5 Secrets to a Kick-Butt Kickoff (how to host a motivational meeting)

February 25, 2013 — 2 Comments

kickoff1 300x200 5 Secrets to a Kick Butt Kickoff (how to host a motivational meeting)Are you looking to host a kickoff meeting to inspire and motivate your team?  When’s the last time you got the whole crowd together to rally around the vision, celebrate progress and have a little fun?

What if you got this note in your email today (I did)?

“I was approached by one of my employees this morning. He wanted to share with me what the Kickoff meant to him. He stated that he was so inspired by the enthusiasm and the things he heard, that he wanted to work harder than he ever has before. He said that he woke up 3 times in the middle of the night, thinking about what he had learned. He kept thinking about what he had to do to make sure that he made it up on stage next year as a top performer.   He came into work today with a great attitude and a desire to create a WOW experience with every person he spoke to today.   I also observed him in the break room today encouraging another representatives from his team to do the same.”

And then a follow-up message from one of the leaders on my team:

“and, that’s why we do what we do.”  My response was one word.  ”Amen.”

The secret is not a great venue, fancy AV, or a high-priced motivational speaker.  I’ve seen successful kickoffs in parking lots and warehouses.  It’s something else… 

5 Secrets to a Motivational Kickoff Meeting

  1. Sincerity
    You can’t fake sincerity.  It’s also impossible to have a once-a-year high-energy kickoff meeting if the rest of the time people are dragging themselves to work, or the leader is leading with fear and intimidation.  Ensure that you bring your authentic self to the microphone (sure get out of your comfort zone at least a little), but the most motivating messages will come from your heart.
  2. Simplified Messaging
    Pick no more than 3 key messages you want to reinforce.  Hit the points strong from several angles.  Complicated Powerpoint slides will bore the crowd, make your slides pop with messages they will remember.
  3. Emotional Engagement
    Tell stories, have employees share what works, disclose a bit about what you wrestle with, find ways to share the microphone… try “pulling out” the message rather than “imparting” your wisdom.
  4. Creative Involvement
    Okay, I’m a sucker for this stuff… but only because it works.  In the last month I have seen the entire fully costumed “cast” of “We Are The World” in a kickoff finale that reinforced every strategy, A VP dressed as a greaser sharing how to “rock” results, and more wigs and blinky lights than I can count.  Creative “silly” reinforces meaningful messages.  Get the team involved and see what they come up with… there’s a singer-songwriter in every crowd.
  5. The Right Recognition
    Take the time to get this right.  I can tell from the first drumroll whether the leadership has picked the right folks by the way the crowd responds.  Don’t just look at numbers, consider other contributions as well.  Who do you want the team to emulate?

Have you been part of a kick-butt kickoff meeting?  What was in your secret sauce?  Please share your thoughts with the Let’s Grow Leaders Community. 

See Also:  Themes for Motivational Meetings

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