The Community Glossary

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Fireside Chat

Fireside Chats are intimate, personal, and interactive discussions that involve a guest speaker and a moderator or host. Fireside chats are very informal as compared to various events and do not particularly revolve around agendas. The point is to have the guest speaker share personal stories of growth and insights on various topics.

It’s meant to be exactly like how a fireside chat would be. It’s like a few friends sitting next to a fireplace, having beautiful conversations without any expectations or goals.

Why should you host fireside chats?

  • Extremely laid back and friendly chat that lets people be themselves.
  • There’s no pressure to achieve something by the end of it, ask questions, or be right about anything.
  • A way to get to know people better; understand the human side of others.
  • It points to an aspect of vulnerability that lets others also feel comfortable in their own skin and even speak up about their stories.

Some best practices to host amazing fireside chats -

  • Research your speakers beforehand. Not everyone is good at everything, so try to pick out friendlier faces who are more likely to lighten up the mood. Also, as the conversations might get a bit personal, make sure the speakers are comfortable sharing stuff like that.
  • Encourage people to keep their cameras on as it builds more intimacy in the conversation.
  • Keep it a live session, allowing people to ask their questions.
  • Keep the chat buzzing and make sure to set that tone from the beginning. You can ask people to share their fun short stories too in the chat.
  • The questions should not be too formal. Try to get more involved in their personal routine, what were their biggest hardships, a happy memory, biggest learnings, etc.

Fun Fact - The term ‘Fireside Chat’ dates far back to the 1930s and 40s. This was a time of turmoil and the Great Depression. The US President at the time - Franklin D Roosevelt - delivered 30 radio addresses which were known as ‘Fireside Chats’. These addresses would be where Americans would gather and listen to President Roosevelt talk to them as if he was right there. It helped alleviate some of the anxiety and stress the soldiers had.

Quite soothing, isn’t it?

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