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5 Ideas for More Inspiring Meetings


Short books, videos, PowerPoints®, and other reinforcement gear for more effective and meaningful meetings.

80% of Fortune 500 Companies, over 40,000 Schools & NonProfits, & all branches of the US Government use our exclusive materials to motivate and engage their teams.

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Used by thousands of organizations.

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For budgets of $100 and up.


212 Degrees Motivational Meeting Items

212° the extra degree

Inspire Extra Effort & Care


This is the original bestselling 212 (two-twelve) book and message by Sam Parker that's inspiring millions of people around the world.

The premise: “At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Just one extra degree makes all the difference.”

Reenforce your message with books, mugs, and more gear.

Watch the Video Read the Book
Get the Presentation See The Gear

Please call us (1-800-535-2773) or email us contactus@successories.com with questions | Learn how to lead better meetings

Lead Simply - Leadership Meeting Tools

Lead Simply

Create better leaders


Model. Connect. Involve.™ Model the behavior you want to see. Connect with the people you lead. Involve them as much as possible.

That's your framework for leadership ... your simple, day-to-day, in-the-trenches formula for creating a special team of people.

Reenforce your message with books, mugs, and more gear.

Watch the Video Read the Book
Get the Presentation See The Gear

Please call us (1-800-535-2773) or email us contactus@successories.com with questions | Learn how to lead better meetings

Smile & Move Meeting Materials for Better Customer Service

Smile & Move

Encourage better attitudes & service


Imagine the wonderful results from a team of Smovers (people who Smile & Move).

5 ways to Smile: Wake up. Be thankful. Be approachable. Complain less. Smile more.

4 ways to Move: Start early and go long. Go beyond expectations. Have a sense of urgency. Be resourceful and resilient.

Watch the Video Read the Book
Get the Presentation See The Gear

Please call us (1-800-535-2773) or email us contactus@successories.com with questions | Learn how to lead better meetings

Cross The Line materials for employee engagement and commitment

Cross The Line

Inspire Commitment & Resilience


The premise: “With everything, there's a line. On one side of the line is a greater chance to make good things happen (better results, better relationships, more opportunities). On the other side of the line, there's less of a chance. It's your choice which side you want to be on.”

4 points to Crossing The Line: Choose to Commit. Work Hard. Focus. Bounce Back.

Watch the Video Read the Book
Get the Presentation See The Gear

Please call us (1-800-535-2773) or email us contactus@successories.com with questions | Learn how to lead better meetings

Love Your People Team Building Meeting Materials

Love Your People

Cultivate trust & accountability


No kittens or rainbows. Just truth.

Inspire your people to be kinder and more accountable to each other and the people they serve.

8 points to Loving Your People: Contribute. Be kind. Be patient. Be honest. Encourage people. Apologize. Forgive. Thank people.

Watch the Video Read the Book
Get the Presentation See The Gear

Please call us (1-800-535-2773) or email us contactus@successories.com with questions | Learn how to lead better meetings

How to Have Better Meetings

More than 1,600 people responded to our 1-Question Survey…
What Frustrate You Most About Meetings?

The Top 10 Frustraters About Meetings

  1. Allowing attendees to ramble and repeat the same comments and thoughts.
  2. Doesn't start on time, stay on track, or finish on time.
  3. No specific action steps or walk-away points.
  4. No clear purpose or objective.
  5. Not inspiring or motivating.
  6. Not organized. No agenda.
  7. Too long.
  8. Repeating information for late arrivals.
  9. Weak presenter (unprepared, monotone, overly redundant).
  10. Boring. Nothing new or interesting.

Sam Parker has had over a half-century leading, keynoting, and attending hundreds of meetings of all sizes within almost every industry. Having talked with hundreds of people about their thoughts on meetings, here is what we can do to make meetings better.

Advice on Running a Meeting

Do your best to avoid doing or allowing the things that annoy people (review the list above).

