10 Tips for Running an Effective Town Hall Meeting

 In Newsletter

The town hall meeting is a popular internal communications venue, helping companies connect with employees and share important information in a collaborative, transparent way. Running a town hall can be challenging, especially for large global organizations. Following are ten tips to help ensure that your next town hall runs smoothly and makes an impact.

  1. Be prepared. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a pre-meeting rehearsal with the key participants. Discuss effective responses to anticipated questions. Get comfortable with the technology that will be used.
  2. Appoint a moderator. A moderator should keep the agenda moving and ensure that the speakers don’t overstep their allotted time.
  3. Ask employees to submit questions before the town hall meeting. These questions shouldn’t replace live Q&A during the town hall, but will provide insight into what’s on their minds and also seed questions for the event.
  4. Include everybody. Your town hall should include all employees, wherever they’re located. Ensure that your technology enables remote workers to participate easily.
  5. Use multimedia.Make your content more engaging and interactive. Incorporate live polling. Present questions for employees on screen. Integrate video snippets into the presentations.
  6. Allow as many people’s voices to be heard as possible. Don’t let a few employees, or a vocal minority, dominate. Topics that impact a small number of employees or require further discussion are better taken offline.
  7. Permit anonymous questions. Some employees aren’t comfortable standing up in front of a crowd or may want to ask a question of a sensitive nature without being identified.
  8. Conduct a post-town hall survey. The responses will tell you what worked well, help gauge the impact of your communications, and provide information for improving future town hall meetings.
  9. Loopback. Inform employees when ideas from the meeting are implemented. It’s important for them to know they’re being heard and management is responding.
  10.  Remember that you’re putting on an “all-hands.” A town hall isn’t only a forum for you to present information. It’s meant to inspire a two-way dialogue. Done well, the town hall is an effective way to help employees feel connected to the company’s mission and valued as contributors to its success.
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