Does a panel moderator need to be good at moderating live panel discussions before moderating in a virtual environment?  Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.


Video Transcript

Kristin: Terry, do you need to be good at moderating live panels before doing it virtually?

Terry: Yes. Absolutely. You need to be good at that. If you’re a really crummy driver at slow speeds, giving you a faster car is not going to make it better. You might need to get some lessons on this or maybe you ought to try knitting instead. It’s a little bit different situation here.

And you raise a very good point, Kristin, to those who are selecting the moderator, make sure you are very careful that this person can really handle it. And the best way to know that is not just think that they’re a nice person or because you had drinks with them, they were really good. See them do it in a smaller situation. Have them do it in a test; have them do it with just a group of 20 people or ten people or so before you send them out there in front of thousands or so because literally we could reach millions [and I’m not exaggerating] billions with a B, billions of people because how many people can be on YouTube at any one time? Well, let me think, billions!

And that’s really the kind of thing we’re dealing with today. There are no more secrets. And before you could say, “Well, if they messed up on the panel there and if there was only 40 people here, well, it was bad for those 40, but nobody else knew about it.” Well now, they can all know about it as it goes out live, and the thing is recorded. Hello! So be extra careful now.


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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!