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How to Co-Moderate a Panel Discussion

Recently, I was asked to co-moderate a panel discussion with a dear friend and colleague.  “Wouldn’t it be fun?” she said.  Yes, it can be – and will be – because both of us recognize the benefits AND are willing to do the work:

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How Panel Moderators Can Ace the Art of Follow-up Questions

As a panel moderator, there is a distinct art to asking follow-up questions during a panel discussion – those questions you ask to probe further into a specific aspect of the conversation.  The key is to listen intently to what each panelist is saying, and where appropriate, deciding how to dig deeper into the topic:

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How to Start a Panel Discussion to Ensure Panelist Success

The first few minutes of your panel discussion are absolutely critical.  Although people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, they do.  The audience (and panelists) need to know that they are in good hands.

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Panel Moderator Checklist for Right Before the Panel Discussion

It’s show time!  It’s time to take all that planning for an amazing panel discussion and put it into action.

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How Panel Moderators Can Keep Conversation Moving During a Panel Discussion

If you have prepared the panelists appropriately and kicked the panel discussion off well, the conversation will start to flow on its own and the panelists won’t be coming back to you for ping-pongs or hot potatoes.  However, you may need to interject here and there to keep the conversation moving at a brisk pace. 

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How Panel Moderators Can Deal with Lame Audience Questions

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:

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How Panel Moderators Can Intervene Firmly and Respectfully

As the moderator, you are the audience’s chief advocate.  If someone’s boring you, then chances are they are boring the audience as well.  If you think they are going on too long and not making their point, you need to intervene.

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Panel Moderator Research Tip: Find “Dead Space” in Your Topic

When doing your research in preparation for your panel discussion, find “the dead space” in the topic.

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Panel Moderators: What to Do When Your Panelists Hate Each Other

I’ve talked about the importance of picking “DEEP” panelists – Diverse, Experienced, Eloquent, and Prepared.  But what happens if those panelists don’t get along?

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Use Audience-Engagement for a Boring Panel Discussion Topic

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.

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