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:
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.
As the moderator, you are the audience’s chief advocate. If someone’s boring you, then chances are they are boring the audience as well. If you think they are going on too long and not making their point, you need to intervene.
When doing your research in preparation for your panel discussion, find “the dead space” in the topic.
As a panel discussion expert, I am always on the lookout for new ideas, formats, and styles. So I’ve set up some Google Alerts to let me know when there is a blog post or video that includes “panel discussion,” “panel moderator” or “panelist.” And I read and watch them ALL. I know, you’re thinking,
I’ve talked about the importance of picking “DEEP” panelists – Diverse, Experienced, Eloquent, and Prepared. But what happens if those panelists don’t get along?
Last week, I moderated a panel discussion on “risk assessment” – a potentially boring topic – but it wasn’t boring at all! Why? Because I involved the audience from the get-go and focused the conversation on what they knew and what they needed to know.
It’s an intriguing thought: Can a panel moderator challenge the panelists to change their own behavior?
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?