Powerful Panel Discussion Tip #210 Michael Carnes: Keys to Staging a Panel Discussion

Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Michael Carnes, CEO of Hoka Hey, Inc. specializing in creative media and event production, to share what meeting planners and panel moderators should remember when staging a panel discussion.


Video Transcript

Kristin: Michael, what one thing do you want our audience to remember when they’re staging a panel discussion?

Michael: Pre-production, pre-production, pre-production.

Stay on task. Know your subject matter wrapped up in one. Do what we ask as a technical team. I’ve seen where people just go off and do their own things, and we’ve been yelled at. It’s like “I’m sorry, I couldn’t shoot in there because he moved his chair over there because he was more comfortable. We have to set things up a certain way.”

So panelists, producers, meeting planners, moderators, listen to your technical team about what you need to do on stage to make it work and that includes the audio. The audio usually—God bless the audio guys—that battery goes out or if that RF hit happens, just be calm. You know technical things happen. Just—you know—“hey guys, we’ve got a bad mic.” And I’ve seen this, I’ve seen them continue the discussion… Everybody knows there’s a technical group back there. So, “hey, guys, we’re going to stop for a second while this gets taken care of.” And maybe the moderator gives a little heads-up for the evening or something, but just work together. So, there you go. 

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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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