Sometimes, you just need to let the audience drive the conversation. It really has to be a perfect storm of conditions: The audience is familiar with the topic and has lots of questions they want to ask “the experts” aka the panelists. The audience is already familiar with the panelists - either they were introduced to
Everyone loves a good debate -especially if there is a strong sense of an even-handed process facilitated by a skilled moderator, there are opportunities for the audience to get involved in the conversation, AND that they get to vote as to who wins! So let’s take a page from the classic Oxford Union debate format
San Diego ComicCon is the ultimate panel discussion event of the year. Packing Hall H with over 6,500 people (many of whom stand in line overnight) to hear from their favorite actors, programs, and authors. What's even more crazy is that the panel format is the dominant session format! Who knew panels were so attractive
I am always trolling for great ideas to add more pizzazz to your panel discussion and just stumbled on Erin L. Albert's blog where she gave 7 Steps to a Unicorian, Utterly Unforgettable Panel Discussion. My favorite is number 5: "The organizer of the panel gave the panelists something interesting to wear to mark the occasion — This may
What kind of panel moderator are you? That was the question as a few of us were sipping martinis on our back deck in Prince Edward Island, gazing out at the ocean. We came up with 8 different styles – and agreed that we have seen all eight styles – although not all at the
If you have prepared the panelists appropriately and kicked the panel discussion off well, the conversation will start to flow on its own and the panelists won’t be coming back to you for ping-pongs or hot potatoes. However, you may need to interject here and there to keep the conversation moving at a brisk pace.
At some point during a panel discussion, the panel moderator will turn to the audience and ask for questions. Most folks call this "Audience Q&A" where the moderator takes questions from the audience via text, question card, open microphone, or Oprah-style, depending on the event. To facilitate a meaningful Q&A session, a powerful panel moderator
Ugh. Sometimes, someone from the audience asks a lame question in a panel discussion. As the panel moderator OR a panelist, I believe you have two options: You can either look like a deer in the headlight, or Reframe the question into a "better" question! When the question is... Unfocused or Unclear. Rephrase the question
I am often asked, "When do I NEED to use microphones during my panel discussion?" For audiences under 50 people, you may be able to get away without using microphones. Between 50-75, it’s nice to have. Over 75, I highly recommend using some kind of amplification system. Even if you don’t think you need it,
It's sad, but true. No one really thinks about the panel moderator during the marketing and promotion process. Although the panel moderator is not directly responsible for marketing the program, he or she can certainly help the meeting organizers promote the event and the panel session. Here are some ways panel moderators can tastefully and effectively
You took me from apprehension and a fair bit of anxiety, step by step, into feeling confident and actually looking forward to this event. All this in about an hour. Thank you!
I attended your session on Reinventing the Panel Discussion and came up afterwards saying your session was “worth the price of admission.” Many thanks for an excellent, thought-provoking session!
“Kristin Arnold is truly the best moderator I have had the pleasure to work with. She was instrumental in helping our sales and marketing team properly prepare for and successfully launch an industry accredited webinar which included a panel discussion. Our goal was to make the session educational and engaging while also subtly building brand awareness. Based on comments we received, we did just that! Kristin knows how to ask the right questions in order to stay on track, and how to lead a team to set and achieve their goals and objectives. She is genuine, fun and a pleasure to work with.”
Janine Chung Thompson
“I just ‘binge watched’ all seven videos of yours on moderating panel discussions. I cannot tell how grateful I am to have come across your site! Thank you for the excellent inside track on what to do and what not to do!”
“Kristin – I promised to email you about how my panel on performance anxiety went at the National Flute Association convention last week.
It was great! I continued to study your book and the notes I took from our conversation. Your ideas helped me a great deal in making this an exciting, informative panel. Throughout the rest of the convention, I received a large amount of positive feedback that the panel had been of great benefit to the members in the audience. That was my goal, and I was so happy that we had all achieved it together.
Thank you again for your generosity and kindness in guiding me regarding this experience.”
“I have been to so many bad panels, and been a culprit in putting on more than a few, that I have developed a real aversion to them, but now I have hope that they can be done well! We’re talking about requiring our moderators to go through the training you make available on your site, and at the very least we’re going to up our game in terms of trying to make sure the moderators are up to doing the job the way it should be done. They’re too important not to really spend time training them. We’ve been playing with different formats in recent years, but I am inspired to try some of the new ideas you gave us. So many takeaways from your your Web site, your book and your training!”
“Kristin Arnold is an expert public speaker and moderator who knows how to make meetings engaging, insightful and valuable. In this priceless booklet, she shares her expertise and wisdom to help others lead more effective panels. If you are running a conference, meeting or panel, you owe it to your audience to probe Kristin’s ideas.”
“Your guidebook, Powerful Panels, is a great reminder of some of the basics. I read it a few days before moderating the panel – and it’s amazing how much better the panel discussion was!”
“Panels. The very word causes most of us to groan as it brings up feelings of dislike and disdain. Kristin Arnold has taken the dry, boring, traditional panel format and infused it with excitement, engagement and anticipation all for the audience’s pleasure. Her book Powerful Panels provides a step by step approach to creating 21st Century panels and is a must read for all who plan meetings, events and education formats.”
"Panels can be deadly dull, but they don’t have to be.
Panel Improvement Evangelist Kristin Arnold tells you
how you can make them much, much better."