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Mastering the Town Hall Meeting

nälive! @AliveWithldeas How to MASTER the TOWN HALL MEETING The town hall meeting: An informal public meeting, function, or event derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Typically open to everybody in a community, attendees present ideas, voice their opinions and ask questions. They form a cornerstone of many strategies and work effectively when planned and managed well. It's important to allow a natural flow and for authentic dialogue to shine, so audience participation is essential. ROLL UP, ROLL UP, as we go behind the scenes of the town hall extravaganza. RINGMASTER RULES CLOWNING AROUND... Set the stage... See your town hall as the start of conversations - not the end Don't read from a script - town halls should be informal and shouldn't appear scripted Everybody's welcome! Allow the agenda to be proposed by all Avoid relying on visual prompts. PowerPoint slides are fine if used correctly - minimal information and prompts to illustrate, not replace messages. Keep presentations short and concise Invite questions to be submitted in advance - particularly from remote locations Focus on the main attraction. Have clear objectives and ensure all presenters understand thegoal and their audience Don't judge or ridicule any question Keep the event alive by blogging about it afterwards Don't talk at employees - it should be a two-way conversation, not a lecture Build excitement and bring on the ballyhoo! - promote the event in advance using internal social media (assign a unique hashtag), Remember: there's nothing wrong with going away and returning with the answer - but set expectations and don't make things up intranet and other channels. Post short videos of presenters touching on the subjects that Don't neglect remote employees - stream the event live or set up a videoconference so everyone can will be discussed participate. Offer an easy way to pose questions Pay attention to the language used - avoid unnecessaryjargon Don't leave out those who couldn't attend - a video summarising the main points would be ace, posted on the intranet and highlighted in internal publications that won't be universally understood Include tabletop discussions, sideshows or small group work to tease out the real questions Recognition is MAGIC. Don't forget to say thank you - it's a perfect opportunity to demonstrate gratitude publicly The strongman act - Invite customers/clients/users/patients along for a panel discussion-this can be an incredible boost to spirit and motivation Don't forget the Send out a survey after the event to see what went wellI, what information was up. First hand accounts resonate well - when launching a new strategy or campaign choose a team to share what it means retained and what might to them - but keep it broad enough for a general audience need to be reiterated Don't Bombard people with too much information or try to squeeze HAVE FUN! Inject some humour into the day and allow people to relax and enjoy it too much onto the agenda Spin the wheel - If your events tend to be one-way traffic try a reverse town hall - flip the situation and get leaders to ask questions of the audience rather than the other way round Enjoy the aftershow... Get together afterwards with drinks or a meal for people to continue casual discussion - works wonders for engagement FINAL THOUGHTS... Create evaluation forms to gather feedback With a little plate spinning involved, your town hall festival can be a spectacular success. Prepare takeaways/handouts to summarise key points Include a mix of people among the presenters to take the stage, keeping things dynamic They can reassure employees and help them understand the company's strategies and direction, whilst establishing credibility, trust and a culture of openness. Real issues are discussed and debated, frankly and honestly. COMMIT to action points There's no one-size-fits-all approach and not all of these points will work for every organisation, but a little variety can ignite enthusiasm, grab attention and motivate participants. It's time to take the stage... nalive! email: | twitter: @AliveWithldeas | web:

Mastering the Town Hall Meeting

shared by CarolineRoodhouse on Jan 10
Roll up, Roll up, as we explore the terrific town hall extravaganza! The do's and the don'ts of running a successful town hall meeting...


Andy Davies


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