[Linux-aus] Re: Making the speaker panel rock

Matthew Wilcox matthew at wil.cx
Thu Feb 1 10:19:01 UTC 2007

On Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 10:31:10AM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> Yeah, the speaker panel has always teetered along a fine line between "suck"
> and "rock". Some suggestions from the crowd would be greatly appreciated. It
> is such a good opportunity for both speakers and delegates to talk about big
> issues, that we need to come up with a great way to push it well towards the
> "rock" side.

I agree.

> (Given that it'll probably come up - I don't think "fewer speakers on stage"
> is a good answer. Better to try very hard to deal with the numbers than pull
> out lots of great people.)

Definitely -- it'd only make the speakers who weren't selected feel
'less important'.  And that tips towards suck.

> Perhaps one microphone between five, and each group can elect one speaker in
> their group to answer the question? It needn't work as bureaucratically as
> it probably sounds. ;-)

How about setting up a mike on a stand and we queue at it to answer
the question?  It would mean that we'd be standing on stage rather
than sitting, but that might not be so bad (I was limping when I got up
because my leg had gone to sleep).  Maybe we could have chairs facing
the audience?  That's a lot of chairs, but then one mike between 5 is
a lot of mikes.  All depends on the layout of the room at mel8.

Danielle suggests that it's a question not of logistics, but of effective
moderation (without implying any criticism of your handling).  If the
moderator asks if any other presenter has a response, then nobody gets
left out.

I might also suggest that attendees (and maybe speakers ;-) are warned
at the morning intro that there'll be a speaker panel, and suggest that
people think of questions during the day.  That would save us from the
initial dearth of questions, followed by the flood.

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