Typical Meeting Format

2 hours, 30 minutes

1. 20 min: Roundrobin Updates and New Events.
   Ask everyone present to share a few brief words on what's been going on in their lives in the last month, and announce events or interesting articles/topics.

2. 90 min: Speaker Presentations (30 min each for 3 presenters, 45 mins each for 2 presenters, 80 mins for 1 presenter).
   Ask audience to hold Q&A until the end, to improve quality of the session for IT Conversations.

3. 25 min: Q&A, Wrapup.
   Do Q&A first. Ask presenters to come to the front together, in panel format. Then make any final Salon announcements.

4. 15 min:
   Breakdown, in-room conversation for 10-15 mins. Then get everyone down to Westwood for dinner well before 11pm..

5. Afterward: Group Dinner, for all interested futurists!


If a presenter allows group interaction during their talk, rather than holding such feedback until designated Q&A times, we call that a "discussion," rather than a "presentation with Q&A."

Here are a few tips for best process during both discussions and presentations:

Nonverbal Expressions: 10 min, 5 min, and 1 min time remaining cards may be flashed by the moderator to remind each speaker of the approaching end of their presentation time. Other nonverbal cues that anyone should feel free to use during discussion are a "time awareness/summarize soon" signal (making a "T" with one's hands if any of us begins to run on) and a "we're digressing/back to the thread" signal (making a spiral with one finger when the discussion gets too far off topic). When directed in a friendly way toward the individual talking, these are great, nondisruptive cues to keep the discussions flowing and on track. If you have a burning or complex question that may take extra time to discuss, it can help to signify that in advance to the presenter by holding your hand or finger up at head level (vs. simply raised), or leaning forward with your hand out.

When one of us has a bit of info they'd like to add to the presenter's discussion, something that amplifies, clarifies, or lends support (e.g., "Yeah!"), that is an interjection, rather than a question. As a rule of thumb, if interjections are 1) on topic and 2) very brief, they usually add to the discussion. On the other hand, if they are complex, in opposition, or only partly related to the topic, they are best saved as a question. Also, if someone interjects, and someone else comments on the interjection rather than the original statement, it is easy for discussion threads to move off topic. Avoid such "secondary threads" of conversation until the general Q&A.

Questions during the talk, when allowed, are best indicated by raised hands or fingers. Please try to wait for recognition rather than just blurting your question out, or jumping ahead of others in the que. Hand waving, grunts or groans aren't conducive to good process. If you've got a major or burning question (e.g., you wish to challenge a statement/assumption, or want to know details), and the presenter doesn't acknowledge you, just write it down and bring it up in the Q&A.

Imaginary Coin Piles. Every time you are the first to ask a question, imagine a coin has been taken from the presenter's pile and placed in front of your chair. At the end of the meeting, it would be ideal to see those coins distributed widely around the room. Give others time to jump into the silence gap before asking repeated questions. Thanks!