Engage Attendees With Individual Meeting Roles

During small meetings, get attendees invested by giving them a job to do.

During small business meetings, some attendees might disengage and disconnect if they don’t feel like their presence matters. You’ll know this is happening when you see them daydreaming, texting, emailing or checking social media—none of which helps the group achieve the meeting goals.

Keep all attendees alert and participating by assigning everyone a specific role or responsibility. Tell people what they are expected to do before the meeting begins so that the session runs smoothly and efficiently.

Meeting Roles to Keep Attendees Engaged

Facilitator: The meeting facilitator (maybe along with a co-facilitator) determines the structure of the meeting. This person also keeps participants focused on specific topics, regulates the discussion flow (including making sure everyone’s suggestions are heard) and helps the group deal with conflicting opinions.


Timekeeper: One person should be responsible for watching the clock. Each area of discussion should have a time limit. The timekeeper will work with the facilitator(s) to make sure time limits are honored to ensure an effective, efficient meeting.


Team leaders: If an Ideate, Decide or Produce meeting breaks into smaller working groups at any point, assign a leader to each team. Leaders will be responsible for keeping their teams on track and presenting its ideas and findings to the larger group.

Note taker: An essential element of any business meeting is record keeping. Assign one person to take notes and document what happened throughout the session and what conclusions the group agreed upon.


Expert: Having someone in the role of “expert” may not be necessary for all business meetings. However, there should be one if there are essential statistics or reports to be shared. The expert will be in charge of gathering this information and present it at the meeting so fellow attendees can more effectively Decide and Produce.


Collaborator: Each and every meeting attendee should have the role of collaborator. All participants should feel empowered and encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions with the group. If people come to the meeting knowing they are expected to participate actively, it is likely to be more productive, lucrative and enjoyable.