What should a moderator do when a panelist just won’t shut up during a panel discussion at a meeting, conference or convention? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Dr. Chip Bell, professional speaker and panel moderator.
Kristin: What do you do when you have a panelist who won’t shut up?
Chip: Well like I said, part of it is building the conversation. Having that conversation early and so “Okay guys you told me this is how we should handle something when we, you’ll got a lot to say and we’ve got people who haven’t had a chance to speak. And so you told me you wanted to do it like this.” And so sometimes I’d play back what they suggested. And sometimes you want to just lovingly say to that person who’s got diarrhea of the mouth something to the effect that, “You got great ideas, we’re really impressed with how much you know and it would be great if we could get a chance for other people to give their point of view along with yours.”
And so the person is not either/or it’s an and. That’s a key concept. But the second is it’s done in a nonjudgmental way. You’re not trying to make them feel embarrassed, “Oh I went too long on that answer.” What you’re trying to say is you went too long on that answer we all can go too long on our answers because we’re passionate about this topic and so it’s not blaming. Its help guiding them so that they and again if you set up the right kind of rapport with the panel early they’ll start doing that. You know “be quiet,” or something. They’ll police each other so that’s the best thing. (38:46)
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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!