Town halls are one of the most powerful platforms when an organization is looking to create an open company culture. These interactive sessions create more transparency and allow executives to engage directly with the workforce. The open atmosphere of all-hands-style broadcasts is a unique opportunity for the C-suite to connect with employees and stakeholders in a way that cements trust and respect in the leadership team.
By their nature, executives tend to be natural leaders with excellent speaking skills and the ability to inspire. However, even the most gifted leaders can benefit from tips on preparing the most fulfilling town hall event possible. While most CEOs are comfortable speaking to a room full of employees, town halls can extend the message beyond the seated audience. Many town hall meetings are now recorded via a live stream where employees, regardless of geographic location, can watch their executives address the company live through their laptop or mobile device.
Video is the de-facto communication tool in the world of interspersed workforces. For this reason, pulling off a flawless town hall broadcast that conveys a powerful message, provides opportunities for audience interaction and leaves employees feeling more engaged should be top of mind for any executive preparing for their next town hall.
For these reasons, pulling off a flawless town hall broadcast that conveys a powerful message, provides opportunities for audience interaction and leaves employees feeling more engaged should be top of mind for any executive preparing for their next town hall.
When planning your next company town hall, here are a few things to consider when preparing your executives.
Collaborate on content
Executives have a responsibility to keep employees informed of any major business development or risk failing to properly control the message. Whether announcing a merger, or preparing for a quarterly executive update, refining the content that will be covered in a town hall broadcast makes the difference between a well-executed event, and one that’s less than stellar.
Make sure your executive caps her presentation at 90 minutes. Anything longer shows a lack of content refinement, and jeopardizes the attention span of the audience. Whether your CEO is delivering good or bad news, tailoring the message to be concise, action-oriented and inclusive is paramount.
Getting the logistics right
A good corporate communication teams will plan their company’s town hall meeting down to the smallest detail. To make the event run smoothly, give your team a comfortable six-week timeline, at minimum, to select the proper venue, secure multiple presenters, and inform stakeholders of the event and what it will cover well ahead of the date.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Never underestimate the value of preparing to delivery an important message. Not only should the executive rehearse, he or she should do so in front of the camera—with cameras rolling. This gives everyone a chance to prepare and allows the corporate communication team to troubleshoot any potential issues.
Make events interactive
Live streaming platforms have rapidly evolved in the last few years. Custom-branded viewer templates, survey options, polls, and built-in audience analytics are just some of the options now available for your next event. There are also numerous interactive features such as live audience response polls, surveys and real-time Q&A. Take the time to educate yourself on all the functionality your platform offers.
Ditch the script, but not the outline. Scripts tend to feel “canned.” Audiences crave conversation, not a prepared speech. That said, the executive still needs to cover specific, key points on the state of the company. An outline with talking points can help ensure that each topic is addressed in a more conversational manner. Pay attention to pacing, and encourage your executive to use a natural and honest voice.
Archive your recording
All corporate town halls should be recorded and made viewable by employees unable to attend the live event. Having these archives available in a virtual library increases access to the content, as any employee unable to watch live can view later on-demand. Archiving resources also benefits new employees, or anyone who may have had difficulty understanding a live broadcast.
The future of town hall broadcasts, and what they represent to an organization, has never been stronger and more meaningful. Executive communication will no longer require employees to simply listen. Town hall events will require conversation and collaboration among all employees, regardless of their location. Thanks to interactive functionality, executives can gain immediate insight into how their employees feel about the state of their company.
Investing in practices to ensure a smooth town hall will guarantee your company’s next broadcast is well-received and runs without a hitch.
Join MediaPlatform for their upcoming webinar, “How to Prepare for Your Next Town Hall Broadcast.”