How can a moderator coach the panelists before a panel discussion 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.
Kristin: Joe, how do you like to coach the panelists?
Joe: If I’ve got a bunch of questions on note cards, example, I will tell the panel, I’ll say, “Listen, number one. You’re talking to the audience. I’m asking the question but the audience is our audience. So, if you’re comfortable talk to them or you can go back and forth. You can look at the audience, you can look at me.” Now, when you’re giving an answer, I might look down at my note cards and it’s simply to see what’s coming up next. So, don’t let that throw you if I’m not making eye contact with you. I’m just looking to see what comes next and I’ll look right back up in just a second.” Because you know how that is when you’re talking to somebody, and all of a sudden they’re looking over your shoulder, or it’s like what happened, they’re not listening to me? So, I always tell the panelists beforehand, if I look down at my notes don’t let that throw you. I’m just seeing what’s coming next.
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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!