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How to give your audience a controlled stretch break

 In Delivery

If you conduct or attend meetings, you know that you remain seated for too long at one stretch, before taking a break. (for most of you).

This can cause you and others in a meeting to lose focus and listen and interact less effectively. But if you have too many breaks you know you won’t get through the meeting agenda items.

One technique that you can use for more productive meetings is a ‘controlled stretch-break’.

Let me explain the controlled-stretch break technique. It’s best used at approximately 30 minutes intervals especially during longer meetings, and when you are the chairperson of a meeting.

Here’s a description of how it works:

At 30 minutes into a meeting say to the group, “Now to keep your minds fresh, when I count to three I want you to stand and for 50 seconds go and talk to someone you haven’t talked to today/talked that much to today – and take turns asking and answering the following question, ‘What does all this information mean to you?’. . .

Now, please stay in the room to do this – this is not a coffee break  – ready one, two three go.”

Then you would bring back the group at 50 seconds. What you’ll find is that people, and you, will come back from the stretch-break refreshed and with new energy to re-engage in the meeting.

The ‘how to apply‘ for this post: In the next seven days, use or encourage a chairperson to use a controlled stretch-break in your meetings, and reflect on its impact.

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