Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame, to share his perspective on how to prepare for a virtual panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: Terry, what do you do to prepare for a virtual panel discussion?
Terry: One of the things that we do is we’ll use an example from yesterday. I did one on Google Plus Hangout where I was dealing with one individual. He is a very successful business person in this industry out in San Francisco; the other person was out in Virginia. So I had the two coasts there and you’re talking to them about what they’re doing and how they’re operating, what are they doing that’s working in their industry today. And I made sure that we polled from their different areas of expertise. One would have a slight twist on doing one type of operation, another one did it a little differently.
But the whole point is to make the experience very rich for the audience because that’s who we’re really targeting. We’re working with the people that are there but thinking in terms of the people that are watching, and with the virtual it’s a little different. When you’re doing a physical panel, of course, you’re there with let’s say three people, a thousand people are out in front of you; you’re asking questions, make sure the technical features are working like your microphones, make sure that you know what to do as any real professional would. In the event of an emergency, know where the exits are, know what to do, what do you do if this goes wrong. Those are very important but seldom-used features that you need as a professional.
I think in the virtual world, you want to know where they are; we always have their phone number so that if something doesn’t work quite right, if Old Man Murphy sticks up his ugly head one more time, you can say, “we’ve got a phone here; we pick up the phone and we call and say, “hold it, let’s get that going again.” Have backup plans ready to go when you’re doing virtual presentations and that can help a whole lot as you work with them to make them go much more smoothly.
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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!