What are some qualities of a great panelist at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Boston Globe journalist and panel moderator, Scott Kirsner, who also wrote the highly rated Harvard Business Review article on How to Moderate a Panel Like a Pro.
Scott: The best panelist, to be honest, is someone that you’ve seen be on a panel before and you know just has good energy and is comfortable on stage and doesn’t need a lot of that advance hand holding. Some people have time to have an hour conference call with every panelist before the panel and maybe they would enjoy that and it would maybe fit into like the work that they do but I just don’t—I’m just looking for panelists who feel like they are going on TV.
You know it’s like they get up on stage and they’re kind of alive and they’re energetic and they are saying interesting stuff. And you know you can’t really coach someone into that or conference call them into being that way on stage. It’s just that they have the experience of doing it.
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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!