Someone Needs to Kill “Fireside Chats”

Someone needs to kill fireside chats

Conference organizers and interviewers sometimes do this thing where they refer to interviews or special sessions they have with a guest as “fireside chats”.

Never mind the fact that this concept jumped the shark years ago… There’s even a Forbes “listicle” about it…


News flash to hosts… Your guest isn’t FDR.

And the interview is never by a fire, which is beside the point.

They are also rarely “intimate” which is what one imagines a real fireside chat to be.2

Like “rapid fire questions“, I have STRONG feelings of dislike for this concept of “fireside chats” because it is so condescending and infantilizing to the audience as to be borderline nauseating.

Conference organizers should stop framing these sessions as if 1) the audience knows nothing about the topic and 2) the guest is some avuncular font of godlike wisdom.

As an alternative, the interviewer could refer to the event as an “intimate discussion” and limit the attendance but charge more per person.

Or at least make the guest build an actual fire or something…

Just a thought.


  1. Can I get an interstitial?
  2. The only such event that I have ever attended which even remotely resembled an actual fireside chat was an interview with a small event a ski lodge that was by an actual fire and had about 20 people at it… And even then… Cue serious eyeroll.