How is this a constructive dialogue? Um, it isn’t. And it shouldn’t be tolerated (unless you think this kind of behavior increases your ratings?).
As a panel moderator, be explicit in your expectations about how your panel is going to go. Conversation is great – talking over one another is not. Showing passion about your topic is fabulous – screaming your opinion is not. Sharing your opinion is literally why you have been asked to be on the panel, but believing your opinion is THE ONLY ANSWER or calling another panelist a name is simply bad behavior.
And what happens if you are a fellow panelist trying to weigh in, or even finish your sentence or thought? Ah…the proverbial statement, “Let me finish” might be strong enough (without sounding too petulant) to actually let you finish.
My biggest fear, however, is that panelists and audience members think that this kind of bad behavior is the new norm. Talking over each other, ranting and raving, insisting that your opinion is right and just, is now considered to be the proper way to get your point across.
(BTW, I selected a few videos that would reflect exactly what I am talking about…but then realized that you might look at them from a content point of view vs. the process. My intent is NOT to take sides on a particular issue, but to show that a climate of civilized debate is indeed getting hotter. The fact that I am unwilling to show a specific instance is also quite telling….)
Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.