The first few minutes of your panel discussion are absolutely critical. Although people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, they do. The audience (and panelists) need to know that they are in good hands.
I just inhaled Chip and Dan Heath’s new book: The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact – primarily for the insights into our ability to create magical moments for our customers, our colleagues, friends and family (you can read my review here).
One of the panel moderator’s most important responsibilities is to keep the conversation flowing naturally. Like a good talk show host, here are 12 tips to keep the keep the conversation lively and informative:
Facilitating a panel discussion is not easy.
It’s show time! It’s time to take all that planning for an amazing panel discussion and put it into action.
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
What kind of panel moderator are you?
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.
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: