Who should introduce the panelists during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of the late Warren Evans, professional speaker, futurist and member of the Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Warren, do you like to introduce the panelists or let them introduce themselves?
Warren: I introduce them. I do that to control timing because I can brag on them and build them up more than they would mostly be comfortable doing themselves. I can add in a pertinent little bit of something that may not be commonly known about them. I can make a comment like “we’ve got to forgive Fred. I’m going to go to Fred last in the first questions here because I found out last night in our conversations that Fred’s a big Cincinnati fan, and we all know what happened to the Bengals last night.” You can do bits of stuff like that, just personalize it a bit and take some of the formality out of it. But I prefer to introduce them myself. It’s a control thing.
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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!