How can a moderator draw out a quiet panelist 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 do you draw out the quiet person who is not adding anything to the conversation?
Warren: I will go to them either first on a subsequent question and turn around and say “Kristen, let’s start with you on that one.” Or I’ll come to them as a wrap. “We heard two different opinions, which one do you lean towards?”
If they’re being quiet, it’s possible that they may not want to be out there just as definitively as some of the others, so that person, I’m not going to say to them, “Is Bob right or is Kathy right?” I am going to turn to them and say, “We’ve heard two different opinions here. Where do you think most of the leadership of the industry is leaning?” That way they don’t need to be their own voice. (51:40)
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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!