How do you start a virtual panel discussion? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Terry, what do you do differently when moderating a virtual panel when you’re just starting the session?
Terry: One of the things that I do is similar to face-to-face, and that’s what I did yesterday. I made sure I introduced each person like we had one person who was out in San Francisco and so we introduced him, “How are you doing today; what’s happening.” People got a chance to recognize him and know him and visually lock in “okay, he’s in San Francisco.” Now the other person was over in Virginia. So I kind of move over; we’re on the other side of the country here, and we saw him there. He talked to us about what he was doing, etc. And then I would go back and forth comfortably to ask the question.
I make sure that we had approximately a real good balance with answers and questions and both getting feedback from both of them. So I think as we’re getting started, I like to do that. And I like to set the tone of what we’re going to cover, how we’re going to do it, etc. Often when it’s like some of the logistics much like in a physical area, you might say something like “okay, we’re going to now until 1:30 and then we’re going to go take our lunch break. And don’t forget the exhibits are open, administrative details like that, you might mention. And I think on this it would be, for instance, if you’re using Twubs or using Twitter to monitor a hash tag, then let people know that and let them know that on a regular basis. You know that if you have a question, be sure and send it there because we’ve got so-and-so standing by to take your questions, and we’re going to use that. We want to make this a real interactive experience for you.”
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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!