Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share his favorite ways to wrap up a virtual panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Terry, how do you like to wrap up your panel discussions?

Terry: There are several different ways, no one way to do it. I like the idea of getting questions. I don’t think, though, that you should end on questions. I think you should have some questions there toward the end, but then at the very end, as a professional speaker, I like the idea of saying, “Okay, with all the questions there, let me conclude by saying this.” And then you go back and you wrap up the major points that you said, “We’re on the verge of wonderful good things because of A, B, and C, and to do that, don’t forget that you need to do this, this, and this. Thank you very much for being with us” etc. or something like that. I realize in Toastmasters they tell you don’t say thank you, but I like to say thank you. Whatever, I think it’s important to have a good ending.

What was it that I think Cavett Roberts said, the Founder of the National Speakers Association,

Know how you’re going to get in, and know how you’re going to get out.

Make sure of that and the middle stuff will take care of itself. And so what you do is make sure that you’ve got a good ending ready to go when you’re doing these formal presentations. The wrap-up, show them how to do it and with most of the presentations we’re doing today, they really don’t end; they keep going because you say, “if you have further questions, you’ve got the hashtag; here’s my email address. I am available to help you. It’s ongoing; stay in touch with me. Here’s my Twitter address; here’s my email address so stay in touch.

Another excellent way I think is to be able to allow sufficient time and say, “okay, you’ve got 60 seconds and Sally, any closing statements that you want to make right now? What would you say, Sally, in closing in 60 seconds?” They say, “okay, fine.” Then, “okay, now Mary, what do you have to say? Any closing comments there?” Now they’ve done their own wrap-up. They know what their points were; they can make sure that they reiterate those and you as the moderator then just say, “well, wow! Those are great. Thank you both for being with us. Audience, please give a round of applause.” And virtually what you could do with that also say, “give us a nice Twitter love; let them know you like them. Be sure and send Sally and Mary who are joining us here on the screen some notes or something like that. Send them a nice tweet. Their handle is such-and-such. Think about how to do that in a virtual way that builds on top of what we’ve done for centuries with panel discussions.

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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.

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