Master the Art of Multitasking as a Panel Moderator
August 31, 2017
Peer-Based, Impromptu Panel Discussion Format
September 13, 2017

Greetings from a guest blogger! After a few years of taking the steering wheel to manage Kristin Arnold’s social media and online reputation, it’s time to introduce myself and to write a bit on the blog. What a better time than after the CONNECT Marketplace conference where I saw Kristin Arnold in action. My name is Shannon Gagnon, I reside in New Orleans, Louisiana, but manage social media for clients all over the country. Today I’d like to debrief from Kristin’s conference session, make a few observations about panel discussions, and slightly brag on my client, all from the perspective of a social media manager.

So what is CONNECT Marketplace? It’s a conference where meeting planners, suppliers, and experts come together to present their ideas and network with one another. This is where I had the privilege to hear Kristin speak about reinventing the panel discussion. Let me just tell you, she put years of what she blogs on, writes on, and studies, into a well-rounded session.

So what would I have to learn that’s NEW in this session after years of proofreading, listening to, and promoting all of Kristin’s content online?

I learned that everything she preaches as a professional panel moderator and high-stakes meeting facilitator, she put into practice herself, such as re-organizing the room to customize it for your session, mingling with the audience before the presentation to hear their needs, engaging the audience, and managing the clock. I learned that her content on taking panel discussions from Boring to Bravo can be applied to so many types of presentations, and that meeting and event planners, moderators and facilitators can change the reputation that panel discussions have.

So what is the social media angle on this conference, Kristin’s presentation, and on panel discussions?

My takeaway was that many speakers, panelists, moderators, event planners, and facilitators need to know how to effectively reach their audience before and after the event through social media. Meeting planners and speakers need to work together to promote their session, which Kristin explains here.  However, don’t just do the work beforehand, set yourself up for leads and connections afterward.  Instead of doing a shameless plug and rushing through a slide saying “Connect with me on LinkedIn,” tell your audience something along the lines of,

If you liked what you heard today and could benefit from more content in bite-sized bits, you should connect with me on social media, because that’s where I’m sharing more information like this each day!

And then, of course, make sure you are providing value to your followers, not just fluff in your posts. With that being said, make sure to make “virtual” friends with me, connect, say hi, or stop by soon.


Shannon Gagnon helps business professionals and brands by managing their online presence. She publishes consistent and compelling content on social media on her client’s behalf in order to improve their brand authenticity and credibility. She target markets to connect and network with high-value prospects in the desired industry.   Shannon manages the work that busy professionals and business owners do not have the time to do, but need to do to have an authentic brand.

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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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