Sometimes, you just need to let the audience drive the conversation. To engage in this type of format, It really has to be a perfect storm of conditions:
When these five conditions occur, dispense with the introductory rigamarole and get down to business quickly!
Spend just a few minutes to introduce the topic and the objectives while you are inviting the panelists to join you on stage.
You’ll want to emphasize that this panel discussion is going to be driven by them – by the audience! That we are going to answer the questions they want answered, to share lessons learned and ideas.
Then take the first question, the question you most see in the cards, texts, and tweets, or the “top voted” question. Let a panelist respond while encouraging comments that add to the conversation.
Then take the next question, and then the next, until you have about 5 minutes left.
With just a few minutes at the end of the panel, wrap it up very quickly with a summarizing statement and then ask each panelist, “What’s the one thing you thought you were going to be asked – but you weren’t? And what’s your answer?”
Thank the panelists and audience for their contributions, the sponsor for their support, and send them off to the next activity!
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Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.