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I am often asked, “When do I NEED to use microphones during my panel discussion?”

For audiences under 50 people, you may be able to get away without using microphones. Between 50-75, it’s nice to have. Over 75, I highly recommend using some kind of amplification system. Even if you don’t think you need it, other people will appreciate it!

If you choose to use an amplification system, here are my

Recommendations for microphones during a panel discussion:

  • Panelists. Each panelist should have an individual lavaliere microphone; however, budget or logistics may make it necessary to share. When sharing a microphone, a wireless handheld is preferable. If sitting at a table, a table microphone is acceptable.
  • Moderator. The moderator should always have a lavaliere microphone or use the lectern microphone. When moving into the audience for Q&A, the moderator will need an additional wireless handheld to capture audience comments – or just use a wireless handheld throughout the program.
  • Audience. If the moderator stays on the stage, you’ll need to have a “runner” (or two) with a wireless microphone in hand OR a wireless or corded microphone on a stand in strategic places throughout the audience.  You can also use a throwable microphone (I use a Catchbox) so the audience can throw the microphone to the next questioner!

Make sure you coordinate your microphone requirements with your meeting organizer and/or Audio-visual crew.  They’ll appreciate your attention to detail to ensure an amazing panel discussion!


Related Articles:

Audience and Panelist Engagement AFTER the Panel Discussion

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

3 Popular Panel Discussion Formats

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.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Jose Bort says:

    These are very helpful tips. It all boils down to event design at the end of the day. Organisers should always consider the demographics and the venue when looking for proper event equipment. I have attended several events in the events industry, since I run a company called EventsCase, and sometimes the smallest things such as the microphone does make a difference for better attendee engagement.

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