When does it make sense to bring in an expert to manage the technology aspects at a virtual panel discussion? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Terry, does it make sense to bring in an expert to manage the technology in a virtual panel discussion?
I think you could bring them in. You can have a professional driver drive the bus for you. You don’t have to become a bus driver, but you want to be up front saying, “I want to go this way. No, don’t go that way; we’re going to go this way” and the driver knows to go that way to use that as a metaphor. I think you want to be able to know what can be done, know how to work with it. The ideal is that the moderator understands the technology enough so that they can operate and they can bring in a person, or they can say, “We haven’t heard from Alice over here. Alice, what do you think about that?” And they know how to click on that as well as use the communication tools so that Alice is there and say, “Tell us a little bit more, Alice. What did you mean by that” if Alice is a person who is not sharing a lot and has some good information. So you need to know some but get some people who can help you with that. Then what you’re doing is because you are able to have that person who understands all of it, then you’re able to create this because think about what we’re doing here. We are bringing in experts that are right there on the panel as well as those who are in diverse geographical locations that couldn’t have joined us otherwise. We can tap into and show web sites, we can show slides; we can tap into a whole thing so that the audience has a real wow learning experience or entertainment experience, and they walk away going “this is great, one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen.” That’s the goal. We have the tools to do it, but you’re not going to go very far in a car if you don’t know how to drive it. Learn how to do that or get somebody that can drive; but know where you want to go that you are going to go this road vs. that road.
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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.
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