Roles of the Chatbox Moderator, Question Box Moderator, and Social Media Moderator During a Virtual Panel Discussion

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For many virtual meetings, there are at least three channels the panel moderator should monitor:  the chatbox, the question box, and social media streams.

For virtual meetings with more than 50 attendees, I suggest you have an “ombudsman” to work the channels in which attendees can interact with the speakers, panelists, and each other. For super large audiences, you may want to designate an ombudsman for each channel e.g. “question moderator,” “chat moderator,” or “social moderator.” For each of these channels, the tasks are essentially the same, but there are a few nuances between them:

Roles and Responsibilities of the Chatbox Moderator in a Virtual Panel

  • Keep “watch” over the chatbox
    • Move a chat that is really a “question” to the question box (if there is a question box!)
    • Remove any offensive or inappropriate chats
    • If the “bad chats” persist, remove the offender from the chat and/or room
  • Capture information
    • As they arise, capture key takeaways from the session
    • Reiterate resources, quotes, or websites mentioned
  • Stimulate discussion from within the chatbox
    • Ask an interesting question to the audience
    • Provide additional resources if helpful

Roles and Responsibilities of the Question Box Moderator in a Virtual Panel

  • Review all questions posted in the question box
    • Note questions that further the objectives
    • Note the most asked questions
    • Note questions that are posed to specific panelists
  • Select questions to be asked – and the name of the person who submitted the question
    • Pick the most asked question
    • Pick the questions that help achieve the panel objectives
    • Select questions that balance the questions/airtime among the panelists
  • Submit questions to the panel moderator
    • Panel moderator can pull questions directly from the question box
    • Panel moderator can call on question moderator to share the next question
    • Question moderator can interject with a great, pertinent question

Roles and Responsibilities of the Social Moderator in a Virtual Panel

  • Determine the social media channels and hashtags to “watch”
  • Keep “watch” over the social channels
    • Note comments and questions that further the objectives
    • Note the most asked questions/comments
    • Note questions/comments that are directed to specific panelists
  • Submit questions/comments to the panel moderator
    • Panel moderator can pull questions/comments directly from social channels
    • Panel moderator can call on social moderator to share what’s trending
    • Social moderator can interject with a great, pertinent question/comment

As the panel moderator, agree on how you will work together to make sure the audience’s questions, comments, and opinions are considered during a virtual panel discussion.

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

Related Articles:

How to Moderate a Virtual Panel Discussion

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

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



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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.
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