Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Of One Island and Two Types of People

I attended a seminar yesterday in Belfast. I knew the person organising it. She asked me if I would be a plant and ask a question in the Q&A session just in case there were no volunteers. So I did. Two other delegates asked a question too and both the session and the seminar finished afterwards.
She told me that the other two delegates were plants too adding that the main speaker had mentioned to her that he had not experienced such a flat audience in a long long time.
There's something about us Northern Ireland folk that we're very reluctant to give of ourselves at these types of events. Maybe it's because Northern Ireland is so small that people fear that a duff question will always be remembered and associated with them. Maybe it's something deeper.
At Legal-Island whenever we do our flagship Annual Review conference we have a very different experience in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In the latter we have to fight off questions and sometimes have to make it difficult for delegates to submit a question because we get so many. In the former we have to positively incentivise them to submit questions, sometimes by offering a prize for the best question.
There's no prizes for guessing which audience my friend would rather look after....

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