Information for speakers

The following notes are designed to help speakers and potential speakers prepare for in-person London Futurists meetups.

The formal parts of our meetings typically last two hours (e.g. 2pm-4pm on a Saturday afternoon), and are divided up roughly as follows:

  • 10 minutes: introductory remarks from the chair, whilst the audience settles down
  • 45-60 minutes: presentation from the main speaker (may include demos and/or videos)
  • 45-60 minutes: audience Q&A and group discussion – moderated by the chair
  • 5 minutes: closing remarks from the chair.

60 minutes should be ample time for speakers to convey the main points of their message. Note that the chair will truncate meetings after a total of two hours, as audience members find it uncomfortable to remain seated for longer amounts of time.

Audience members are invited to continue informal discussion in a nearby pub afterwards. If the speaker is able to join at least a short portion of this discussion, it will be appreciated, though we realise that speakers sometimes have other commitments on their time.

We aim to create an audio and/or video recording of the meetup, using a microphone system with automatic gain, so as to pick up questions raised from the back of the room. With the speaker’s permission, this recording will subsequently be made available on our archive of previous meetings, ideally along with a copy of the speaker’s slides.

The meetup site http://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/ is used to publicise meetups before they occur. Records of past meetups (indexed here) will give speakers an idea of what they can expect from a meetup.

In order to help publicise a meetup, speakers are asked to provide the organisers with:

  1. A title for their talk – including a subtitle or tagline
  2. A few sentences or paragraphs describing the content of their talk
  3. A few sentences or paragraphs describing themselves
  4. A photo of themselves
  5. Ideally, a picture or logo that represents what they will talk about (e.g. a book cover).

In most cases, there is a small fee (£7) for audience members to attend the meetup. This fee covers the cost of room hire. Speakers are welcome to invite a small number of their own colleagues or companions free of charge to the meetup. Journalists are also welcome to attend the meeting free of charge, by prior agreement with the chair.

From past experience, speakers who try to speak without using slides generally find it harder to maintain the attention of the audience. Speakers are therefore strongly recommended to bring some slides to help them communicate their message. The lecture rooms have audio-visual projectors. Speakers can bring their own laptops, or provide their presentation on any standard format to the chair, to present using a London Futurists laptop.

Speakers are asked to arrive in the lecture room at least 20 minutes in advance of the start time of the meetup, in order to become familiar with the room setup, and to ensure everything is ready for the advertised start time. Good Internet connectivity cannot always be guaranteed in the lecture room, so it is strongly recommended to have offline copies of all material needed.

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