The format of a public meeting can determine how productive it is. Sometimes the design is dictated by its legal or political function. Other times, it may be shaped to stack the deck or imply a sincerity that is in truth absent. In some cases, they are little more than theatrical stages with a row of flags and a bank of cameras.
How are the chairs arranged? Do the officials stand on a stage facing the public with a microphone, or do the public and officials
sit in a circle with the microphone passed around? Is the room big enough for the meeting? Who gets to speak, in what order, and for how long?