Nowhere is fascination more relevant and important than during a panel discussion at a big meeting or conference. After all, your audience’s expectations aren’t that high. Imagine if you could have them leaning into the conversation.
Sally Hogshead, my dear friend and colleague (in my mind, she’s the Queen of Fascination!), says, “When people are fascinated, they’re not thinking about the texts or emails they need to send. They’re not checking their calendars, or even the meeting agenda. They’re completely consumed by the conversation and the experience. Your audience wants to be fascinated. It’s not just about the logistics, it’s about creating an unforgettable and fascinating experience. Attendees need to leave thinking, feeling, or believing something different than when they arrived.”
She continues to explain:
“Too often when meetings fall flat there are not enough ‘a-ha’s. Your audience is asking “What am I going to learn in this room that I can’t get elsewhere?” The internet being what it is, that’s setting a high bar. But if you capture your audience’s attention, your message will have impact.
If we fail to fascinate, and fail to create these moments of intense focus, then we’re far less likely to persuade. People will get distracted by the next notification, the next vendor, the next shiny object in the lobby.
You need to fascinate, or you will fail.”
A truly great panel discussion is not just about delivering entertaining content. It’s also not just about giving people tools they can use back at the office. The secret of a great panel is that it also inspires connections. It gives your participants something to talk about throughout the rest of the conference, so they can create relationships and meaningful conversations that are the foundation of getting people to come back again.
So how can you make your panel discussion more fascinating? What are you going to do during your session that could never be experienced virtually? What’s going to happen in that room that could never be relayed in a PowerPoint slide?
When looking to create more engagement during your panel discussion, consider turning to Sally’s Fascination Advantage® to elevate the experience of your participants.
She believes you have seven different ways to make your panel discussion more fascinating. Here are some tactics to consider for captivating your audience and setting your panel apart from every other meeting during the conference:
If you use PASSION to fascinate your audience, you seek out ways to connect with them on an emotional level. You don’t just provide rational data, you find ways to make them feel strongly about your topic.
- Play music as your audience is walking in to the room
- Incorporate the senses: use elements of taste, sound, scent.
- Discover what your audience is passionate about and work that into your session
- Demonstrate an idea using the technique of Show and Tell
Using POWER to fascinate your audience means you present your organization, or yourself as an authority.
- Start with a strong opening position or statement
- Encourage your panelists to share and debate their strong opinions
- Establishing the panelists’ expertise in the promotional materials, conference brochure and app, as well as a strong, concise, introduction at the beginning of the panel.
- Map out the session, switching gears periodically
When you call on PRESTIGE to create a fascinating experience you’ll elevate the perceived value of your participants’ experience.
- Create scarcity by limiting the number of people allowed into the room
- Create VIP only access to the panelists either before or after the panel session
- Make your panel a high-end experience; use luxurious design elements in the location and staging
- Incorporate exclusivity in the topic, the panelists and the in the audience
You can fascinate your audience by building curiosity and intrigue, using the MYSTIQUE Advantage to promote your event.
- Withhold details; don’t reveal the guest panelists or drip the details culminating in a “reveal” at the session
- Create an interesting and intriguing video to help promote the event
- Ask for participant input in selecting topic and questions to ask prior to the panel
- Let the audience drive the questions during the event
Use the ALERT Advantage and highlight the severity of the problem that you’ll solve. You will command your audience’s attention and keep them engaged during the panel.
- Present a limited time offer around your panel
- Relate the topic to relevant, impactful reasons why they should attend
- Emphasize impactful, negative consequences if they don’t attend