Kristin Arnold, Professional Panel Moderator asked Patricia Fripp, Executive Speaker coach and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame, to share her thoughts on how a panelist can really connect with the audience during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.

Kristin: What is your advice to panelists to really connect with the audience?

Patricia: Well, now you are stepping into my world. One, and this is an important note, write this down, Tweet this, whatever you need to do. For us to really connect with our audiences, we need to speak as an audience advocate. Whatever your presentation is or your point of view, you need to look at it, at least in part from the point of view of the audience. So, for example, do not say I am going to talk about… What you will hear from my presentation or what you will learn or perhaps you agree. So, what I teach all my clients and sales professionals is to have automatic back pocket phrases that are “you” focused. In your opinion, from your point of view… Even if you are talking about, I am your account executive. I would say in my role as your account executive, you always use you focused language and you think of their point of view.

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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!