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Some words of wisdom from fellow professional panel moderator, Brian Walter:

If you are in charge of the panel you want to “cast for contrast.” And I am very deliberate about these words.  You are “casting” a panel.  You are creating a scene, a ‘panelesque,’ a movie.  So you want different characters instead of everybody being the same.

Here are four roles you want to cast for:

  1. The Sage.  The sage is a combination of Dr. Phil, Judge Judy and Yoda all mixed together. It also helps if they’re also incredibly attractive because we are judgmental society!
  2. The Relator. The relator is someone just like you, only more successful or at least slightly more successful than you are.  The audience is going to relate to them because they are thinking, “Oh my gosh, he or she is just like me!”
  3. The Exotic. You want someone who is different, who will bring a unique perspective.  The audience will be thinking, “I never thought of it like that before. That’s interesting…”
  4. The Wild Man/Woman. You want to have someone up there that people have no idea what’s going to come out of their mouth next. It could be exciting. It could be insightful. It could be irreverent. It could be naughty.  You don’t actually know, so every time they speak, it’s like “What’s going to happen?”

When you cast for these four roles, making sure you have D.E.E.P. panelists, you’re sure to have a winning panel discussion!

Related Articles:

27 Popular Panel Discussion Formats

How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion

“Turn the Tables” in a Debate-Style Panel Discussion Format


Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.

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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF | Master, high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator is on a quest to make all panel discussions lively and informative. Check out her free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member. www.PowerfulPanels.com

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