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  • Rahul Guha

Did you ever fallen asleep in a meeting?



I was in the sixth year of my career and enjoying the new job that I had just changed after spending some years in the previous one. It was a sales-driven organization, and everyone in the leadership was passionate about sales.


Notably, the company has an extensive sales structure, and I am the one who used to break my head to hire the RIGHT SALES GUYs!


On one Monday afternoon post lunch, I was called by my boss urgently; I rushed to her room. To my utter surprise, she announced with all secrecy that the head of sales needed to go. For a moment, my mind had a flood of questions.


Oh, he was so important guy in the company, why he had to go!


What was the hurry?


What has happening to such a senior leader in the meeting?


Automation was missing in those years, and I was the guy who used to handle all exit formalities, so this news was essential to break to start the formalities soon.


My curiosity never stopped, and I had butterflies inside my stomach till I knew what had happened.


He fell asleep in the board meeting in the middle of a critical presentation of three years plan.


This was real.


Have you fallen asleep in an important meeting ever?


All of us did, especially during meetings just after lunch. Why do people fall asleep in a meeting?


How often did you fall asleep while watching a movie, watching a YouTube video, or listening to a concert? Rarely or never.


One thing that is common in all these cases is

the storytelling. We wait for the following

sequence to happen, and that keeps us alert &

interested.



I tried looking for some scientific reasons for what can go wrong in our brain that may induce sleep.


Post-lunch symptoms of falling asleep are most common.


There are serotonin and melatonin, both

chemicals trigger drowsiness in our

brain, and we get induced to sleep.


This is more conditional and depends on our food intake, but there is a big reason responsible for making us fall asleep in meetings.


That is loss of interest in the presentation, and our brain slows down, which prompts sleep.


Dopamine (the feel-good hormone) keeps us alert and excited when doing something interesting, engaging in conversation and discussion, or when our cognitive senses are active.



However, in the absence of motivational stimuli, the nucleus accumbent triggers feelings of tiredness.


When you are bored, in the absence of

motivational stimuli getting into your

brain, no dopamine gets released, and

you tend to feel tired and sleepy.


If you understood why keeping people engaged, motivated and active is essential in any meeting from a presenter's perspective. I am sure you wish your audience to remain attentive and contribute to what you share with them.


Your story could be a game changer for you as a presenter; it engages people more. I am sure no one will ever fall asleep in the middle of your presentation if you keep it interesting & interactive.


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