Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Ian Cleary Founder of RazorSocial and frequent panelist, to share what makes a panel discussion worthwhile for the audience at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: Ian, what do you do to make a panel discussion worthwhile for the audience?
Ian: I think that the panel sessions need to be better prepared in advance. There needs to be a better moderator with clear goals of what’s coming out of the session. And there needs to be clear actions at the end that people can walk away with. So treat it like a normal session and make sure that all panel members are prepared so they have some content because a lot of them just arrive on the day and go, “Oh it’s a panel. I’ll just answer questions!” So that needs to be prepared in advance, the questions prepared, their answers prepared, their action items prepared. And then there’s time for additional discussion outside of this but at least, they’re going, “This is what I want people to get out of this panel session.”
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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!