In the contemporary world traditional presentations are yielding their place to fireside chats. WHY? To answer this, first let’s see WHAT fireside chats are.
A fireside chat is a dialogue between a speaker and a moderator.
Now let’s answer the second question, which was “WHY?”.
Compared to the other traditional presentations, the format of a fireside chat is informal, yet structured. A moderator focuses on adding a casual tone to the conversation while providing massive value to the audience. You get a detailed understanding of someone’s character and being.
Built as a fireside chat, it always misses one thing: Fire. You may ask “Then why we call it a fireside chat?”
The fire’s popularization belongs to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who held a series of radio addresses beginning in the Great Depression. The aim of informal talks was to make people feel like FDR was talking to families next to his fireplace. Here is how the name was generated.
To organize a successful fireside chat you should follow the guides below.
1. Carefully choose a guest speaker
Fireside chats create a friendly atmosphere for speakers to open up and share the interesting parts of their work and life story with audience members. They create an opportunity to reveal the personality and life experience of your guests.
That is why it is important to invite someone who has interesting things to talk about, an interesting career or life story.
Also, among thousands of speakers you should choose the one who is able to open up and capture the imagination, a speaker who can introduce the story in such a casual way for the audience to feel like home.
Choose a moderator even more carefully
The moderator is the one who keeps the conversation flowing, therefore, it is even more important to choose them carefully. They are the leaders of the whole chat and they are the ones who will direct the conversation toward the planned agenda. You can infer, that inviting a correctly chosen guest speaker is not enough for successful fireside chats.
The interviewer should be the one who is capable to ask interesting and insightful questions. S/he should be able to keep the dialogue structured and help the guest speaker to open up.
So do research and choose the one who is famous for leading great interviews.
Have a summary of topics to be discussed
Even though you are not going to prepare and send all the questions to the speaker beforehand, it is preferable to send him/her some of the main questions or the summary of topics that are going to be addressed.
It will help the guest speaker to understand what topics the conversation will be constructed around so they won’t be put in an awkward situation.
What will you have as a result? A relaxed conversation, more well-though and insightful stories, and a more productive and interesting fireside chat!
Make the setting comfortable and informal
To help the guest speaker truly open up and give more information you should make the setting informal and casual.
Comfortable seating, such as installing comfortable armchairs or sofas and a relaxing lightning can be enough to provide an informal atmosphere, that should be a top priority. Don’t forget about the water and the temperature of the room.
Encourage audience interaction
To make a fireside chat really helpful and successful, encourage audience interaction by bringing them into the discussion: open the floor for questions and feedback. Two-way conversation from the stage can be too general for your audience to get the information they need, so enable them to participate in the process and speak up.
To make the audience interaction happen smoothly, get a Q&A event app and ask your audience to send their questions. A simple search will do the job for you, we offer you try out Swift Polling, as it enables to vote through both web and sms fast and easy. Read through these articles to learn how to move on with Swift polling:
4. How to visualize polls’ results.
The moderator will show the results in real time. Moreover s/he can choose to show and answer the questions that are more appropriate to answer.
So, it’s a great opportunity to make the attendees feel like they are a part of the conversation and help them know what they are interested in.
Most probably you are now thinking about conducting a fireside chat for your next event. It will bring everyone together to enjoy an informal, yet insightful experience. And to have a successful one follow the guides we prepared for you.