How do you make sure the panelists know that you want to have a conversation in front of the audience during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional panel moderator, Kristin Arnold asked this question of Kate Delaney, Emmy Award-winning journalist and America’s #1 female sports commentator and talk show host.
Kristin: Kate, how do you make sure the panelists know that you want to have just a conversation in front of the audience?
Kate: Yes. I constantly emphasized that we were having a conversation. We just want to have a conversation here and really get that…I pumped them up. I kept telling them “You are the barracudas, you have this incredible information. It’s amazing we have you here. I just want to give as much out to this audience as we can in a conversational way.” We’re sitting around the you know…we almost had a coffee table and some water put out there so that it would seem like The View. So it would seem like Larry King with a bunch of people sitting around the table, whatever analogy you want to use.
Just follow your instincts. Just have that conversation like we’re all sitting around discussing something really valuable and important to the people who are listening, and they got that. They completely understood. It’s conversational, it’s not, okay it’s my turn now, it’s your turn now, now it’s his turn.
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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!