Engage the Audience with the Agree/Disagree Game

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Want to break up a rather mundane panel discussion?  Try polling the panelists!

Yes, you can poll the audience using these techniques, but when the audience is over 300 people and you only have a short amount of time, your options become more technical, using a polling device or app such as Slido.

In the case of a highly visible and main-stage panel with five panelists and an audience of 400 people, we decided to break it up about two-thirds of the way with the “Agree/Disagree Game.”

Here’s how it happened:

The panel moderators said, “Let’s play a game… AGREE/DISAGREE.  Each of our panelists has an AGREE/DISAGREE paddle.  I’m going to make a statement that may be provocative for the purpose of discussion … and then each of our panelists can agree or disagree.”

Let’s start by testing the paddles to make sure they work.

First statement —

“This panel is, hands down, no holds barred, the very BEST panel with the best looking panelists you’ve ever seen… in the entire universe.”

Que laughter!  And the panelists used their paddles to vote.

“Now that we have the hang of this, let’s continue with another question.”

Then ask three or four more questions that you believe will have polarizing answers or will inspire an interesting conversation that the audience will literally lean in to hear.  After each question, allow the panelists to explain their answers. If necessary, ask probing follow-up questions to inspire the conversation during your scintillating panel discussion!

Related Articles:

Panel Discussion Technique: Question Behind the Question

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

Panel Discussion Tip #143 with Terry Brock: Visual Do’s & Don’ts for Virtual Panels

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.

Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
Kristin Arnold is on a crusade to make all panels lively & informative (F2F, virtual & hybrid). She is the author of the primer for all panel moderators: Powerful Panels: A Step-by-Step Guide to Moderating a Lively & Informative Panel Discussion. Contact her at 800.589.4733
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