Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Dr. Chip Bell, professional speaker and panel moderator, to share his ideas on how to prepare the panelists before they go on stage for a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Do you do anything to prepare the panelists before they go on stage?

Chip: Sometimes I don’t have access to them longer than thirty minutes before we go on stage, you know? And sometimes they show up, their guest, you know, they come in for that event, and sometimes I do have access to them in advance. So, usually I like to correspond with them and say, “Looking forward to being with you,” and here are a few points that we’d like to make. Here are some of the things I’ll be focusing on so they come in prepared knowing the line of questions they’re going to get. And so they don’t get caught off guard. I’ll even sometimes send them the questions from which I will choose. So, they have time to sort of think about it- depends on the group. Sometimes you don’t want that. Sometimes you don’t want them to do anything to think about it; you just want it totally impromptu, off the top of your head, and that’s what you’re looking for.

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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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