Should the panel moderator filter the questions presented during Q&A during panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Brian Walter, Founder of Extreme Meetings and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame. He’s a freakin’ brilliant meetings maestro who amps up the energy, engages audiences as a way of life.
Kristin: Brian, why is it necessary to moderate the questions from the audience?
Brian: The audience is not looking for a pure experience. “Oh, just organically came together you know. The questions just surfaced in a perfect…” that’s not what they want. They want interesting insights. “Wow. I didn’t know that.” They want people to disagree. “Well you know Bob, that’s interesting but from where we sit we look at it differently.” Yay, conflict. Difference, drama, different perspectives: that’s what the audience wants, and you as the facilitator can make that happen by how you craft and organize those questions.
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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!