Very Important: Make the meeting about helping your attendees leave better as a result of investing their time with you and/ or the group. Be sure to use some of the time to inspire and encourage people. A helpful question to guide you: What do I hope people will think about and do in the days/ weeks/ months following the meeting?

Respect your attendees' time and attention by preparing well, communicating well, and keeping the meeting on track.

Never fill or kill time. It's not why we're here. We're here to make good things happen for other people. (That's the universal mission statement.)

When fitting, before the meeting, connect with a few of your more engaged people and encourage them to help you keep enthusiasm and attention high by modeling those behaviors themselves. (It’s part of Leading Simply.)

If you have D-grunts on your team (disgruntled people who work to make things difficult), don't invite them if at all possible. Then ask yourself why you're allowing them to be on your team at all. Life's too short to tolerate D-grunts.

End your meeting ... meaningfully.

How to End a Meeting

There’s a psychological concept called The Peak-End Rule. Daniel Kahneman and Barbara Fredrickson are the best-known people behind the idea.

Bottom line: We tend to judge our experiences based on the peak moments of those experiences and then, how the experience ends (rather than the experience as a whole).

True or not, it makes sense to deliberately think about how we can create positive peak experiences during the meetings we lead; and how we end those meetings.

Advice for Remote Meetings

When so much of the world went remote in 2020, we asked our subscribers and customers to share what they love and don't about remote video meetings. People at all levels of different types of organizations shared:
"I don't want to have my camera on all the time and have to be concerned with how I look."
"I don't want to have to be 'on' in every meeting."
"I don't have any other space than my bedroom."
"It's very difficult to control my pets/kids."

We understand the sentiment and truth behind all of these responses. Even so, why not choose to be attentive (mindful of the comfort of others) and do what you can to make the experience better for everyone?

  1. Know the basics of the tool you use (on/off camera and audio buttons, share screen function, chat, sound levels, etc.) before joining a meeting.
  2. Turn on your camera if it’s a video call.
  3. Stay attentive to muting and unmuting your microphone as appropriate.
  4. Avoid using distracting backgrounds.
  5. Don’t eat unless it’s part of the agenda.
  6. Minimize the chances of pets and kids running into view.
  7. Be prepared, on time, and engaged.
  8. Respect others. (So much here!)
  9. Smile here and there.
  10. Avoid doing other things when someone else is talking.
  11. Do your part to keep the meeting on track.
  12. Dress appropriately.
  13. Don’t sit in a bed. (I’ve never seen someone do this in a conference room. Might be funny.)

If you're leading the meeting, ask yourself "What's our goal for this time?" and share the answer at the start of your meeting. It can help frame things for other people and improve expectations and focus.

Optimize your lighting. Ideally, your light source should be in front of you to illuminate your face. A window behind you will negatively affect the lighting.

Look directly at the camera from time-to-time rather than only at the people on your screen. Give people the feeling you're looking at them just as you would if you were physically in front of them. (You look at people in the eyes when you talk, right?)

Raise your camera/computer to your eye-level. You’ll look better. It's as simple as some books or a box under your computer.

Unless you're in incredible shape, you don’t want to watch someone talk from a phone or tablet in your lap with your camera on. Trust me. (I hope that made you laugh.)

Consider an external microphone to improve your sound quality. It can make a big difference.

Advice on Attending a Meeting

Make the time valuable. Allow yourself to get something from the meeting. There’s almost always something of value when you look for it.

Be a grown-up.

Be attentive, answer questions, and be a part of the discussion where you can.

Participate in the same way you’d like people to participate if you were leading the meeting.

Avoid the D-grunts (the disgruntled people). They don't make good things happen for people and likely won't help your career. (Really.)

And whether your running the meeting or attending it...

Remember, perfection is tough. Give people the break you’d like to be given. (It’s one of the ways to Love Your People.)

How to Make Meetings Better Free Guide