Everyone likes a good story….especially when it’s a train wreck! So how do you get your panelists to spill the goods?
According to Brian Walter, Founder of Extreme Meetings, he uses a particular process when soliciting an awesome story during a panel discussion:
3. Look at the facial reactions of the panelists. Are they smiling or nodding? Are they looking away? Are they looking directly at you…and not in a good way? It’s your judgment on who to ask. 🙂
4. After the panelist spills, you can decide if this is a “one and done” question and move on to the next segment of the panel.
OR you could keep going. It could be that the answer was awesome and requires a follow-up question – a question that you know the audience is dying to ask.
OR you can emphasize the lesson learned from this experience
OR you could ask the same story-question to another willing panelist.
OR you could ask a different awesome story-question.
By asking an awesome story-question, you are sub-consciously humanizing your panelists for the audience. After all, they are sitting on the stage because of their awesomeness – but not everything is sunshine and rainbows! By asking a question that requires a story, you put them in a position of being vulnerable, charming, or self-deprecating. The audience will lean in and remember that story and the point even after the panel discussion!