members to view and provide feedback on as the meeting progresses. Then you can erase and add more textual content and visuals whenever fresh ideas and information come up. The large dimensions and easy visibility of the content on your whiteboard wall will enhance the quality of your presentations, your communications with team members, and your team’s note-taking during virtual meetings, thus helping you to develop your individual brand and professional persona and boost your company’s productivity and profits. Then, after your virtual meetings are finished, you can take pictures of the results that you and the team members produced on the whiteboard wall and send them to the participants and other relevant parties for future reference and input.