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.
One of the panel moderator’s most important responsibilities is to keep the conversation flowing naturally. Like a good talk show host, here are 12 tips to keep the keep the conversation lively and informative:
At Connect Marketplace 2017, I was talking with Matt Dadey about an innovative panel format he experienced at the World Education Congress. They had three panels that occurred throughout the one-hour session – with NO pre-selected panelists! Matt explained, “None of it was pre-planned which is pretty much a planner’s dream come true! Locking down
Facilitating a panel discussion is not easy.
It’s show time! It’s time to take all that planning for an amazing panel discussion and put it into action.
San Diego ComicCon is the ultimate panel discussion event of the year. Packing Hall H with over 6,500 people (many of whom stand in line overnight) to hear from their favorite actors, programs, and authors. What’s even more crazy is that the panel format is the dominant session format! Who knew panels were so attractive
What kind of panel moderator are you?
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.
It’s sad, but true. No one really thinks about the panel moderator during the marketing and promotion process. Although the panel moderator is not directly responsible for marketing the program, he or she can certainly help the meeting organizers promote the event and the panel session.
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.