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?
Picture this: A conference program proclaiming a “panel discussion of thought leaders.” A room set with a lectern and four black wrought-iron bar stools. An audience expecting a panel discussion….
It’s downright depressing. You walk out of a potentially fabulous panel discussion and wonder, “What happened?” As you scratch your head, you’ll be asking those around you, “What was that all about” or just mutter under your breath, “That was weird….”
Every day, Google sends me the links to any article posted on the Internet that contains the words “panel discussion,” “panel moderator” or “panel moderation.” I scan the article for any tidbits of wisdom and then “pin” the picture of the panel on Pinterest.
The typical panel discussion consists of seven specific tasks: Welcome. The panel moderator welcomes the audience. Tees up the topic and explains why it is a timely and important topic to discuss in this format (whatever format that might be!). Introductions. The panelists are introduced to the audience – either the moderator introduces them or they
It’s an intriguing thought: Can a panel moderator challenge the panelists to change their own behavior?
There are times when the topic is so divisive that the panel moderator must become a referee!
I’ve been talking to a gaggle (which is not quite a google) of meeting planners over the last several years about what makes a panel discussion successful.
You just finished moderating a lively and informative panel discussion. The audience is clearly appreciative of the conversation with abundant applause and additional conversation amongst themselves and with the panelists.