Some words of wisdom from fellow professional panel moderator, Brian Walter: If you are in charge of the panel you want to “cast for contrast.” And I am very deliberate about these words. You are “casting” a panel. You are creating a scene, a ‘panelesque,’ a movie. So you want different characters instead of everybody
Perhaps you’ve been asked to serve as a panelist in an upcoming panel discussion…and you may be wondering, “What do I have to do to be prepared?”
You just agreed to be a panelist at your organization’s annual meeting and you are wondering, “What was I thinking?”
I was talking with a meeting organizer the other day who was grousing about the usual suspects. You know… the folks who are ALWAYS called upon to be on the panel – “legends” in the business (at least in their own mind), panel groupies who always offer to be on a panel, sponsors who need
I see it all the time: A panel that lacks visual diversity. It’s a bunch of middle-aged white men as panelists and no women or minorities. In fact, there is a new term for all-male panels. It’s a “manel” and they have gone viral via a Tumblr blog sarcastically called, Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel.
A key skill of any panel moderator is to inspire conversation between the panelists. After the initial remarks (either through an initial presentation or first “hot potato question“), listen for areas of agreement or disagreement to inspire conversation.
A recipe for panel disaster is allowing the panelists to “just show up” and expect brilliance to spring forth. Sure, it could happen if the panelists are socially aware, have met each other before, and are willing to stay focused on the topic. But without any preparation, it probably won’t go so well.
Every once in a while, I hear a drum beat for an end to panels at meetings, conferences and conventions. Many of these commentaries lament that panels are boring and don’t deliver value. True enough….but that’s not the fault of the format – it’s the fault of the people involved. Meeting planners choose a boring topic,
During the webinar last week on 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Panel Discussions, I recommended the new book by branding expert and leading authority on the science of fascination, Sally Hogshead, How the World Sees You. The idea is that you need to know what about you is fascinating so you can “bring it