A little preparation can go a long way! After reading the book, familiarize yourself with the discussion questions included in the Book Club to Go bag or come up with your own.
Consider emailing members a few starter questions before the group meets.
Before the meeting begins, arrange the seating in a comfortable manner.
If the group is new, or a new member has joined, start the meeting with introductions.
Approach the discussion as an open dialogue where you will act as the facilitator. Try to involve everyone in the discussion. Help draw out the quiet members and prevent anyone from dominating the conversation.
Use open-ended questions to encourage dialogue and avoid closed-ended questions that result in a “yes” or “no” answer, such as “Did you like the book?”
Remember lively discussions often involve disagreement; not everyone will have the same opinions. Create a safe environment for expressing and respecting these differences. Let members know all opinions are welcome.
If there is a lull in the discussion, try reading a passage aloud or jump in with a thought or two. Remember though, as with any conversation, some silence is natural. Relax and see how the conversation flows.
If needed, redirect the conversation to keep the discussion on track and moving forward.
When it is time, call for the meeting’s end and summarize the points covered. This is also a good time to collect the books and consider planning for your next meeting.