What should a panel moderator do when there are no questions from the audience during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Glenn Thayer, Master of Ceremonies and conference moderator to share his perspective.
Kristin: Glenn, what do you do when there are no questions coming from the audience?
Glenn: What I do first and foremost, before I even step on stage, before I even arrive at the conference, I have a list of questions that can carry the entire panel discussion for that entire time, whether it’s 60 or 90 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever it happens to be. I have questions already set up that I can go through and I can carry the entire panel discussion for the entire time if no one asks a question.
Worst case scenario. I have never been in that position. “Knock on my chair here.” I have not been in that position. However, if that happens, and I happen to be in an audience, and that was going on, it’s handled. And so we have a complete conversation going from beginning to end.
The questions from the audience, I will kick off some of the questions and try to spur some more additional questions from the audience. They’ll send in the questions as soon as I’ll get those questions I’ll start asking them.
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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!