Conversation Leader Guide VIRTUAL C2C

As the Conversation Leader, you will coordinate some event logistics and lightly guide the conversation. A Wake Forest University staff member will manage key aspects of the planning process (invitations, RSVPs, setting up the Zoom meeting, etc.). The desired outcome is for participants to value the experience enough to seek out more conversations – with each other, with Wake Forest University and within their communities.


Your "to do" list


The C2C topic is the broader theme, and the prompt provides an entry point that allows participants to share a story about themselves. Take a look at our list of topics and prompts and let us know what resonates with you. You can also work with the C2C team to create something unique.


Introduce yourself, remind them of the time of the conversation and how to join via the link, and ask them to confirm attendance or let you know if their plans have changed. Your project coordinator will provide you with a reminder email template.

How to lead the conversation


Please note: we have included a word-for-word script at the end of this guide that you can use and refer to while leading your conversation. What follows is a general overview of the conversation structure.

Reveal (about 25 minutes)

  • Introductions and discussion prompt responses

Connect (about 25 minutes)

  • Free-flowing discussion
  • As Conversation Leader, you may notice some participants aren’t joining in. Try using material they shared earlier to draw them into the conversation.

Empower (about 10 minutes)

  • This wrap-up time gives everyone a chance to reflect on the experience and share take-aways with the group.

What you should know

  • It’s possible that some guests may cancel, no-show, or attend at the last minute. If your group is smaller than expected, we suggest you carry on as planned.
  • In your reminder email to the group, suggest that participants review the topic and prompt ahead of time. You can also advise them to write down the topic/prompt to refer back to.
  • Sometimes our best laid plans go awry, especially with technology. Encourage the group to offer each other grace and help if anyone is having trouble. Be sure to speak up if someone’s mic is muted or video is off. If there are significant issues with bandwidth, consider asking a participant (or the whole group if everyone is experiencing delays) to turn off the video and move to audio only.
  • After your C2C, we will ask you to confirm attendance. Consider writing down everyone’s names as they introduce themselves.
  • Your project coordinator will schedule and generate the links to your Zoom meeting. They will also provide the password for your meeting.
  • As the conversation leader, please make every effort to join the Zoom meeting from a computer rather than a mobile device.
  • Lastly, if you are interested in downloading a C2C-themed virtual background for Zoom, you can visit our website for options and more information!

Conversation Leader Script

HELLO & WELCOME (5 mins)

  • Thank you for taking time to join us today. It’s wonderful to see you all, and I’m so glad you’re here for our Virtual Call to Conversation on [TOPIC].
  • I would like to begin our time together by offering some background on Call to Conversation and also reviewing some Zoom guidelines. To start, please update your name display in Zoom if you haven't already. Think of this like your name tag! It will help us address one another by name throughout the conversation. Simply right click on your name where it is displayed below your video and click "rename." If there are two of you joining from one household, please include both of your names!


  • The Call to Conversation movement began at Wake Forest University in 2017. The opportunity to connect through meaningful conversation is especially appealing to the Wake Forest community, where the civil exchange of ideas helps us appreciate the perspectives of others.


A C2C is a single conversation.

  • It’s important that only one person speaks at a time while the rest of the group listens. Please be present, give others their full attention and avoid background distractions.

Direct thoughts and questions to each other.

  • I encourage you to react to and build on ideas as they arise in the conversation.

Take notes.

  • Jot down thoughts or questions as they occur to you and bring them up when the opportunity presents itself.

Avoid off-topic tangents and long stretches when only one person is talking.

  • Help me keep the discussion on track and make sure everyone has a chance to speak. When things go astray, I will politely steer the conversation back on course.

Expect deliberate transitions in the conversation.

  • This is a three-part conversation as noted in the provided discussion guide. I will keep an eye on timing. Everyone should be ready to change gears as I lead transitions from the discussion prompt responses to free-flowing conversation to the wrap-up.


  • You have controls to mute and unmute your microphone and video. I’d suggest that we all keep our video on for this time together. I’ll also ask you to be considerate when others are talking by muting your mic so everyone can clearly hear the person who is speaking. The goal is to have one person speaking at a time.
  • You also have the control to change the configuration of how other people appear on your screen. I’d recommend the “Gallery View” so that you can see everyone as if we were in one room together. That option is in the top right corner.
  • Please pitch in if someone is experiencing technological issues or forgot to unmute their microphone. Be gentle and understanding with each other!
  • Lastly, I’m going to ask you to be fully present. If there’s an emergency of any sort or you need to take an urgent call, please mute your microphone and video so as not to distract the group, and if necessary, you can leave the conversation by pressing your “Leave Meeting” button in the bottom right hand corner.


1. First, I'll ask everyone to introduce themselves (with name and class year or other connection to Wake Forest and where you are calling in from).

  • I will answer first and then pick someone to go next. After introducing yourself, I think that each person should call on the next person to answer, instead of answering “popcorn style," since the order in which we appear on the screen is going to be different for everyone.

2. Thank you! As a reminder, the prompt for today's conversation is [READ PROMPT]. I'm excited to hear your answers! As with the introductions, I will go first and then invite someone to share next.


Thank you all for sharing.

Possible follow-up questions:

  • What similarities did you notice?
  • What are you surprised wasn’t mentioned?
  • What questions came to mind as you listened?

WRAP-UP (10 mins)

  • Going around one by one again, I'll ask you to respond to one final question: what will you take away from this conversation, and what will you do with it?
  • Before everyone signs off, I'm going to take a screenshot of the group.
  • For Windows, use Snipping Tool to take a screenshot (note: when you hit “new,” the screen will freeze, so make sure everyone is smiling before you hit “new!”).
  • You may also use the keyboard shortcut “Print Screen” option. Once you have hit this button, a screenshot is saved to your clipboard. You can simply “Paste” this screenshot into a blank email or Word document.
  • For Mac, use the keyboard shortcut “Shift + Command + 4” (note: make sure everyone is smiling before hitting the shortcut).
  • Save the screenshot as a JPG.

Thank you all again for joining. Feel free to sign off whenever you like! I'll wait to sign off until everyone has left.

c2c@wfu.edu | 336.758.2172 | #CalltoConversation