Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Dr. Chip Bell, professional speaker and panel moderator how he refers to a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.
Kristin: Chip, how do you represent your panels to the audience and panel members? Do you call them panels?
Chip: You are there as a catalyst, as a facilitator. You’re there to help make their conversation with the audience easier. So the facile side of a facilitating is always about how to make it easy for that conversation to occur. When I coach panels, I use that language a lot. “We’re going to have a conversation. This is not – I think every moderator probably starts there, is, “Let’s have a conversation. This is not about grandstanding. You can do that on your own time,” but here they’re looking for a conversation with customers about a particular topic – it’s like a focus group but public.
So, using language that helps them sort of get into the space of this is like a fireside chat and everybody wants to have their turn and their time and so helping them think that way often creates great conversation and there a lot of tricks of, “What happens if they go silent?” “What happens if nobody else has to say– How do we get them going?”
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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!