Getting teams to talk to each other can be like pulling teeth. Full tech talks are great but are best suited to communicating significant results. I’d like to share an informal talks format that I’ve seen work well for low-pressure information sharing. We call them Bull Sessions, or Bullrun. At this point I have no idea why!

Running of the Bulls


  • Start with bidding/nomination: people bid for time and a topic, short talks encouraged
  • Talks are conducted from shortest to longest
  • Talks are timed (Google Stopwatch)
  • Heckling is encouraged when speakers run over

For example, here’s the aftermath of the first bullrun of the Bradfield Sabbatical Program.

Bullrun Bidding


  • Short is good (1-5 minutes is common)
  • You don’t need anything groundbreaking to say
  • You don’t need anything prepared
  • If you need time for discussion (a “jam”) factor that into your bid for time
  • You can talk about anything. We had a team member talk for 3 minutes about how to plan a wedding
  • You can also encourage other people to speak

Keep it light and fun.