Panel Discussion Tip #89 – Scott McKain: Bring Show Business to a Panel Discussion

Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Scott McKain, Speaker Hall of Fame and author of the book, “Create Distinction: What To Do When ‘Great’ Isn’t Good Enough To Grow Your Business,” about how he brings show business into a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: What are some of the things that you do to bring show business into a panel?

Scott: Well, in today’s world, if we think about it, analyze any television program, anything, even on CNN or Fox News, how quickly it moves. So part of what the pressure is I think on a moderator today is to keep it moving. And that’s a challenge because inherently, the people on a panel have high subject matter expertise or else they wouldn’t be asked to be on the panel in the first place.

So your challenge is not to be the one that’s always shutting them off or dropping conversation but to know the right time to jump in and one of the questions that has always worked for me is, “So what do you think about that?” You know, to turn to another person in the panel and that’s when it always works because it continues to keep the flow and if we think about what we see in terms of entertainment, that’s one of the things that an interviewer often does with a panel of people. It’s to turn to someone else on the panel and say, “What do you think about what Jane just said? How would you respond to that?” It keeps it moving.

The other thing is to have some you know, some stock. It’s an oxymoron to say stock adlibs. But that’s, you know that’s what I have…

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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!

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