Panel Discussion Tip #186 with Terry Brock: Managing the Technology During a Virtual Panel

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 how to manage the technology during virtual panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Terry, how do you manage all of the technology when moderating a virtual or hybrid panel?

Terry: Yeah, I think it’s good that you try to have someone that can help you on that. One of the things that I did, let’s see was it last week or the week before, I did a promotion or a Video Skype or Google Plus Hangout with two people on the screen, and we were reaching out to about five to 600 people that were watching this on YouTube so that as we were streaming it live on Google Plus Hangout, about 500 to 600 people were watching on YouTube with about a 45 to 60-second delay; that’s the way it works there. Then when it’s over, it’s recorded and it’s available for anyone in the world to go and watch it as a YouTube video.

So you want to be aware, be very cognizant of your audiences. Some are live; some are going to be watching it recorded. They’re not able to join us right now in this exact moment so they’re doing it later. Make sure that you cater to them as well and be aware that you can have that hybrid audience of many different kinds. Think of all the audiences you’ll have and address them as the moderator, as the facilitator.

You want to be the one that looks into the camera and say, “Those of you who are joining us at home, that are live right now, don’t forget we’ve got this.” Often I like to use Tweet Chat, and we use Twubs to monitor that. So we’ll use Twubs monitoring the tweets and then have someone else that can read back those important tweets that come through for me. That’s what we did on this particular presentation. One of the people were there, and she was reading all the tweets that came through; some of them were kind of the same. They were almost identical so she just consolidated them. “Terry, we’ve had this person, and this person, and this person all ask a similar question about—.” And then other times she would say, “Now Mary over in Des Moines had a question about this and this.” So I could do that and then what I would do is look into the camera and say, “Mary, hi, glad you’re with us today and the answer to your question is this, this, and this.”

So I think using those kinds of skills and being cognizant of the various audiences you have and that you’re dealing with is going to really be important and really raise it to a much higher level of learning and the wow factor.

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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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