When do you open up the panel discussion to audience Q&A session during an interview and/or panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Joe Calloway, Business Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Joe, do you ever do any Q and A sessions with the audience?
Joe: You know, I’ve done it when I’m interviewing, for example, the Chief Operating Officer, the CEO and the Chief Information Officer of a company, and we talk about issues within the company and in that situation usually what I’m doing is I’m kind of representing the voice of the audience. For example, on a [coughs] – excuse me- not too long ago, there was an executive on stage with me and I said, “Okay. You guys just had record performance in this area and now you’re basically tearing it apart and starting over. So, it’s working. Why would you make such a drastic change to something that’s working?” Because the executives knew that that’s what a lot of people in the audience were thinking but they might not be willing to ask it. I can ask it and get away with it. And so, at the end of a session like that we might have pre-planned “Okay, now we’re going to open it up to the audience. So, questions.” And sometimes I stay on stage. Sometimes I might be the one that goes out into the audience with the microphone. Although more often they’ve got microphone runners and I’ll stay on stage, but yeah, occasionally we’ll open it up.
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Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high stakes meeting facilitator is on a crusade to make all panel discussions informative, interactive, and interesting. Specifically, she wants to help YOU become a better panel moderator. Why? Because 95% of annual meetings have panel discussions – and according to the 2014 Panel Report, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition they are any good at all! Expectations decrease dramatically when your attendees walk in and see the traditional draped head-table with microphones on short stands. There are sooooo many other ways to have a stimulating conversation! So let’s increase the probability of success for your next panel discussion with these resources.
And, you can always go back to the playlist for more Powerful Panel Discussion Tips!