Kristin Arnold is on a crusade to make all panel discussions lively and informative.
As a high-stakes meeting facilitator, she is an expert on group process – how groups of people get from one point to a desired outcome by doing their best thinking, coming to an understanding of what needs to be done, and agreeing on how and when to do it. All done in a short amount of time.
In 2013, Kristin focused her facilitating talents on the art of moderating panel discussions. Why? Because she had just watched two extremely boring back-to-back panels in the morning at a very high-level meeting. (She was to facilitate a roundtable discussion in the afternoon). Wanting to give her client some advice for the next event, Kristin discovered that no one really “owned” the space and was considered “the expert” on moderating panels. So Kristin decided to create a body of knowledge on ALL THINGS about panel discussions.
This website is dedicated to sharing that body of knowledge with others so that all panel discussions can be lively and informative!
- Kristin’s blog is a running commentary on the panels as a practice. Pretty much everything you need to know is buried somewhere in here. And if she haven’t written about it, tell her and shewill!
- A FREE (and who doesn’t like FREE?) 7-part video e-course full of tips and techniques that professional moderators rely on. These short training videos will take you through, step by step, to moderating a lively and engaging panel discussion at any meeting, conference or convention. And, with your course registration, you’ll receive several bonus templates and checklists.
- Listen to our Powerful Panel Discussion Podcast.
- View these quick tips from seasoned, professional panel moderators.
- Join the conversation in our Powerful Panels group on LinkedIn.
- Check out this step-by-step guidebook to moderating lively and informative panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
- Add a bit more pizazz to your panel with over 123 ideas to spark your creativity!
- For panelists, we have everything you need to know to be a competent and confident panelist in the book, The Powerful Panelist.
- Access to the Powerful Panels knowledge vault – a compilation of best practices of some of the most successful professional panel moderators. It’s chock-full of customizable checklists, worksheets, templates, scripts, specialty format agendas, sample emails, PowerPoint templates, video examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly, video interviews with industry icons and professional moderators, recorded webinars and slideshows, industry reports on the effectiveness of panels…and more!
- Opportunity to hire me as a coach for your panel moderators or to have me moderate your panel discussion.
As a high-stakes meeting facilitator, keynote speaker, and professional panel moderator, Kristin has the depth and breadth of experience in working across multiple sectors and industries. Over the past 30 years, she has worked with leaders and their teams in all 18 identified sectors of the US economy and 147 different industries ranging from manufacturing and mining to financial services and the arts and everything in between. She has spoken to over 250 organizations in a dozen countries around the world such as the Million Dollar Roundtable, Mercedes Benz (USA and Canada), Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Johnson & Johnson, just to name a few. She has worked with over 16,000 leaders and 450 distinct teams delivering practical, real-world insights, tools, and techniques to help their teams to be extraordinary.
As one of the first female graduates of the United States Coast Guard Academy and the first woman stationed onboard an ocean-going buoy tender, Kristin learned early on about working with others. In 1990, she became one of the first Coast Guard facilitators – and made every mistake one could! Frustrated, she avidly researched this nascent skill called “facilitation” and found herself training a cadre of internal facilitators. By 1992, companies were asking her to teach their people how to facilitate and lead teams! Since then, she has been sharing her concrete approach to leading teams with a treasure trove of practical concepts, tools, and techniques her clients can apply immediately to see positive sustainable results.
Kristin’s passion for leading teams is reflected in her writing, speaking, facilitation, and consulting. She is an award-winning author, newspaper columnist, and contributing author to 27 other team-based books such as The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation. Her latest book, The Powerful Panelist: Everything You Need to Know to Be Capable and Confident During a Panel Discussion was published in June 2023.
Featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, Selling Power, Kristin knows what it takes to lead, facilitate, and participate on high-performing teams. She was on the board and President of the National Speakers Association of the United States (2010-2011). She also served as President of the Downtown Hampton (Virginia) Development Partnership (2001-2), a nonprofit business organization attributed to turning Downtown Hampton from a quaint, sleepy town to a thriving entertainment, retail and residential center. She retired from the USCG Reserves in 2002 as a Lieutenant Commander.
Kristin lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and Prince Edward Island, Canada on a never-ending search for the perfect vodka dirty martini!
Kristin Arnold has earned three certifications within her core competencies and was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame in 2023:
- Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) from the National Speakers Association (2002)
- Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) from the International Association of Facilitators (2002)
- Certified Professional Facilitator | Master (CPF |M) from the International Association of Facilitators (2019)
Kristin is also certified to administer several assessment tools that assist people in determining their thinking styles, personality preferences, and management effectiveness:
- The Six Types of Working Genius®
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
- Human Synergistics’ Group Styles Inventory™
- Organizational Culture® Inventory
As an active member of her community, Kristin has received the following awards:
- CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame (2023)
- Canadian Association of Professional Speakers Service Award (2020)
- Smart Magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women: Innovator (2018)
- Global Speakers Federation Presidential Award for Service (2015)
- Axiom Book Award for Boring to Bravo (2012)
- National Speakers Association Presidential Award (2012)
- Capital Outstanding Speaker Award (2007)
- National Speakers Association Presidential Award (2005)
- Outstanding Woman of Hampton Roads (2001)
- Virginia Speakers Association Chapter Member of the Year (2001 and 2002)
- Hampton Roads Inside Business Rising Stars “Forty Under Forty” (2000)
- Women in Business Advocate of the Year for the Virginia Peninsula (1998)
- Yes, Kristin is tall. 5’10” in bare feet with a 34” inseam, so she just looks really, really tall.
- Kristin was one of the first women at the US Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1982 and was the ONLY woman onboard an ocean-going buoy tender. She had to learn a lot about teamwork!
- An avid reader, you’ll always find her toting around a pile of magazines, one business book and one novel – just for fun!
- Kristin plays respectable golf, hovering around 100. Ask her about the time she played golf with Gary Player!
- A gourmet cook, she loves to putter in the kitchen on the weekend. Her favorite spices come from Surfas, a specialty foodie supplier store where she was born.