By Austin Brewer, Postsecondary/Collegiate Vice President (2018-2019)
There is nothing more exciting than a room full of HOSA members! The atmosphere is filled with excitement, everyone is talking about the next conference and trying to find a partner for a competitive event. This atmosphere is filled to the brim with one thing-HOSA! To build on the theme of membership engagement, we would like to provide you with useful tips and tricks to keep your local chapter meetings organized, engaging, and of course fun!
Many local officers find themselves asking “What exactly is my role during a meeting?” and that may vary based upon your local and state bylaws. Of course, the officers are responsible for dispersing agendas, making sure everyone signs in, and other such items you may be in charge of at your local chapter. Still, there is one thing every officer is in charge of at their local meetings- facilitation! A facilitator provides instruction and insight when members are not sure what is going on in the room. In a sense, you are the members’ guide whether it be through the meeting or a simple team-building exercise. As an officer, it is your duty to keep the members engaged with the meeting and make sure everyone is on the same page! Of course, parliamentary procedure seems like the easiest way to keep a meeting organized but sometimes even Robert can’t keep everything under wraps.
Here are a couple of ideas of how to maintain order during your local chapter meetings:
We’ve all experienced a single side conversation turn into a tsunami of side conversations across the room. One easy and fun way to get everyone back on track in a meeting is what we like to call a “call and response chant”. It’s as simple as the name implies. The facilitator calls out “ I say X and you say Y” and then they proceed to chant “X” and repeats until everyone in the room responds “Y”. Now, of course, this takes a little voice work, because sometimes the crowd can be extremely loud. One thing we would like to add is, don’t be afraid to become creative with it! The more unique the call and response is the more fun the members have! For example, let switch “X” and “Y” out with “ Peanut Butter” and “Jelly”. This is just one of many fun examples. One major thing about facilitation is if you are having fun with an activity the more than likely the other members are as well. So do not be afraid to add your own twist on this classic tactic!
- Another great tactic to get the crowd back under your control is to keep your membership actively engaged at all times! If they are busy doing an activity with the rest of the members. Then they will be less likely to start side conversations and create discord across the room! With that being said, another important concept of facilitation is being able to control the crowd. The easiest way to do this within an activity is to provide instructions! Continually provide feedback to the members so they are continuously participating in the activity/meeting. This does not mean you order or demand anything from them. Instead, you insist they listen at all times to participate with the group. A focused mind only talks when necessary, so this will definitely limit a meeting from becoming disorganized!
Now that we have discussed on how to keep the membership engaged and focused during a meeting, I think it is equally as important to discuss some different activities within meetings to promote leadership development within our members! After all, HOSA is an organization devoted to promoting and providing opportunities for our members to grow not just only as professionals but also as leaders!
Below are two of our favorite activities that promote growth as leaders as well as keeping members engaged:
Health Issue of the Month (HIM): Every month, choose a health issue to discuss during your meeting! Gather a group of people (the size of groups depend on your chapter and preference) and give them the time to research and create a presentation for the next meeting! This gives your members the opportunity to work together, refine their research and speaking skills, and provides experience for future public speaking events.
- Inspiration: This next activity involves members dividing into groups and discussing leaders they know or know of and why they admire them! Groups come back together for a larger discussion and communication session at the end (facilitated by the officers). This is an activity that encourages members to use their voice and define what leadership means to them. It is important to state no single form of leadership is better than the other as there are many different models of leadership! This is simply an opportunity for your membership to express themselves and once again, develop public speaking skills.
We hope you take these tips and tricks and turn your chapter meetings into fun, engaging, and most importantly memorable experiences for your members! We are so excited to continue this blog series as we continue to grow as an organization and of course, Define our Purpose in the upcoming months!