The local Microsoft office, Microsoft Evangelists and the local MVPs do an excellent job supporting the local user groups and encouraging members to step up and present. They also encourage locals to attend the user groups and support these novice speakers. Of course, in some cases, it is hard to tell a difference between the novices and the pros. Probably because the Microsoft crowd help out with speaker preparation.
Having someone at the front doing the presentation and warm bodies to fill the seats and encourage the speakers are good, but there is the PH factor. PH testing is used to determine if something is too acidic or too alkaline. It is an indicator of the middle ground. For user groups, you do not want one extreme or the other. You want a balance.
In user groups, the balance is obtained by the individuals who go beyond just attending. They help out with the organization and setup for the events. People who act as cheerleaders for the group. These individuals inspire others to attend, help out or present. They are the core of the user groups. Their presense will determine the viability of the user group.
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org