[Purdue-pm] Improving Attendance at Linux (and presumably Perl) User Groups
jacoby at purdue.edu
Tue Jun 16 06:24:15 PDT 2009
Two things I observed.
1. New people didn't feel welcome. Suggestion: Go out of your
way to make new people feel welcome. Have a designated person
show up early and just say "hi" to everyone that walks in. Most
of us are introverts and would be turned off by someone that
tries to make small-talk, but just hearing someone say "hi" is
great. Have good signs on the doors so people know where to go.
Nothing makes new people feel unwanted like a lack of being told
where your meeting is. I once went to a meeting (not a LUG, but
the issue is the same) only to discover that the web site listed
the address, but not the specific room... or which building.
There were no signs telling me where to go. Ugh.
2. If you have a Q&A session, the moderator should never answer
the questions. People come to share and everyone wants their
turn to show off. A big mistake I see is that the moderator
will answer each question then look around and say, "Does anyone
else have anything to add?" Nobody answers. Gee, I wonder why.
Well, the moderator just expressed their dominance and anything
else would be an affront to the leader. Folks, this is an open
source movement. We all have power and knowledge and good stuff
to day. If you are the moderator, be the last person to speak.
Sure you know the perfect answer, in fact I bet you have 5
points you'd like to make. However, so do other people in the
audience. Get them to say the answer. Let a couple people
speak. After 3-4 people speak it is likely that 4 of the 5
points you wanted to make have been made already. Now you can
chime in with your 5th point. Everyone else got their chance to
shine and your 5 points were made. You'll still look brilliant
for having a 5th point that nobody else thought of, but you
won't look overbearing.
Those are the top 2 problems I've seen.
Not necessarily a specific critique of our group, but I thought it was
worth passing along.
Dave Jacoby Address: WSLR S049
Genomics Core Programmer Mail: jacoby at purdue.edu
Purdue University Jabber: jacoby at jabber.org
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