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How to make a team update more interesting?

(26 Posts)
ArchMemory Wed 29-Jan-20 10:42:29


I have to do a quarterly team update. Usually a 10 min presentation to the wider team who should have some awareness of the work my team has been doing but may not know the detail.

We have been challenged to make these sessions ‘engaging’ and I’d be very grateful if anyone has any ideas!

Without giving too much detail we manage development programmes. I thought about doing a case study about one of the participants but I thought without them there (they’re not part of our team) that risked talking ‘about’ them rather than ‘with’ them. Otherwise I’m just falling back on the old ‘talk through team priorities over the last 6 months’.

Thanks for any suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
Etinox Wed 29-Jan-20 11:10:23

Start off with a interactive activity? Bingo card with who’s moved house or has a twin or about to get married? Can be bland- find someone who likes tofu or who is allergic to cats?

MMKMN Wed 29-Jan-20 11:15:00

What about asking 2 members to answer 5 questions about themselves fave food etc before the meeting then in the meeting read out the questions and answers and get people to guess who you're taking about?

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Wed 29-Jan-20 11:17:44

Could you start of with an interesting statistic about your team’s work that could get people’s attention. Eg (taking completely random numbers now to illustrate): ‘in the last quarter the team has completed 6 new web sites, this involved 350 hours of coding by 5 team members, supported by 4 rounds of pizza...’
put the stat on the first slide with some fun image

HowToGetToSesameStreet Wed 29-Jan-20 13:36:15

Definitely a short activity. A quiz they can do in pairs related to your presentation? Get them thinking and interacting off the bat before going in to your presentation.

MintyMabel Wed 29-Jan-20 13:51:46

Oh don't do that thing where team members have to talk about themselves. It is cringe and nobody wants to do it.

My last boss tried to make these things interesting. Nothing worked.

ArchMemory Wed 29-Jan-20 14:00:14

Thank you all!

“My last boss tried to make these things interesting. Nothing worked.” Ha ha. I hope we’re not completely doomed.

OP’s posts: |
mummmy2017 Wed 29-Jan-20 14:07:00

Could each team member describe another and their last words are I give X...

Ariela Wed 29-Jan-20 14:13:57

Bake cupcakes, decorated with something pertaining to your team, hand them out and relate it in to your presentation (colours perhaps if you have colour to do with anything on your powerpoint, stars - who are the stars of your team & how are they doing, unicorns - what is the target ie dream , vs how you are doing etc)

I'm sure it'll be popular, and set everyone in a more receptive mood to the other rubbish people will have to spout, pretty much everyone likes cake.

Isleepinahedgefund Wed 29-Jan-20 17:53:28

Some ideas, having been on the receiving end of managers trying to make these sorts of things interesting:

1. Evolve your content each time to make it something engaging
2. Do not build in activities - this does not make your update fun or interesting. Quite the opposite. People will roll their eyes when they realise what meeting is on today.
3. Keep it short and relevant
4. Accept that for most it probably isn't interesting or engaging
5. Ask people what they need/want to hear and tailor it to that.

I think case studies could be interesting - something that relates what you do back to the people who are listening. Presumably they have some connection with it if they're listening!

You could start with an interactive element - "who has been on one of our programmes?" " who has done something similar?"

I don't envy you. We have three of these a week across my team - they are neither useful, interesting nor engaging!

TheMemoryLingers Wed 29-Jan-20 18:02:53

I agree with hedgefund's suggestions.

I don't find novelty items such as cakes, quizzes etc. engaging at all (but others might).

It's not something you'd be allowed to say at work, but I think you have to accept that some things at work are necessary, but boring. It's work - it will be boring sometimes, that's its nature. Yes, let's make it as interesting as we can, but with the best will in the world, the quarterly team update is never going to rival EastEnders.

BrokenWing Wed 29-Jan-20 18:04:33

Don't update them on all the boring stuff. Tell them high level and with enthusiasm the top 3 things you are most proud of in your team in the last 3 months and why - Jessica has worked on this and that, really engaged with x team, had brilliant feedback, and the benefit is....

