What is the preferred number of panelists for a panel discussion?  Professional panel moderator, Kristin Arnold asked this question of Kate Delaney, Emmy Award-winning journalist, and America’s #1 female sports commentator and talk show host.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Kate, what is your preferred number of panelists?

Kate: I think four was tops. Because if you get beyond that then it gets too cluttered. Which we see that, that happens sometimes on panels, and then you don’t get enough. When you have a bigger panel, you’re not able to go I think deep enough with the people that are on the panel because it is again, such clock management. You know, moderating panels is clock management just like a football team. I think of it as you know, being a professional coach. How many minutes is everybody going to get and what if somebody doesn’t have a lot say? That’s okay because some of those minutes would go to the other person. If you have too many people on the panel, you won’t get to hear maybe what you want to hear from somebody because they don’t get enough time.

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!