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Nott Tuesday and the altnetbeers format

As I said previously I’ve volunteered to lead this month’s Nott Tuesday event, taking place this coming Tuesday, 14th July.

So, as promised, I’m going to give the outline of how the whole evening will work. Hopefully it will encourage more participation from the whole group in the discussion, improving the night for everyone.

Topic selection

So a little while after 18:30, once everyone has had the chance to say hellos and so forth, I’ll ask everyone to volunteer topics for discussion. I’ll provide a stack of index cards and pens and anyone who has something they’d like to talk about can write a question on a card and put it onto a table for others to see. Something as vague as “why agile?” or specific as “how do I leverage e-marketing to obtain new business?” is fine. Framing it as a question will probably work better, but if you can’t do that then a simple sentence will do. The idea is to give the group a starting point for a discussion.

Once we’ve had 5-10 minutes to write down our ideas we will whittle them down to the few most popular topics by voting on the ideas as a group. We’ll start off with the most popular topic and if the discussion is lively enough for long enough that might be all we discuss all night but if things start tailing off we’ll move on to the next most popular topic.

How does the discussion work?

There will be a “bench” where 3 people sit, they are the panel of which the group can ask questions. To begin with I’ll ask whichever person raised the topic to speak for 30 seconds or so just to explain a bit further what they want to get from the discussion. This person will also start off on the bench along with 2 volunteers. It is then thrown to the floor to ask questions of the bench. If you have a question, raise your hand and I’ll pick a person at a time to ask their question to stop it being a free-for-all. If you are part of the audience, you can only ask questions or come back on the answers given by the panel when applicable.

If it is a topic you are interested in and have something to say about it, you can go and sit in the “hot seat”, this signifies you want to be on the bench and answer questions. When someone is in the hot seat, someone from the bench is obliged to return to the audience, allowing the person in the hot seat to move onto the bench. This can manage itself by people not having more to say or wanting a break, but if not we’ll do it on a first-in-first-out basis.

A personal plea

Please be gentle with me, it’s the first time I’ve run something like this so bear with me a bit. I might need to cut you off if you’re in the middle of a heated discussion but the majority of the room looks bored, please bear in mind I’m trying to keep it interesting for the whole group. There’s nothing to stop your carrying on the discussion afterwards of course!

That’s all there is to it really. Hopefully, it will result in an enjoyable evening for everyone, having lively discussions about topics we’re all interested in.

See you at Bluu on Tuesday 14th July at 18:30!