How can a moderator finish up a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Glenn Thayer, Master of Ceremonies and conference moderator to share his perspective.
Kristin: Glenn, how do you like to end your panels?
Glenn: I like to end my panels with a wrap up. Just kind of like, “This is what we talked about. Here’s where we went.” I like to try to talk about each thing and here’s where it is. If I can keep the panelist around longer, if they don’t have to catch a flight and go somewhere else and they’re able to go lunch. I love panels that are happening before lunch because then those panelists stick around and then if we can get agreement that panels are open for answering questions and having conversations with the attendees, I set that up. So here’s the experts, they will be around so we can continue with these conversations again. I try to put a bow and tie everything up that can be tied up.
There’s a lot of times that we have conversations and we do these panels and there’s a lot of open-ended questions that are still open. So I may challenge the audience to go, “Hey these questions are still out there. We still don’t have definitive answers on where this is going. What works best? What are the best practices? We don’t know what those are.” So now I test the audience with looking at that. What does it mean to you? What do you have to think about as the contributing member of this association? Being an audience member, what do you have to think about? And I try to give them things to leave with to have additional questions that will hopefully lead to additional insights.
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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!