Beat the Forum Monthly Update Blahs

When it comes to the Forum monthly update, even the best Forums feel a little blah occasionally. It’s good for every member to feel comfortable with the group’s style and process. But that can also lead to a little…um, boredom.

Even small changes can add a bounce to your step. Take the way you share your monthly Updates. If your Forum is like most, no one needs to tell the members to go around the room in a circle. Someone starts and then it goes around the circle one by one until everyone has contributed. Same old, same old.

A Forum in Nashville grew tired of going around in a circle. To mix it up they switched to a random order for speaking.  When people arrive at the meeting, they hand their completed monthly Update form to the Moderator.  The moderator then shuffles the stack and draws an Update at random.  That person goes first.  When the first person is finished, the moderator draws another Update at random.  This continues until each person has reported.

Get creative! Perhaps the moderator calls out the first person to report, and that person calls out the next person, and so on.  Or maybe the moderator tosses a nerf ball to one person and they go first, then they throw the ball to someone else to go next, and so on.

These silly little changes can actually help fight the boredom blahs.  No one can predict the order and that keeps people more alert. No one can zone out waiting for their turn in the circle.

Going back to the first idea where the moderator shuffles the sheets and draws an Update form at random, there’s a side benefit.  Everyone must arrive with their Update form prepared in advance.  Advance preparation is a best practice, a sign of Forum commitment and a show of respect for other Forum members. Updates tend to be more well-thought out and with greater depth when they’re prepared in advance.  What ideas have you tried to change up how you share Updates?