Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Brian Walter, Founder of Extreme Meetings and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share his ideas on how to convey to the audience that this is going to be the absolute, most amazing panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Brian, how can we convey to the audience that this is going to be an amazing panel discussion?

Brian: You name it and frame it. Here’s an example, feel free for everyone who is listening or watching this to do this for themselves. Don’t call it a panel necessarily. Don’t just call it a panel. Frame it with name. For example, if it’s like a company meeting, or industry meeting, you might say, “Okay, we’re putting together the blah, blah industry hot seat panel (Scooby Doo noise).”

What’s the hot seat panel? Then you have a cool graphic of flames under a chair. You would say, “Here’s the opportunity at two o’clock; we’ve got all of the experts here blah, blah, blah, blah.” And they’re getting together to answer your most burning hottest questions. If they don’t squirm, you weren’t asking the right question. Because of this we’re going to allow as many questions as possible to be completely anonymous so your questions can be bitingly candid.

We will read the questions off the cards verbatim only editing perhaps swear words.

What does the audience remember like “wow!” Now if this is a puff industry where there is no controversy or a company that really doesn’t have a corporate culture or candor at all, well, that wouldn’t work because that wouldn’t match their culture. But in anything where there’s more interesting or edgier type of topic or environment, that right there would make people go “wow!” Or think of it like this. It’s like we’re now going to have a marketing mistakes panel. We’re going to be focusing on the top mistakes that members or team members are making and how to avoid them. That just sounds a lot more interesting. We’re having a marketing panel. (makes noise). It just sounds kind of dull so frame it with the angle or the edge that you’re going to have. By naming it that way that telegraphs to them, “This is going to be different than what you normally experience.”

 

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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!