John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

My first time... :)


My first fireside chat...

There’s nothing like getting to know your clients better than walking in their shoes for a moment.

That’s exactly what I did the other day when I put my camera down, and sat in front of a room full of entrepreneurs and participated in my first fireside chat ever - a 90+ minute chat at a WeWork in Manhattan.

I certainly gained a lot more respect for my thought leader clients after this experience, :)

I’ve shot hundreds of these talks over the years - never thinking that I would actually be the one in the chair in the front of the room with everyone staring at me.

Although I spoke with Maiko Sakai, the event organizer, prior to the event to go over some specifics, we basically kept the fireside chat conversation open and loose and didn’t prepare many specific topics to touch on - she wanted to keep it organic and free-flowing, which was fine by me.

Although I didn’t have any slides to share (I don’t even know how to use Powerpoint, shhh), I did conduct a mini-workshop where I had everyone work through some of the questions in my Brand Image Elevation Plan.

I thought I was going to be freaking out the whole time and just ummm’ing and you know’ing the shit out of everyone’s eardrums, but, in all honesty, I felt super comfortable leading the fireside chat and was at ease, which completely shocked me.

And no, it’s not just because I was sitting in a super comfy, furry bean bag chair drinking some of WeWork’s finest craft beer, :)

Although it was a little surreal talking aloud about all of the topics that, up to this point, I’ve only written about, I felt as though the information I was sharing was being received well and it resonated with those in attendance.

Several people came over to thank me for the talk afterwards and followed up with more questions, which was so cool since I’ve never experienced something like that before.

Phew, this was my main concern leading up to the fireside chat - I wanted to make sure that everyone would get something valuable out of it.

I’m sure you all can relate to this feeling.

Although the attendees were happy with what they heard, I had a couple friends in the audience - a few who speak publicly - and I received a treasure trove of insights and feed-forward (why feed-back when you can feed-forward?) on what to do differently next time in order to make the experience even more valuable for everyone.

If you’d like to check out the fireside chat, click here.

I’ve already watched it a couple times myself, taking a ton of notes on how to express my thoughts and opinions in an even more streamlined, yet impactful way.

All in all, this is something I NEVER thought I would attempt in my life, but, I’m really glad I did because it’s an amazing way to share value with people in a more interpersonal way.

I honestly feel like now that I’ve broken the fireside chat seal, I want to get out there more and have some fun doing these talks to create some impact and to leave people better than they were yesterday!

How did you feel after your first talk? Were you deflated, bewildered, confused, or energized, empowered and feeling sky high?
Please share your story below.

Also, please share this with your speaker friends and colleagues - I’d love to hear their stories, as well.

PS - Are you planning on investing in a session and are in need of some direction with the types of branded, image content that you need? Want help when selecting your final portraits?  

Schedule a call with me here and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.