How can a panel moderator intervene when a panelist who is using more than their alloted time during a virtual panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: In a virtual environment, how do you intervene with a panelist who is using more than their allotted time?
Terry: I think first of all, set the stage up front. This is on your checklist. Let them know that you want them to have answers that are short and pithy. You want something 30 seconds, 60 seconds, whatever is right for you, and tell them be aware that you might need to jump in there on top of them and interrupt them. So when you do that, you just say, “hold on just a moment, Jack, I appreciate it; excuse me for interrupting, but Jack, we need to hear. Let me mention this” if Jack is the one that’s going on and talking a little too much.” So you politely but firmly jump in. Thank about how radio announcers and television announcers will do it. I think we’ve all seen debates that are on TV. Notice how some of the best facilitators do it. Really, when you’re talking about doing this with some Google Plus Hangout or Skype, you’re talking about a similar kind of format, where there’s a person here and you’ve got others out there; sometimes they’re arguing vehemently on a particular topic. And so they have to jump in and say, “okay, I’m going to have to cut you off here because we need to hear from Mary over here. Mary, what do you think about this?” We’d had this person here is talking a little too much. We had to politely but firmly tell them “okay, that’s about it. We’ve heard enough from you.”
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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.
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