Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Mark Sanborn, Leadership Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share his preference on introducing the panelists during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: Mark, do you prefer to introduce the panelists or have them introduce themselves?
Mark: Well, I do because the reality is I’m going to introduce them better than they can introduce themselves. I mean obviously they know more about themselves but unless they’re large egos, they’re going to be… to say the kinds of things that set them up as people worth listening to. As a third party, I can say that without it looking like ego and arrogance on their part.
Number two, I also know what about them is most relevant to the panel and the objectives of the panel and the audience. They may not know that. They may be really proud of the fact that they’ve published 400 papers and a certain expertise in academia but the reality is if it’s a non-academic audience, the audience really won’t care nearly as much as they might about something else.
So, I think it’s that ability to make them look really smart and really important as well as the ability to draw what will kind of create that connective tissue, because ultimately the introduction has to answer the question, “Why these three or four people?” Why not somebody else? Why of all the people, the 216 million people in the United States did you pick these four?
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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!