Summit interviews don’t have to be boring!
Interviews can be an incredibly beneficial part of your event. They allow for more connection between you and your speakers, they allow attendees to get to know you as the host, and they're easy for speakers to participate in.
But if your interviews aren't energized, focused, and actionable, the attendees will mentally checkout and miss valuable information. They might even decide to skip the rest of the summit.
The good news is that your interview-style summit can be just as action-packed as a summit with all slides-based presentations, but you have to conduct the interviews in a way that will make it happen.
Today, we'll cover:
An interview-style format for your virtual summit can be just as action-packed as a summit with all slide-based presentations, but there are a few things to consider when deciding if an interview-style format is right for your summit.
Interviews aren’t a good fit for everyone. Some hosts don’t prefer to use an interview-style format for their virtual summit because:
Interviews are a good fit for you when…
If you've decided that interviews (or a mix of interviews and slides) are the best fit for your summit, watch out for these top 6 mistakes.
Keep speakers' introductions short and sweet with 1-2 sentences. Control the length of the introduction by doing it yourself, then diving right into questions or you’ll lose your attendees. This might not be the case if you have a more sensitive topic like mental health and the attendee needs to trust the speaker before they get into the presentation topic.
While it's easier on you, it's extremely boring for attendees when every speaker is asked the same questions. Instead, focus each presentation on a specific topic and create custom questions for each.
Occasionally you’ll interview speakers who aren’t energetic and come off flat. It’s up to you to lift both of you up. One person with energy is better than zero people with energy.
When your attendees come to your summit to get a transformation, you have to deliver on that, even through an interview. Avoid having casual chats with your speakers and instead, have them ready to share actionable tips by asking specific questions and giving them time to prepare in advance.
Focus on being an active listener and speak less than you want to, even though it’s tempting to add your 2 cents! Your attendees are there to get value from your guest and you’re there to feature your guest, not yourself. Focus on the person you’re interviewing.
Speaker agreements are just as important with interviews as they are with presentations. You need written permission to use the video moving forward so speakers don’t come back and say you didn’t have permission to share.
Conducting actionable interviews come down to the questions that you ask. Include questions that will make your speakers dig below surface-level responses.
When planning interview questions, think of it as if you’re outlining a presentation for this person to give. Don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps are or ask follow-up questions to dive deeper. For example, if they give a surface-level answer, ask for 3 steps to make it happen.
To get actionable interviews, give your guest the questions being asked ahead of time and point out the questions where you’ll be looking for actionable and detailed answers. Aim to send these about a week ahead of time.
Now that you know the key is to ask the right questions, let’s cover a general structure of a good interview. Tweak this for your audience, topic, and summit, but this is what tends to work well.
Interviews aren’t the best fit for everyone, and it can be hard to host an engaging summit with all interviews, but if you're skilled at interviewing and can get actionable information from your speakers, you can totally pull it off.
Write out an interview outline based on what you want your attendees to get from your summit.
Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.