I’m always looking for ways to add a little pizazz to an otherwise boring panel discussion, and one of the best ways is to mimic a talk show format (e.g. David Letterman).
In these times of intense political presidential debates, you might want to consider the rather controversial format using the talk show “Crossfire” with a dose of “60 Minutes” as well!
As with all of these talk show formats, brainstorm all the things they do in that show…and then see how many you can replicate, spoof, or make fun of!
Then, create an agenda that will leverage that talk show format, while also delivering on the stated promise/objectives of the session.
For the Crossfire format, determine whether you want a neutral panel moderator and diverse panelists or you want to stay true to the Crossfire format where each side of the aisle (liberal and conservative) served as the moderator for each question. Then create a list of 20 numbered provocative questions/statements related to the topic. Distribute them to the panelists as part of your pre-work or as they arrive.
Here’s a format I have used:
Adjourn and have a great day – knowing that you have incited discussion in the hallways after such an exhilarating panel discussion!
For more resources on how to make panels better, make sure to check out this knowledge vault which is chock-full of customizable checklists, worksheets, templates, agendas, sample emails, video interviews, and webinars with industry icons and professional moderators.
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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.
Photo by Los Muertos Crew