Since we desperately want diverse points of view on a panel (otherwise, it’s just plain boring), I am often asked how a panel moderator can make sure the conversation is “spirited.” After all, we aspire to lively discussion; not a “heated” debate!
A spirited debate occurs where people are comfortable in saying, “No, I don’t agree with you. I’ve got a different viewpoint.” And there is a freedom to express these diverse opinions without harsh judgement or finger-pointing. (Unlike what we currently see on TV!)
Unfortunately, this is easy to say, but not easy to do. In my humble experience, there are plenty of panelists who simply don’t want to look like “the jerk” on the panel. It’s much safer to be polite. Stay safe. Don’t rock the boat.
So how do you ensure your panelists will share their diverse opinions?
In talking with frequent panelist, Ian Cleary, he says, “It’s got to be based on careful selection of the people on the panel. So evaluate the right people on the panel.”
When thinking through whom you are going to invite, make sure the panelists themselves have differing viewpoints.
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.