So You Think You Can Host: My Patientco Live Hosting Experiences
By Brendan Grant
Every month, Patientco hosts Patientco Live, a talk show-style town hall meeting that all employees attend to hear from exciting “guests” (fellow Patientcoians) about what’s happening around the company. The host interviews each guest about their exciting project or initiative and gives them the opportunity to share more about their time at Patientco. Just like all great talk shows, the interviews are accompanied by music and funny bits.
As a seasoned Patientco Live host, July’s tropical themed meeting wasn’t my first rodeo; in fact, it wasn’t even my first remote rodeo. I made my hosting debut in-person in 2019, transitioned to remote hosting in 2020, and continued that trend this month. These monthly meetings bring Patientcoians together, which is rare these days, and keeps everyone engaged with the right mix of information and entertainment.
My favorite part about Patientco Live is the fun bits at the end. I think that’s popular because while we all have vested interest in how Patientco is performing and what we’re working on, I think seeing all the guests, from someone on your team to Bird, kind of let loose and do something silly/unusual/goofy lets you know that while we work hard, we also know that sometime you have to take a moment and stop and enjoy yourself.
Looking back, I think the best previous Patientco Live themes can all be tied to a song. For example, last year we had the theme “Ch-Ch-Changes” as we were talking about how COVID had changed what had happened to us and used the David Bowie song, and it was great. Some of Patientco Live’s other greatest hits include “Here Comes the Sun,” “Level Up,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “Summer Breeze”. As for a future theme suggestion, there have been some amazing folks who have hosted, and I’d love to see a reunion and have everyone host together. Speaking of changes, the biggest adjustment for me to hosting remotely was figuring out how to read the room. Sometimes you need to tweak a question to ask a slight follow up based on how the room is reacting. You have to take care to find out how people are reacting over Zoom. Similarly, the biggest adjustment to working remotely was maintaining work relationships. In my time at Patientco, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with tons of amazing people, and to form some amazing bonds with them. However, when you don’t see each other in the break room/elevator/hall you need to make sure that you’re being intentional to maintain those relationships. Of course, there are some upsides to working remotely, like spending the day with my dog (and coworker), Penny.
A show is only as good as it’s host, and I think it takes a great host to take what is, in essence, a kind of scripted interview and make it look more like a conversation. It’s important to keep the conversation flowing to make sure the audience is entertained and attentive, especially when it’s so easy to zone out on a Zoom with your camera off. In order to keep things fresh, I look to fellow professionals in the hosting field for inspiration: late night hosts! I have to say I think I take more inspiration from Conan O’Brien than anyone. I remember that sometimes he would cut over to his “String Dance” to fill time in his monologue. I may have danced to fill out time in a Patientco Live myself… (and the audience never suspected a thing)! I think people tend to be afraid to host, because you’re talking in front of the company and it can be intimidating. Don’t let that stop you! It’s a great opportunity to showcase your brand. Raise your hand and have fun with it! And if someone else doesn’t volunteer to host, I’d love to host again. There are so many cool people to have as guests on the show, but I’d love to talk to someone who studies the psychology of payments. I love to study human nature, so it’s interesting to think about the WHYs behind the reasons we approach payments like we do. I’m looking forward to seeing who hosts the next Patientco Live and hopefully transitioning back to some sort of a partially in person show, given our new “remote first” mindset!
Thanks for reading!