Using Little-Known Facts and Statistics in a Panel Discussion

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Facts and Statistics in a Panel Discussion

I have always shied away from using little-known facts and statistics during a panel discussion because it just takes more time to prepare. But these days, all it takes is a query into an AI engine such as ChatGPT. So why not dazzle your audience with some facts that they wouldn’t otherwise know?

For example, I just asked ChatGPT “What are some little-known facts about cryptocurrency?” Here are just a few tidbits of trivia that came back from my query (I’m sparing you the boring stuff and italicized a key factoid):

  1. First Purchase with Bitcoin: The first known commercial transaction using Bitcoin was for two pizzas in May 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas from Papa John’s, a transaction that would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars today, depending on the Bitcoin price at the time of valuation.
  2. Bitcoin’s Anonymous Creator: Bitcoin was created by an individual or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Despite numerous attempts to uncover the identity, it remains a mystery. Nakamoto disappeared from public forums and communication in 2011, leaving many questions about their identity and motivations.
  3. Lost Bitcoins: It’s estimated that around 20% of all Bitcoins are lost and unrecoverable. This includes coins lost due to forgotten passwords, thrown away hard drives, or mistakes in transferring coins to unusable addresses.
  4. Whale Accounts: In the crypto world, a “whale” is an individual or entity that holds a large amount of cryptocurrency, which can be large enough to influence the market. For instance, it is reported that less than 1,000 people control about 40% of all available Bitcoin.
  5. Crypto Cities and Countries: Various cities and countries have attempted to become hubs or adopters of cryptocurrency. For example, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021. Other regions have created their own digital currencies or blockchain initiatives to attract technology investments.

Okay, so I don’t know about you, but there are some really interesting tidbits that a savvy crypto audience might not know!

How to Use Little-Known Facts in a Panel Discussion

You can use one of these tidbits of trivia in multiple ways during your panel discussion:

  • During your opening remarks as the panel moderator or panelist. Drop a little-known fact in your preamble as to why the topic is important.
  • True or False? Ask the panelists if one of your factoids is fact or fiction. (You’ll have to twist a real factoid a bit to make it fictional!). My good friend and colleague, Brian Walter calls this fun activity you can do with the panelists AND the audience as “Fact or Crap!”
  • As a lead into a question often called a “Stem Plus Query.” For example, “In September of 2021, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Is this trend going to continue where other countries adopt their own digital currencies?”
  • Weave it into one of your responses to a question posed by the moderator or from the audience.

You can also use AI to “reverse-engineer” one of your moderator-curated questions. Let’s say you want to ask if the trend of other countries adopting digital currencies is on the rise, you might ask ChatGPT about “which countries have adopted digital currencies and when?” Here’s what I found out:

Several countries have experimented with or officially adopted digital currencies, often referred to as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Here’s a look at some notable examples:

  1. The Bahamas – Sand Dollar: In October 2020, The Bahamas became one of the first countries to officially launch a full-scale CBDC, known as the Sand Dollar. It aims to provide more inclusive access to regulated payments and other financial services.
  2. China – Digital Yuan (e-CNY): China has been pioneering its CBDC with trials starting in 2020. The digital yuan, also known as e-CNY, is being extensively piloted in several cities and is used in numerous real-world applications, including retail and government services.
  3. Nigeria – eNaira: Nigeria launched its own CBDC, the eNaira, in October 2021. The digital currency is designed to complement Nigeria’s traditional Naira and aims to facilitate smoother transactions and expand financial inclusion.
  4. Eastern Caribbean – DCash: In March 2021, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched DCash, a digital version of the Eastern Caribbean dollar used by eight countries in the region. This initiative is part of an effort to increase financial efficiency and inclusion.
  5. Sweden – e-Krona: Sweden has been exploring a CBDC known as the e-Krona. While still in the testing phase as of 2021, the Riksbank has been actively investigating the technological and regulatory implications of introducing a digital krona.
  6. Uruguay – e-Peso: Uruguay conducted a pilot program for a digital version of its currency, the e-Peso, between 2017 and 2018. The pilot ended, but it provided valuable insights into the use of digital currencies in reducing the costs of money circulation and improving financial inclusion.
  7. Jamaica – JAM-DEX: Jamaica launched its CBDC, JAM-DEX, with a national rollout in 2022, after a successful pilot phase. The Jamaican government aims to promote financial inclusion and streamline payment services across the country.

Using one of these pieces of information, you can craft a “stem plus query” to provide some context to the question you are asking a panelist. And don’t forget to make the number meaningful. Chip Heath wrote a great book about how to Make Numbers Count.

One caveat: Recognize that ChatGPT can make stuff up. So if you are going to use ChatGPT to source your little-known factoids, do a Google search to check the source! 🙂

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For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.

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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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