Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Pam Fox Rollin, Executive coach and frequent Silicon Valley panel moderator, what a panelist should do at the end of a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: Pam, what should a panelist do at the end of a panel discussion?
Pam: The panelist should go talk with the audience.
So many executives are very tightly scheduled and a lot of industry experts are more introverted sorts. They may be fine on stage, but the thought of going to interact with 1000 people is a little scary, or just not even scary, but kind of unpleasant or something. And so just set the expectation.
So after the panel, I want you to hold 15 minutes because the group is going to have a break and people are going to want to talk to you about what you just said. And there’s going to be a temptation for you to talk with each other, especially executive teams, they talk with each other and I come around. I’m like this is your time to talk with your team. This is your time and they get it. They’re like, oh yeah, right.
But they’re just used to talking to each other. So I want you to fan out in all directions and see what people thought was intriguing. What other questions do people have? And they’re going to have such a good time because people tend to be generous back and they tend to say, “Oh, that was so interesting that was so great. I’m really glad you talked about this.” They’re just going to hear lovely things so I have no mixed feelings at all about sending them off to go talk to people for 15 minutes afterwards.
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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!