How To Run A Meeting - Keeping the conversation flowing and the atmosphere relaxed is the key!
There's actually quite a lot to consider when it comes to your book club meeting.
Where will you meet? What will you eat? How will you discuss the book? Will it be fun?
If you are the host, then it is your job to make sure the meeting goes well.
Best option is to alternate between your groups homes. It keeps the costs down and it means the job of hosting gets passed around so that it doesn't become a chore.
We have tried meeting in bars and restaurants. As a treat or a one off, it's quite fun and nice to do.
Our experience suggests you need a big round table if you intend to venture out. Otherwise you end up with a series of smaller group discussions as it's hard to hear from one end of the table to the other. It makes the discussion very disjointed.
As per comments on my tips for effective meetings page - don't cook your own food. Get a takeaway. See the tips page for an explanation!
Nibbles for the guests as they arrive is always nice, especially if you have to wait a while for the takeaway to be delivered.
Ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine but get some soft drinks in for anyone driving.
It's good to have some time for a general chit chat and find out what's been going on in your fellow book clubbers lives. We usually chat for a good half hour whilst we wait for everyone to arrive and deliberate over the takeaway menu.
But once that's done, it's about devoting at least 90 minutes to the actual book.
We usually have a break when the food arrives and carry on our idle chit chat before returning to discuss the book.
Usually no-one wants to go first and it can be a little awkward to start with.
We used to let everyone in the room say a few sentences about what they thought of the book but it started to get repetitive and the poor people who went last were struggling to say anything new.
So now we get everyone to write a score out of 10 on a piece of paper, along with a sentence, phrase or a few words as to how they would describe the book.
We all reveal our scores and tell everyone our sentence. This usually sparks some debate if there is someone who loves it and someone else how hated it!
Out of all the "How to run a meeting" tips this is the most important one. It's up to everyone to contribute and fuel the discussion.
It's best to have a structure to your discussion, and I strongly recommend following some questions.
You can find more information on the book club questions page.
If you choose any of the books featured on this website, they all have questions and themes to help the discussion along.
One way is to nominate a chair for the meeting. It is their job to keep the conversation going. You can find out more on this on the how to chair a meeting page.
Top of How To Run A Meeting
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Try The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared