How do you position panel discussions in the minds of your audience at meetings, conferences and conventions?   Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Joe Calloway, Business Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.

Hint: He doesn’t call it a “panel.”  He calls it a “conversation!”

 

Video Transcript

Kristin:  Joe, how do you position your panels in the minds of your clients and in the audience? Do you call it a panel, or do you call it something else?

Joe:  I call it a ‘conversation.’ I say– with the client, I say, “You know, one thing that we can do that’s sometimes really a plus is for me to bring three of your people on stage and have a conversation,” and with the audience, when I get to that part of the presentation, I’ll say, “You know, I wanted to make this presentation truly about you and what’s going on in your world and what’s working in your world. So what I want to do now is have a conversation with three of your colleagues.” And that’s what I call it. Now occasionally, I would do a keynote and then for a separate session, they will have me moderate, facilitate a panel and it’s called a ‘panel’ and it’s set up that way, but that’s separate from my presentation and it’s just an added value thing that I do with the client in addition to a keynote. So, sometimes yeah, it’s actually called a ‘panel’ but when I put a name on it, it’s a conversation.

Now occasionally, I would do a keynote and then for a separate session, they will have me moderate, facilitate a panel and it’s called a ‘panel’ and it’s set up that way.  But that’s separate from my presentation and it’s just an added value thing that I do with the client in addition to a keynote. So, sometimes yeah, it’s actually called a ‘panel’ but when I put a name on it, it’s a conversation.

Looking for More?

Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high stakes meeting facilitator is on a crusade to make all panel discussions informative, interactive, and interesting.   Specifically, she wants to help YOU become a better panel moderator.  Why?  Because 95% of annual meetings have panel discussions – and according to the 2014 Panel Report, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition they are any good at all!  Expectations decrease dramatically when your attendees walk in and see the traditional draped head-table with microphones on short stands.  There are sooooo many other ways to have a stimulating conversation!  So let’s increase the probability of success for your next panel discussion with these resources.

And, you can always go back to the playlist for more Powerful Panel Discussion Tips!