Should a panel moderator use sarcastic humor while moderating panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Kristin Arnold, Professional Panel Moderator asked this question of Mark Sanborn, Leadership Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Humor is a great skill-set of a good panel moderator. Mark, do you ever use sarcastic humor?
Mark: Sarcasm is very risky and I find what’s far better than sarcasm is self-deprecating humor. Which if you think about it, is sarcasm directed towards yourself. People appreciate self-deprecating humor because it suggests two things; number one that the moderator has a sense of humor. But number two it’s also a form of humility. It simply says you know, “I’m not too big or too important to make light of myself.” So self-deprecating humor is always preferable to sarcasm.
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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!