Hot Seat

Ask Me Anything LIVE

Where everyone who attends becomes the center of attention.

It allows you to tap into the mind of the most successful individuals in your industry. The format engages attendees unlike any other, and reveals new truths. It allows for originality with unexpected results.

The hot seat floods the VIP with a wave of appreciation and allows attendees to see new possibilities for themselves.

What if others in your company adopted some of the beliefs of the top performers in your company or industry? Excellence can be contagious. You just need a medium to begin the flow. Hot Seat is that medium.

The Hot Seat is an ingenious strategy to generate new buzz for your organization or event.

If you run a conference, have you ever considered the potential impact of having a big name associated with your event? This unique format provides something different that appeals to anyone.

The model allows attendees to engage more deeply and removes the intimidation by providing them with a list of questions to ask the VIP.

Part 1 - Attendees are put on the hotseat

There's two high chairs, our 'VIP' is in one. I begin by formulating a list of questions in advance (see sample below) - they are printed out for the VIP.

The VIP draws a name of one attendee who sits in the hot seat. The VIP then asks one question from the list (or comes up with their own).

The first part of the event is not what attendees expected. But it allows for two important elements:

  1. It gives the VIP time to formulate his own best answers
  2. It creates a closer (intimate) connection between the VIP and the attendees.

You feeling is like a fireside chat or coffee shop.

New truths are revealed because the person in the hot seat hasn't been prepped with the question in advance. The first thing we say is often closer to the truth. The process taps into the collective wisdom of the audience and engages them in the event. You might be surprised to find that Bill in accounting is a hidden genius within your own company!

In Part 2 of the event, the VIP is put on the hotseat.

But rather than the typical Q&A being asked from one person, the VIP continues to draw names and those called get to step up on stage and as the questions now. The tables are turned, but now the answers come from the master in the room.

Each person who is drawn has the option to ask the VIP a question or formulate their own question.

Having the VIP go second is key. It's to prevent their answers from impacting answers given by the attendees and gives the VIP more time to think about the questions they might be asked (since they were the one asking the questions in part 1). It's extremely impactful because when we hear the VIPs answer, we see a clearer distinction of how it contradicts (or is similar) to the attendees answer - and it becomes more relatable (and memorable).

We'll record the event and it will become a cherished artifact. I'm amazed at what new truths come out, but more meaningful is the connection the audience feels with the VIP. I've seen it turn envy into admiration.


These are questions I had formulated when we had Jay Asher was in the hotseat at a recent event. Questions related to the craft of writing:

The result of this unique format was a more an intimate event that many attendees reported as one of the best meetings they had ever attended.

Because the names are randomly drawn, it tends to catch people off guard so they can drop any personal agenda they might have.

Also, these events are often done as a surprise. You can keep the name hidden from attendees, but pique interest framing it as a special event (since it's unlike any format you've done before). As people enter the event, they write their name on a slip of paper, but are not told the reason why.

Contact me to discuss how I can bring the HOT SEAT format and make your next event amazing for your attendees!

My best,
Brian Schwartz

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