Maybe tell them about something interesting you are doing and are excited about - maybe a programme of bite size training sessions (an hour a week/fortnight) to upskill your team in using workplace technology.

Don't do cringey team building. Maybe ask other teams to submit questions, anonymously if they want, for you do answer.

LetterOfTheLawFella Wed 29-Jan-20 18:09:29

What about doing a "Day in the life of" one of your team?

Iseethesilverlining Wed 29-Jan-20 18:09:38

What is the objective for the update? Do they need to know what you’re doing or is it just for wider knowledge of the company/department? Could you do it another way, a short vlog or blog instead of a meeting? If you have to have a meeting, people need to know what they’ll get out of it, so make it relevant -“you might not realise it, but when you’re crunching numbers you’re actually helping people on the ground in X country and this is how ....” Case studies and personal stories are always good. Try to bring any numbers/ process reports to a human level - “we spent £20000 and helped 200 people including Lucy who can now go to school”, with photos. Make it interactive if you have the type of people who would enjoy that, but in any case offer time for questions. And always food - croissants if it’s breakfast fine or cake/biscuits if it’s later.

BigGreenBaskets Wed 29-Jan-20 18:19:53

What about asking 2 members to answer 5 questions about themselves fave food etc before the meeting then in the meeting read out the questions and answers and get people to guess who you're taking about?

^ oh god do NOT do this! How cringe.

Team updates are basically impossible to make interesting. Nobody wants to be there. Keep it as short and to the point as possible and people will appreciate that the most.

thereinmadnesslies Wed 29-Jan-20 18:22:45

Previous boss tried to report on turnover and profit in terms of how many elephants the company could buy. It was crap. Don’t do it.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 29-Jan-20 18:24:46

Make it 5 minutes.
If every team did that people would be over the moon.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 29-Jan-20 18:29:24

Have a standing meeting. Don't stand at the front and talk at them - gather in a group.

Tell them two things your team have just completed, two which are in progress and two upcoming projects. Pick the more interesting ones.

Ask if they have any specific questions or interests about what the team does and you can answer them.

itsboiledeggsagain Wed 29-Jan-20 18:42:14

Soem great ideas in here nestled amongst the team building sessions.
case study
Day in the life of
Top 3 things

Can you get someone else from your team to present / participate? Different voices bring interest. We always get thejunior staff to do these things as practice, and people tend to be rooting for them to do well

PuppyMonkey Wed 29-Jan-20 18:47:25

I'd prefer it if you just send me an email update tbh. grin

Fedupwithmyhouse Wed 29-Jan-20 18:48:40

Just food. Food is all you need.

WYP2018 Wed 29-Jan-20 18:51:03

I like the case study idea, if you could make it work. Can you link your team’s work over the last quarter to the strategy of the organisation, or to the targets of the wider team? To make it clear why you’ve done what you’ve done. I HATE forced fun activities and don’t mind if an update is a bit dry so long as it’s short! Biscuits always a win too.

mummmy2017 Wed 29-Jan-20 19:00:37

Get loads of chocolate bars from Poundland.
Ask a question get a bar.
That way people can push the meeting into what they would like to know about.
Box of chocolates for best question.

ArchMemory Wed 29-Jan-20 19:12:42

Thank you all! I wasn’t sure I would get any replies at all so I really appreciate the time taken.

It has to be a quarterly team meeting - it’s in the diary. There will be 4 team updates (including mine) interspersed through the day.

I agree it would be good to get the members of my team to present / be involved but there are reasons that’s not possible this time.

I like the ‘day in the life idea’ and ‘top 3 things I am most proud we’ve achieved’. I still think the case studies are tricky due to the groups we work with but will give it some thought.

“with the best will in the world, the quarterly team update is never going to rival EastEnders.” Ha ha! I do know what you mean!

OP’s posts: |
RougeVinEtFromage Wed 29-Jan-20 23:15:54

Can't you just whack out an email. People hate this shit.

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