Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings By Ed Sykes © 2005 all Rights Reserved
Recently, America lost one of giants of late night television, Johnny Carson. He was a master at his craft, because he would conduct his show, essentially like a ninety minute meeting. The program would be entertaining, insightful, informative, and leave you wanting more.
Many times we fear going to meetings because we feel, based on past experiences, that they are going to be boring, not relevant, lack information, and we can’t wait until meeting ends.
Here are my eight techniques used by Johnny Carson to make your meetings outstanding for all involved:
1. Do Your Research Johnny Carson would invest time before each show to find out information on what was important to his guests and audience members. He would find out about his guests’ personalities, their interests, and concerns.
Why not do same? E-mail participants with your agenda before meeting. Ask them for feedback or any concerns they may have concerning meeting. This allows you address any concerns before meeting and to think through any potential problems and come up with better answers for solutions during meeting.
2. Plan Meeting Master details for your meeting. Set an agenda with points to be covered and time period for which they will be covered.
3. Invite Only “Guests” That Can Contribute When Johnny was finished speaking with one guest, then it was time to bring out his next guest and engage in conversation with that guest. When he finished speaking with his guests he would excuse them so they could leave.
Invite only “guests” that are relevant to subject matter at hand. How many times have you wondered, “Why am I here, this meeting doesn’t pertain to me?” Also once your “guest” has contributed to meeting and there is nothing else in meeting that pertains to them, excuse them so they can leave.
4. Keep on Time You knew every night Tonight Show with Johnny Carson would start at its assigned time (unless there was a special event).
Starting you meeting on time shows respect for participants who made effort to show up on time, and let’s late comers know that this behavior is unacceptable.
Also designate one person to be time keeper. They are responsible for keeping you on track to stay within time limits for each subject covered in meeting. The results are that you start on time and end on time while accomplishing your meeting agenda.
5. Set Tone Johnny would stand up and greet each guest with an engaging smile and welcome. Do same with your meeting participants. Put them at ease for more informational meetings. Let them know that you really appreciate their feedback and participation.