How can a panel moderator get to know what the audience wants to hear? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Scott McKain, international speaker, bestselling author and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: How do you get to know the audience and what the audience wants?
Scott: Customarily, we get a list of ten representative audience members that my office and me call before the event and we ask them questions. You know, what would you like to know? What are the things that are keeping you awake at night? What are some of the critical challenges in your industry? What are some of the things that you would find most beneficial to learn as a result of this panel and then from that information, it kind of leads me into…you know if you could ask…you know, if Doctor Jane Doe is on the panel, you know. If you could ask Dr. Jane Doe, what would that be? What would you like to learn from her? So by talking in a 200 people from the audience, and talking to ten of them, it does two things. Number one, it helps me prepare for the kind of questions that the audience wants to hear but it also lets me say. You know before the meeting when I was talking to Bill over here, one of the things that you really wanted to know was this: “Panel, how would you respond to that? How would you answer those questions?” because they’ll also let them know that I’ve done my homework but it’s also, if Bill’s wondering that, then there’s a likelihood that there are others wondering that. Typically, it’s pretty strong.
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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!