Ugh. Sometimes, someone from the audience asks a lame question in a panel discussion. As the panel moderator OR a panelist, I believe you have two options:
Last week, I moderated a panel discussion on “risk assessment” – a potentially boring topic – but it wasn’t boring at all! Why? Because I involved the audience from the get-go and focused the conversation on what they knew and what they needed to know.
I’m a big fan of audience interaction during a panel discussion, so you would think I would be a big proponent of having a Q&A session all the time.
I’m always on the lookout for a smart, brisk panel discussion format, so I was delighted to witness Michael Wilkinson, Managing Director of Leadership Strategies moderate a 90-minute panel on Accelerated Growth Strategies for the ISA-Association of Learning Providers.
I’m a HUGE fan of Catchbox, a throwable microphone that I use (almost) all the time for audience Q&A during interviews and panel discussions.
I was talking with Tim Mathy at SpeakInc about a panel he was on that “flowed amazingly well.”
I’m always on the look-out for unique ways to spice up a panel discussion – and most of them seemed to be based on TV games or reality shows. Imagine my surprise when Mary Foley shared a technique akin to “The Newlywed Game” to kick off a panel she moderated at last week’s National Speakers Association
Questions from the audience can enrich a panel discussion or derail it, so decide ahead of time when and how you will manage questions. You can:
The easiest way to engage the audience early during a panel presentation is to take a poll – especially if you don’t know the cast of characters in the room.