Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Mark Sanborn, Leadership Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame about how he knows if he has done a good job moderating a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.


Kristin: Mark, when all is said and done, how do you know that you’ve done your job well?

Mark: Three ways that I evaluate whether I have done my job well or not is number one; the audience is stimulated and feels smarter that they have received interesting and practical information and ideas. I mean ideally they won’t have just been entertained but they will have been educated, that they’ll leave thinking about things that they can do. Number two I evaluate the panel as the participants feel they looked smart and were important contributor. That I made them look like heroes. That they did contribute and played an important role in the success of a panel.

And then number three just plain buzz. You know are people talking about the panel. If they are not talking about the panel it probably wasn’t a great panel. Good panels like any good presentation create buzz. So if the audience is smarter and the panelist feels like heroes and there is good buzz it was probably a pretty good panel.

I guess I don’t want to say that it goes without saying, because nothing goes without saying. But if you achieve the goals that the panel was about whatever the goals were and then adding those other three then you hit a home run.

Looking for More?

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!