There are many different presentation formats to choose from. What will work best is determined by the participants’ styles, the topic of the presentation, and its overall intent. Some formats you might consider include:
● town hall style – a keynote speaker is accessible to the audience so that they can ask any questions they have. This gives the audience the opportunity to address a specific issue in a very interactive manner with a single expert. A strong moderator is key to this format’s success due to the open nature of the event, the need for time-keeping and topic management, and the potential for conflict. The moderator should also be prepared with questions in case of quiet periods, or if there is the need to address or change a certain topic;
● fireside chat style – a more structured interview to discuss particular topics one-to-one with an expert. Audience questions may or may not be included. Both interviewer and interviewee need to be well prepared beforehand with questions, topics, and knowledge of the purpose of the chat – without it appearing rigidly scripted. Video, short audience Q&A, straw polls, etc. may be inserted into the program to highlight given areas and break up the presentation;
● panel discussion – is made up of 3 or 4 panelists and a moderator. The moderator will introduce the panelists, who may have the opportunity to speak briefly about their expertise/stance, etc. The moderator will lead the discussion by asking questions of specific panelists and managing the ensuing discussion. The panelists should be given the chance to meet prior to the presentation in order to organize the direction and focus of the discussion. A lively panel discussion will bring together differing viewpoints, include interactions between the panelists, and involve the audience by including their questions and feedback.
● quickfire demos – speakers have a limited amount of time to give a very short presentation or demo followed by 5 minutes of questions. This provides an introduction to a topic or can showcase a range of different products or services. This is particularly suited to a themed event and can be inserted into a virtual event to break things up.