Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Becky Pike Pluth, Train-the-Trainer expert and President/CEO of the Bob Pike Group to share how to prepare for a panel discussion when you are not familiar with the subject matter at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: How do you prepare for a panel discussion when you are not familiar with the subject matter?
Becky: I love, when I go out to, for instance, engineers. I’m not tapped into a lot of engineers. I don’t have a lot of engineers in my family, so now what am I gonna do? If you go on to Twitter, and you use a hashtag for engineers, saying, “Hey, I need your help. I’m doing this panel for a bunch of engineers. Please respond,” whatever. I find that I get feedback from those groups of people just using their hashtag, stealing their hashtag for a moment and saying, “I see that you’re at this conference for engineers, can you help me out?”
I typically look for hashtags that are being used at the moment in addition to a conference or convention. Because, if that convention is going on at the same time, more people happen to be using that particular hashtag and they’re following it, so I get answers back.
If I just use a random hashtag that engineers and/or whatever industry you’re heading into follow, you might not get very many responses back. So, look for a conference or convention. There are thousands of them happening all the time, and ask it to that convention, like I was just at L10, I’ll “#L102016, what are your thoughts in the farmer world on this?” And you’re gonna get far more responses because there are hundreds and thousands of people at these conventions at that moment.
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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!