Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Joe Calloway, Business Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share one of his greatest tips for panel moderators during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Joe, is there anything interesting that you would like to pass on to other panel moderators?

Joe: Peggy Noonan who was a speech writer for Ronald Reagan and now is a well-known commentator on politics and other things she said something a few years ago that I think is the best thing about speaking. I think you can also apply it moderating and facilitating a panel. She was talking about speaking in this country. She said, “Listen, if you’re going to give a speech in the country, don’t be slick. These are Americans- they’ve seen slick. Be you- they haven’t seen that.” And I really think that when a panel moderator or facilitator—and you can just sense when they’re really comfortable with who they are and their role in this thing, and they’re not worried about messing up because if something messes up, big deal, it’s okay. We clean it up and keep going. Everybody appreciates that. The panelists appreciate it, the audience appreciates it. I had a panel member freeze up on me once and just kind of got lost in what they were saying, and I said, “Listen, we’ll come back to that in a few minutes. Let me move on to Susan. So, Susan what did you–?” And I said, “Hold your thought. Keep looking for it because I want to come back and talk about that in a minute,” whether we do or not, but it didn’t bother me that he froze up. So, if it didn’t bother me, and I kind of got it out of it, then it didn’t bother him, then it didn’t bother them, the audience.

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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!