How to Deal with a Lull In Conversation During a Panel Discussion

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As a panel moderator or a panelist, what do you do when your panel discussion hits a lull in the conversation?  What action can you take when the discussion seems to be over yet you still have time on the clock?  Yikes. That’s exactly what happened to Jackie Barrie.  She was a panelist during a one-hour panel; the conversation had petered out; the audience had no more questions and there will still ten minutes to go!

So Jackie took initiative and took matters in her own hands. She raised her hand and asked permission to ask a question!  She then had a little fun with it.  She went into a serious character/voice and said, “Jackie, I have a question for you.”  Jackie then perked up and said, “Fire away!”  And then Jackie asked a relevant and interesting question that she had already prepared an answer for – and then answered it!

To combat the lull in the panel discussion, have your panelists ask themselves an interesting question! Coach your panelists before a panel discussion on fun conversation techniques like this to make your panel discussion more powerful.


Related Articles:

Moderators, Are You Over-preparing Your Panelists?

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

Panel Discussion Tip #161 with Mark Sanborn: What To Do With a Hyper Panelist

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



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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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