How can a moderator add variety into panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Brian Walter, Founder of Extreme Meetings and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame. He’s a freakin’ brilliant meetings maestro who amps up the energy, engages audiences as a way of life.
Kristin: Brian, are there any other methods to add variety into a panel discussion?
One other technique goes under the format of how do you get panelists to answer in a structured way different from the usual way? And so one way is I call the “Next Week, Next Month, Next Year.” You would go to a designated panelist or all of them if they were just a few. And you would say: “Okay, for this audience, for this particular moment in time, give us a piece of counsel or advice for them. What’s something they should be doing next week, next month, next year? It’s a structured way to get panelists to respond, and it’s always going to be different with the different panelists. Again, that’s something I would tell them ahead of time so that they knew that was coming. And the audience member will be, “Ooh! This is going to be different,” and it’s a great way to end a section.
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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!