Ask Your Panelists an Awesome Story-Question

4 Ways to Surprise the Panel Audience with a “Celebrity”
April 30, 2019
Playful Panels – How to Give Your Brain a Hand with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
May 8, 2019

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:

  1. Frame up a problem that the majority of the audience members are experiencing.  This could be a recurring problem, challenge or fear.
  2. Reframe that problem into a question that requires a story for the panelist to answer:
  • “Tell us about a time when you….”
  • “Give us an example when you….”
  • “When did you find yourself in a position where you had to…”

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!

 

Related Articles:

How Moderators Can Manage Awkward Audience Comments

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

Panel Discussion Tip #185 with Jeffrey Hayzlett: Finishing Panel Discussions

 

For more resources on moderating panel discussions, visit the Knowledge Vault. To have Kristin moderate your next panel, visit the Powerful Panels official website.

 

 

Kristin Arnold
Kristin Arnold
Award-winning author Kristin Arnold is an expert panel moderator and professional meeting facilitator.
Store

Our privacy policy has been updated. By clicking, 'I agree,' you consent to the terms therein. I Agree