There are times when the topic is so divisive that the panel moderator must become a referee!
Don’t you just hate it when the panel moderator takes forever to launch the panel discussion? Drones on and on, talks about him or herself?
I’m a big fan of audience interaction during a panel discussion, so you would think I would be a big proponent of having a Q&A session all the time.
I’ve been talking to a gaggle (which is not quite a google) of meeting planners over the last several years about what makes a panel discussion successful.
You just finished moderating a lively and informative panel discussion. The audience is clearly appreciative of the conversation with abundant applause and additional conversation amongst themselves and with the panelists.
Never, ever assume that your panelists have served on a panel discussion. Confirm these details to make sure they are clear about the expectations and comfortable with their role:
I just moderated a panel discussion of meeting professionals at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) Convention in Edmonton, AB. Not only was it an excellent conversation, but several people had asked me about the process I used.
At a recent panel discussion at the Back End of Innovation Conference in New Orleans, LA, the panel moderator wanted to encourage audience members to share their “failures” in commercializing innovation. Not an easy task to get people to ‘fess up’ in front of their peers.
I am always on the lookout for creative panel discussion formats, so when I found a panel using Dr. Seuss hats, I was intrigued. So I called Jane Stevens, founder of ACEs Connection Network and panel moderator of the session on “Trauma-informed and Resilience-building Communities: The Journey of ACEs Heroes” at the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) conference.