I take part of several networking groups, each with a different subject than the others. Throughout my travels I have found that it is best to vary the association of the groups you network with to widen the network of friends. If I were to only attend IT related networking events, I would be limiting my network of friends to only those within technology.
We all know how hard it can be to have a single speaker or panel for a meeting. Unless they are really engaging, most speakers can only keep people engaged for the first half of the meeting before attendees start losing focus
A panel of speakers usually draws other professionals into the room with knowledge of equal value, but most are gracious enough and try not to upstage members of the panel with their views of the subject. Even if they can offer value to the audience, it can be hard for them to answer a question without being disruptive to the flow of the conversation.
When I was asked to assist with facilitating a meeting recently, I was thrilled to make it a more engaging experience for the audience members by using a hot seat. I have found this to be a great way to liven up meetings and brings varying points of view to a subject that we would not have otherwise considered.
The host of the meeting and I used a fishbowl forum as a basis for the meeting. This form of dialog is quite useful when discussing a subject within groups of professionals. It was a hot seat as none of the initial panelists were aware that they would be chosen.
The audience was polled to determine what topics they were most interested in. We then created a panel of people that we felt would provide helpful advice to the subject. After each provided an answer to the poll-winning question, we turned to the audience for questions.
As the conversation between the audience members and the panel continued, there were other experts who had advice that could benefit the group and wanted to participate.
When that audience member wanted to add to the conversation, they came forward and tapped the shoulder of the person who had been up their the longest (when they weren’t speaking). That tapped speaker then returned to the audience and the new speaker sat and carried on the discussion.
Make time available at the end of the discussion to ask some audience members who did not participate what their takeaways were from the discussion. This is also quite useful to hear what other points of view on the topic.
If you are planning a meeting or workshop, consider adding a fishbowl form of dialog to the agenda. It fosters dynamic participation and adds life to the discussion!
We at Advanced Systems Solutions have helped thousands of organizations by bringing varying points of view to a subject, so contact us if you need any assistance or have any questions. We love to help!
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Disclaimer: The above information is not intended as technical advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an IT Professional before acting or relying on any information in this communiqué.