Panel Discussion Tip #173 with Terry Brock: Guidelines for a Virtual Panel Ombudsman

Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share his perspective on filtering questions and watching the Twitter Feed during virtual panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

 

Video Transcript

Kristin: Terry, what guidelines do you give the ombudsman who is moderating the questions?

Terry: It would depend on the organization. For instance, this one that I did, I asked them to make sure they could filter through if there were several questions that were similar to consolidate them. That would be good; we don’t want to have the same question but maybe a slightly different nuance but really the same question four or five times. That would not be good.

Consolidating also, depending on the group, how much they want to filter. Do they filter out some questions that they don’t want covered? Do they bring in everything? What about language? Some groups would sway, “Oh no, we don’t want to hear that naughty word.” Others would go, “no big deal.” Or they might use a more colorful military expression and just say, “it’s all right, whatever you want.”

So be very contextually sensitive to what’s going on for that group and what’s accepted in their protocols and in that environment. So I think you have to really be professional. You make it look easy and people go, “oh, that’s nothing; I could do it.” But that’s where using a professional, a professional speaker, professional facilitator, someone that has experience in this will be really important. You usually aren’t going to need it, but if you ever do, you’ll be very glad that you did.

 

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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.

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