Ask the Audience for a Verbal Response During a Panel Discussion

Using Examples VS. Illustrations to Spark a Powerful Panel
April 8, 2019
Taking a FRESH Angle on the 2019-2020 Presidential Debates
April 22, 2019

An easy way to get the audience engaged early on in your panel discussion is to ask for a verbal response.  Preachers do this all the time:  If you believe you are going to heaven, say, “Amen!” and the audience shouts “Amen!”

You could also tell the audience to say, “Hallelujah,” exclaim “Oh Yeah!” or shout out “Uh-huh!”  If confidentiality is important, ask for those to agree to hum.  You’ll find those who are passionate will hum loudly!

No need to limit yourself to verbal responses, either.  You can ask them to “Applaud if you like vanilla ice cream” or stand up if you are committed to making ice cream available all summer long.

On the flip-side of the coin you can also ask the audience to say, “Oh no,” shout out “No way,” or even “Boo” if you don’t like pistachio ice cream.

This is, in fact, a simplified version of polling.  There is just one choice and one action – which you believe the majority of the people in the audience are in agreement with.  Equally as important to selecting the choice you want to poll is the response/activity that they will actually do.  People will say “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord” in a church, but will they willingly and loudly say it in front of their peers? That is for you to decide. 

Just keep in mind that the volume of the response can also show the strength of the audience’s interest level and/or commitment.  Which is, of course, handy information to have at the start of your panel or to poll periodically during your panel discussion.


Related Articles:

How Moderators Can Manage Awkward Audience Comments

How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion Tip #185 with Jeffrey Hayzlett: Finishing Panel Discussions


For more resources on moderating panel discussions, visit the Knowledge Vault. To have Kristin moderate your next panel, visit the Powerful Panels official website.



Share This:
Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.
Contact Us
Skip to content

Our privacy policy has been updated. By clicking, 'I agree,' you consent to the terms therein. I Agree