Forums sometimes struggle with the process and effort of generating a rich parking lot of possible presentation topics. If you want to almost guarantee a great list of options, try this method at your next meeting.
- Before updates, randomly pair members up and announce the pairings. (Have a trio in addition to the pairs if you have an odd number in attendance.)
- To prepare updates, members can use the standard update form, but also ask them to consider either these questions or how they would complete one of these sentences: “The one thing I don’t want to share with my Forum is…” or “The one thing I have not yet shared with my Forum is…”
- When members are sharing their updates, everyone listens carefully, but we pay particular attention to the update of the person we have been paired with. Proceed through updates without any interruptions or questions.
- Immediately after updates, meet separately in your pairs (or trio) for 10-15 minutes to help each other reflect on and define the most significant, deep issue or two on which each of you would like to hear the group’s experience. Consider in your conversation what you heard today, but also issues that your partner has mentioned in the past.
- Come back together and each member reports out the issue(s) they have identified for possible presentation. Someone should scribe all of these topics on a white board or in a notebook.
This should generate a great list of at least one topic per member for presentation either that day or in the future.