Sources of meeting tools and techniques

Given the literally hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of meeting tools and techniques that exist in the public domain, and the ease (by means of the web) to quickly get guidance on how to use them, it is perhaps surprising that well over 90% of meeting time is concerned with only two of them: presenting to a group, and initiating open discussion.

For some, the reason is that they are simply unaware of alternatives to these two, for others it may be that they are overwhelmed by the choices available.

In respect of both of these positions, we would encourage people to begin with our item on meeting tool selection, which provides a manageable subset and clear simple guidance on where and how to apply them.

But what happens when, appetite whetted, you want to explore further – you have seen the options available in the clinic, but you are looking for more, or you are looking for something specific?

There are a number of websites that will cater for your needs. Most are free, but some are commercial. Some of them are straightforward and friendly, and some of them are more complex (at least at first glance). The following links will get you started …

  1. SessionLab provides an attractive and engaging library of techniques (currently 404 of them) which are freely available to users. They also provide a very easy to use planning tool which helps people (individually or collectively) plan their meetings/sessions.
  2. International Association of Facilitators supply approximately 75% of SessionLab’s 400+ techniques. However, on their old site they list about 270 more, and provide a different perspective on accessing them.
  3. Mindtools has always been a good resource for thinking techniques within meetings. More recently, they have taken steps toward commercialisation of their offerings (which has had a positive influence on how they are presented) but there is still much that can be accessed without charge.
  4. Businessballs provides a number of freely available resources in the areas of teambuilding and leadership/management.

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