NBC just announced “a panel of five” moderators for the first Democratic Primary Debate:
I find it slightly odd that there is a “panel of moderators” to moderate the first Democratic party primary debate/panel. A panel for a panel? How bizarre! This is an unprecedented number of mainstage moderators (the 2016 Third Republican Primary had three moderators and three guests who asked a few questions, but that doesn’t sound the same, does it?). Perhaps this has something to do with the DNC promise to have a woman and a person of color moderating the debate?
Thankfully, they will NOT all be on the dais at the same time. According to NBC, “Both debate nights will have the same format. Holt will moderate the first hour, with Guthrie and Diaz-Balart appearing alongside him; Holt will also appear in the second hour, with Todd and Maddow moderating.” Yep, got all the boxes checked – woman AND a person of color – during each hour!
As a professional panel moderator, I don’t envy Holt’s position. It is hugely harder to moderate a panel with others involved than it is to do it yourself. Multiply that by two sets of moderators per event – and the debates span two days in order to cram all 20 candidates in!
There are some benefits to co-moderating (or co-facilitating) a debate or panel discussion:
However, working as part of a moderation team takes more planning and coordination than might be required when working alone. In the planning phase, make sure you:
Indeed, it is much more fun and interesting to co-moderate a panel discussion – yet it takes much more work!