Forget TED Talks: Let's Do Drink, Talk, Learn

In theory, it looks like this, but add drinks, fun subjects and a potentially rowdy audience and then you get the gist of the concept. (Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Learning new stuff doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, if you take the "Drink, Talk, Learn" approach, it can be the basis of a memorable party.

The idea is brilliantly simple: All the people invited to the party bring a three-minute presentation with them on any subject. The only rules are that the presentation can't be longer than 180 seconds, and it should include a visual element in the form of a slideshow, like PowerPoint.

Twitter user Michal, a software designer from Seattle, tweeted about the party idea. She included images from her presentation on Sonic the Hedgehog — which won best presentation at her party — and it went viral. "I’d highly recommend it; I ended up learning a lot about Seattle public transit, the history of Windows startup sounds, and fancy rats," Michal wrote of the other presentations she heard at her party.

What's the point? To learn and have fun — that's all. And it's a great way to share the stuff we randomly know. If everyone brings a bottle of wine, it could also be a very low-cost way to have a fun night out.

The original invitation that Michal shared had a few more rules, should you be interested in throwing your own version of the event: "Should you go over three (3) minutes, you will be asked to finish your drink, and then resume giving your presentation. Every additional minute will result in further drinking penalties," it reads.

And: "Heckling is allowed if it is witty and brief."

You also can't be too well-prepared; there are no timers allowed on the PowerPoint presentation. You have to keep yourself timed, which is part of the challenge.

Of course, if you want to throw one of these parties, you can make your own rules. I might increase the time frame to five minutes, as three seems bit short. And of course, there's no reason you couldn't do this without alcoholic beverages, or open it up to older kids and teens. You could also limit the subject to something broad like sports, food or art but ask each guest to focus on one element of the topic.

Part of the appeal of a learning party is you can format it any way you like. That's also part of the fun of being an adult — you can use your time off for whatever, so why not make it fun?