How can a moderator get the conversation back on track during a panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of the late Warren Evans, professional speaker, futurist and member of the Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Warren, how can you get the conversation back on track after everything falls flat?
Warren: I will turn to the audience and say “that worked well, didn’t it.” We’ll move another direction. I will sometimes say to panelists, we talked about a bunch of different things; we’ve had some good questions from the group. What does this group need to know that has not come up yet in our discussion? What does this audience, as a group, misunderstand about what the next couple of years are going to look like in this business? So you’ve got a few of those that are sort of set pieces that you can pull out to try and rescue things or put them back on track. You’ve got to be having fun with it, and part of that is perspective. It’s an hour-long panel; it’s not the general session of the United Nations here; nobody’s going to war. Nobody’s dying because this does or doesn’t happen here. And so let’s have some fun with it and make the best we can of it.
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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!